What is a Patellofemoral Joint Replacement?

The patella (kneecap) and the femur (thigh bone) form a joint called the patellofemoral joint. The patella moves up and down on the femur in a channel-like grove, similar to a train on a track. This joint “compartment” can be susceptible to osteoarthritis, leading to the need for a patellofemoral joint replacement. Patellofemoral joint replacement is a type of partial knee replacement surgery in which only a portion of the knee is resurfaced. The procedure is an alternative to total knee replacement for patients whose damaged bone and cartilage is limited to the underside of the patella. For patients in Manchester, South Windsor, Rocky Hill, Glastonbury and surrounding Hartford communities, Dr. James Mazzara, orthopedic knee surgeon, can perform this specialized surgery with a new computer-navigated technique.

What is Computer Navigated Partial Joint Replacement?

Dr. Mazzara offers a new procedure called computer-guided patellofemoral joint replacement which allows him to provide a personalized fit for the patient’s partial knee implant. Computer-guided joint replacement begins with an advanced MRI before the surgery. Dr. Mazzara uses the MRI and computer technology to design a custom cutting guide. He uses this guide during surgery to position the knee implant to fit the natural joint more exactly. Using this computer-guided technique gives patients a customized partial joint replacement that is the closest thing to a natural joint with fewer complications.

Are you a candidate for patellofemoral joint replacement?

There are two ways to initiate a consultation with Dr. Mazzara:

You can provide current X-rays and/or MRIs for a clinical case review with Dr. Mazzara.

You can schedule an office consultation with Dr. Mazzara.

Request Case Review or Office Consultation

Are you a Good Candidate for Patellofemoral Joint Replacement?

For patients who have tried to alleviate their symptoms of osteoarthritis through non-surgical measures and are not experiencing relief, Dr. Mazzara may recommend partial knee replacement surgery. In order to be a candidate for the procedure, patients in the Rocky Hill and surrounding Hartford areas must have arthritis confined to only the patellofemoral compartment of the knee. Patients who may not be a good candidate for the procedure include:

  • Patients with knee stiffness
  • Prior ligament damage
  • Those with a major deformity of the leg or knee.
  • Poor tracking of the patella on the femur
  • Patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis
  • Those with crystalline arthritis, such as gout
  • Morbid obesity

What is the Recovery Time for a Patellofemoral Joint Replacement that is Computer Navigated?

Because patellofemoral replacement is done through a smaller incision, there is less damage to soft tissues in the knee. In many cases, this allows patellofemoral replacement patients to recover faster and return to normal activities more quickly than total knee replacement patients. Patients with a partial knee replacement usually experience less post-operative pain, less swelling and have an easier rehabilitation than patients who undergo a total knee replacement. In most cases, patients may expect a full recovery from patellofemoral joint replacement in 6-8 weeks. 

For more information about computer-navigated patellofemoral joint replacement, or to see if you are a candidate for PKR, please contact the orthopedic offices of Dr. James Mazzara, knee surgeon in Manchester, South Windsor, Rocky Hill, Glastonbury and surrounding Hartford communities.


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