Treatment of congenital bipartite patella in pediatric population – a systematic review of the published studies


Bipartite patella; patella; knee pain; adolescent

Published online: May 03 2022

Venla Soini, Arimatias Raitio, Ella Virkki, Johanna Syvänen

From the Department of Paediatric and Paediatric Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Turku and Turku University Hospital, Kiinamyllynkatu 4-8, 20521 Turku, Finland


Bipartite patella is an abnormality where patella is incorrectly ossified resulting in fibrocartilaginous synchondrosis. In most cases bipartite patella is asymptomatic and incidental finding but can also be painful especially in adolescents. The aim of our analysis was to determine the preferable treatment for pediatric bipartite patella.

We conducted a systematic review based on PubMed and Embase searches. All original articles with reference to treatment in the population of ≤ 20 years of age, were included. Case reports, and articles without individualized data were excluded. In total, the individual data of 126 knees in 116 patients was analyzed. In 77.8% (98/126) of the analyzed knees the result was excellent, and the majority of the knees, 89.7% (105/126) received surgical intervention, and seven different techniques were used. None of operative methods were superior to others. Excellent treatment outcomes were achieved more often in younger patients (p=0.004), and the median duration of symptoms in operatively treated patients was shorter (p=0.018).

If operative treatment is used after unsuccessful conservative treatment, it should be considered early in adolescence and also within a relatively short period after the onset of symptoms. The best operative method could not be found. More research and RCTs are needed concerning the conservative methods and different operative techniques.