Anatomical and biomechanical evaluation of the tension band technique in patellar fractures

Baran O., Manisali M., ÇEÇEN B.

INTERNATIONAL ORTHOPAEDICS, vol.33, no.4, pp.1113-1117, 2009 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 33 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00264-008-0602-3
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.1113-1117
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


Tension band wiring for patellar fractures is common, but some recent reports refer to disadvantages of this approach. Our anatomical and biomechanical study focused on use of tension band techniques in patellar fractures. The anatomy of the patella and tendon insertion was examined with knee magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and correlated with the technical requirements of the tension band. Tension band wiring over tendinous tissue was simulated and calculated with a cyclic biomechanical test on cow patellae. According to tension band templating on the MRI section, Kirschner wire insertion was needed for the tension band to turn over the tendinous tissue. The tension band became more stable while turning over less tendinous tissue and more adjacent bone surface. Nevertheless, cyclic loading tests indicate that all tension band applications in this study lose their initial stability. Excessive initial compression by the tension band resulted in bending of the Kirschner wire and thus reduction failure. For optimum stabilisation, tension force transfer should be done directly on bone or at least material that protects the tendon would be useful.