Patella baja is a kneecap that is positioned abnormally low in relation to the groove of the femur.

patella baja after arthrofibrosis
This image is of an extreme case of patella baja (one of our knee forum patients!) 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.

 

Who gets patella baja?

Some people are born with an atypically low patella, but more often it is a complication of injury or surgery. An abnormally low patella (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.

 

Consequences of patella baja

If patella baja is not adequately managed it can lead to decreased range of motion (ROM), inability to fully straighten the knee, impingement with anterior knee pain and possibly rupture of the patellar tendon.

Synonyms: 
Patella infera
Low-riding patella
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What is 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).

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FORUM DISCUSSIONS

Patella baja and PT.

Patella Baja torture....

Victory over patella baja & arthrofibrosis including new patellar tendon.


CLINICAL PUBLICATIONS

Patella baja and total knee arthroplasty (TKA): etiology, diagnosis, and management. Chonko DJ, Lombardi AV Jr. and Berend KR. Surg Technol Int. 2004;12:231-8.

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.


See also -


 

eBook - Arthrofibrosis and patella baja

Easy-to-read eBook explaining how the scarring process of arthrofibrosis can affect the patella, pulling it down into a position where every knee bend becomes painful.