Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy

, Volume 22, Issue 11, pp 2648–2654 | Cite as

Patellar denervation with electrocautery in total knee arthroplasty without patellar resurfacing: a meta-analysis

  • Tao Cheng
  • Chen Zhu
  • Yongyuan Guo
  • Sifeng Shi
  • Desheng Chen
  • Xianlong Zhang



The impact of patellar denervation with electrocautery in total knee arthroplasty (TKA) on post-operative outcomes has been under debate. This study aims to conduct a meta-analysis and systematic review to compare the benefits and risks of circumpatellar electrocautery with those of non-electrocautery in primary TKAs.


Comparative and randomized clinical studies were identified by conducting an electronic search of articles dated up to September 2012 in PubMed, EMBASE, Scopus, and the Cochrane databases. Six studies that focus on a total of 849 knees were analysed. A random-effects model was conducted using the inverse-variance method for continuous variables and the Mantel–Haenszel method for dichotomous variables.


There was no significant difference in the incidence of anterior knee pain between the electrocautery and non-electrocautery groups. In term of patellar score and Knee Society Score, circumpatellar electrocautery improved clinical outcomes compared with non-electrocautery in TKAs. The statistical differences were in favour of the electrocautery group but have minimal clinical significance. In addition, the overall complications indicate no statistical significance between the two groups.


This study shows no strong evidence either for or against electrocautery compared with non-electrocautery in TKAs.

Level of evidence

Therapeutic study (systematic review and meta-analysis), Level III.


Total knee arthroplasty Patellar Electrocautery Denervation Meta-analysis Systematic review 


Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tao Cheng
    • 1
  • Chen Zhu
    • 1
  • Yongyuan Guo
    • 1
  • Sifeng Shi
    • 1
  • Desheng Chen
    • 1
  • Xianlong Zhang
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Shanghai Sixth People’s HospitalShanghai Jiao Tong University School of MedicineShanghaiPeople’s Republic of China

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