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South African Journal of Science

On-line version ISSN 1996-7489
Print version ISSN 0038-2353


OLATEJU, Oladiran I.; PHILANDER, Illke  and  BIDMOS, Mubarak A.. Morphometric analysis of the patella and patellar ligament of South Africans of European ancestry. S. Afr. j. sci. [online]. 2013, vol.109, n.9-10, pp.01-06. ISSN 1996-7489.

Morphometric analyses of the patella and patellar ligament have been reported to be important in human identification, in knee implant design and in certain surgical procedures of the knee. It has also been shown that success in the functionality of a knee arthroplasty (knee replacement) is dependent on the implant being of an appropriate dimension. We undertook this study because of the lack of available data on these dimensions in South Africans. Careful dissection was carried out on both knees of 46 South African cadavers (25 females and 21 males) of European ancestry. The quadriceps femoris tendon and patellar ligament were carefully freed from the underlying structures. Eight measurements of the patella and patellar ligament were taken using a Vernier caliper. Patellae were also classified based on the dimensions of the articular facets. No significant difference was found when the measurements taken from both knees were compared except for the dimensions of patella thickness and widths. Dimensions of the patella, patellar ligament and articular facets are sexually dimorphic. In addition, measurements of the patella and patellar ligament showed significant positive correlations, with Type B patellae being the most prevalent in South Africans of European ancestry. The data from the present study will be beneficial in clinical and pathological practices and for local anthropological records.

Keywords : patella; patellar ligament; articular facets; South African; European ancestry.

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