The Patello-femoral joint (PFJ) is the aspect of the knee formed by the kneecap (patella) and the femur bone. PFJ arthritis or “kneecap arthritis” is wear and tear of the cartilage in this part of the knee. PFJ arthritis typically causes pain at the front of the knee. Patello-femoral joint replacement is a procedure to replace the back of the kneecap or patella.

The main cause for damage of the patellofemoral component is patellofemoral arthritis, whereby the cartilage behind the kneecap has worn out. This causes the ends of the bone to rub against one another. This may cause pain and restrict the movement of knee. Patients may experience difficulty in walking, climbing up and down stairs or hills and have difficulty with kneeling, squatting, and standing.

Patellofemoral replacement is considered when pain is not relieved by conservative (non-operative) treatments.

PFJ Replacement Surgical Procedure:

  • Mr Freedman will make a small incision over the knee.
  • The patellofemoral compartment is prepared for the prosthesis by removing the damaged part of the patella and the trochlear groove at the end of the femur.
  • The femoral prosthesis is made of polished metal and the patellar component looks like a plastic button which will glide smoothly in a groove located on the femoral component.
  • The prosthesis is fixed in place with the use of special bone cement.
  • Patients are able to move the knee within hours and are able to stand and weightbear through the operated knee on the day of surgery. Discharge from hospital is typically after 2-3 days.

PFJ replacement is intended for patients who have isolated arthritis of only the patello-femoral (PFJ) joint as it’s only this part of the knee that gets resurfaced in the surgery.  For patients with more widespread arthritis to other parts of the knee, total knee replacement will likely be a more appropriate option.

To discuss options for your knee pain please contact Mr Freedman’s office to schedule a consultation.