What is it?
A new arthroscopic method for realigning the patella which eliminates the need for an incision. Traditionally, patients with an unstable patella are subjected to an extensive operative procedure that involves making an incision to tighten the inner ligaments controlling the tracking of the patella.

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Who is eligible?
This method is currently being utilized for patients with abnormal tracking or instability of the patella.

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How does it work?
This method, developed by Dr. Halbrecht, has been utilized successfully since 1994.

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Dislocating Patella
For severe cases of malalignment or when the patella actually dislocates an arthroscopic suturing method is utilized. Sutures are placed and tied from inside the joint, thus eliminating the need for an incision.

Patella
(A) Pre- and (B) post- operative appearance of patella following arthroscopic realignment.

Patella2
X-ray appearance of patella (A) before and (B) after realignment.

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Subluxating Patella
An even newer technique for treatment of some types of patella instability is the use of a heated probe to shrink the stretched patella ligament or retinacullum. This method eliminates the need for any incisions or sutures in the knee. This method is currently being utilized for patients with less severe instability of the patella (called subluxation). With this method, rather than using sutures to tighten the ligaments and realign the patella, the stretched ligaments are heated which shrinks and tightens them.

Patella3
Patella”All-inside” (A) Pre- and (B) Post- realignment.

A heated probe is used to shrink the stretched patella ligament or retinacullum. This method eliminates the need for any incisions or sutures in the knee.

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What are the results?
So far none of the patients has had any recurrent instability and all are extremely pleased with their surgical results. X-ray studies have confirmed the improvement in tracking of the patella. Dr. Halbrecht has presented these results recently at several sports medicine conferences and has published the results in the Journal of Arthroscopy in 2001 (PDF 1,492KB).

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Arthroscopic Patella Realignment for dislocating patella.
Dr Halbrecht San Francisco

 

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“ Love Dr. H. He did my knee last year and it went beautifully. He is very knowledgeable and very kind and an excellent surgeon. Just went for my shoulder--worked out great! Highly recommend him. ”

— Babyboomer Z. | San Francisco, CA

“ Once you get in to meet him... the experience is great! He's super friendly, knowledgeable and knows how to talk to patients when explaining the complexities of the problem. ”

— Dr. Phil R. | San Francisco, CA

“ Six months ago, after my last surgery with the other surgeon failed, I got in to see Dr. Halbrecht right away, and was able to schedule surgery the following week! My shoulder is soooo much better now! I feel like my nightmare is over. ”

— Kristen M. | San Francisco, CA