Patellar sleeve fractures are easily missed injuries since plain radiographs may not show a bony fragment at the time of injury. Failure to diagnose these injuries can result in patellar instability, extensor lag, and anterior knee pain. We report a novel treatment using a Taylor spatial frame as part of a staged reconstruction to regain length of the extensor mechanism and maintain knee motion prior to performing primary repair of the avulsed patellar sleeve fragment. In our case, an 11-year-old male presented to our institution six months after sustaining a patellar sleeve fracture. Radiographic examination with the knee in extension revealed a 23-mm gap between the inferior patellar pole fragment and the remaining patella. The patient was ultimately taken to the operating room twelve months after the initial injury for placement of a Taylor spatial frame to regain length of the extensor mechanism. The patient began immediate knee range-of-motion exercises, and performed daily soft tissue lengthening of two millimeters. After four weeks of treatment the patient underwent removal of the fixator and primary repair of the patella. At final follow up six years after patellar reconstruction, the patient had an active knee range-of-motion from five degrees of hyperextension to 140° of flexion. Where current literature reports suboptimal results even when treatment is delayed for two months, in our case the patient was able to obtain a high level of function after treatment with a two-stage reconstruction using a Taylor spatial frame.
- Patellar sleeve fracture
- Taylor frame