Patellectomy is a surgical procedure where part or all of the patella bone is cut out.

Page updated January 2024 by Dr Sheila Strover (Clinical Editor)

post patellectomy

This illustration shows the tendon after the patella has been removed.


Surgical technique of patellectomy

Because the patella is embedded in the tendon of the quadriceps muscle, it is really 'shelled out' from its bed in the tendon without actually cutting right through the tendon. The patient is likely to have some limitation of extension afterwards.

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Forum discussions

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Peer-reviewed papers

  • Quote:

    "Despite the mechanical disadvantage to the knee extensor mechanism rendered by a previous patellectomy, TKA for tibiofemoral arthrosis in these patients relieved pain and restored function, but function was on average lower than that in patients with intact patellae."

    Citation: Yao R, Lyons MC, Howard JL, McAuley JP. Does patellectomy jeopardize function after TKA? Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2013 Feb;471(2):544-53. doi: 10.1007/s11999-012-2653-4. PMID: 23090656; PMCID: PMC3549151.

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Dr Sheila Strover (Editor)
BSc (Hons), MB BCh, MBA

See biography...