Patella baja is a kneecap that is positioned abnormally low.


Who gets patella baja?

Patella baja (also called patella infera) is a common complication of total knee replacement. It can also occur after quadriceps muscle weakness, opening-wedge tibial osteotomy, fractures of the tibia, and arthrofibrosis inside the knee.

patella baja after arthrofibrosis

Extreme case of patella baja where the tissues below the patella repeatedly became 'stuck down', eventually requiring radical surgery of cutting the patellar tendon, mobilising the knee until it was quiet, and then grafting the tendon. 

Patella infera
Low-riding patella

The problem of patella baja

Short explanation of the common cause of an abnormally low kneecap.

Arthrofibrosis and Patella Baja

This ebook explains how an abnormally low kneecap result from the inflammatory condition of arthrofibrosis

Imaging and X-rays for patellofemoral pain

Part 6 of a course on Patellofemoral Pain by Dr Ronald Grelsamer of Mount Sinai Hospital in New York.

Differential diagnosis of patellofemoral pain

Part 3 of a course on Patellofemoral Pain by Dr Ronald Grelsamer of Mount Sinai Hospital in New York.

Dr Peter Millett discusses why knee surgeons need to be aware that arthrofibrotic scarring can occur in this area because of the position of their arthroscopic portals (cuts).

An 'interpretation' of a 1991 publication, describing how to recognise the early stages of internal scarring causing the patellar to pull down into an 'infera' position.



Complete excision of the infrapatellar fat pad is associated with patellar tendon shortening after primary total knee arthroplasty. Gwyn R, Kotwal RS, Holt MD, Davies AP. Eur J Orthop Surg Traumatol. 2016 Jul;26(5):545-9.

Changes in patella tendon length over 5 years after different types of knee arthroplasty. Davies GS, et al. Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 2016 Sep;24(9):3029-35.

Patellar tendon lengthening for patella infera using the Ilizarov technique. In Y, Kim SJ, Kwon YJ. J Bone Joint Surg Br. 2007 Mar;89(3):398-400.

Arthrofibrosis and patella baja - ebook



Kindle eBook - Authors: Frank Noyes & Sue Barber-Westin

Knee Arthrofibrosis: Everything You Need to Know to Recognize, Treat, and Prevent Loss of Knee Motion After Injury or Surgery

Alternative link for UK customers