|Year : 2018 | Volume
| Issue : 1 | Page : 74-77
Patella gigantism following traditional bonesetter treatment
Somiari L Harcourt, Richard C Echem
Department of Surgery, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria
|Date of Web Publication||29-May-2018|
Dr. Somiari L Harcourt
Department of Surgery, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt, Rivers State
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
The patella is the largest human sesamoid bone, lies within, and is an important component of the knee extensor mechanism. Tumors and tumor-like lesions of the patella are rare. Fractures of the patella are relatively uncommon and account for 1% of all musculoskeletal system fractures. These fractures can be managed by traditional bonesetters with attendant complications. To report a case of patella gigantism following a patella fracture which was treated by a traditional bonesetter. An 18-year-old male Nigerian presented with a 2-year history of anterior left knee swelling following a motorcycle accident. A diagnosis of closed patella fracture was made, but he declined orthodox treatment. Treatment had been from traditional bonesetters who were massaging the knee regularly for about 2 years. Clinical and radiographic examinations revealed an enlarged patella. He had patellectomy and reconstruction of the extensor mechanism of the left knee. The patella measured 22 cm × 18 cm and weighed 0.5 kg, which was regarded as a giant patella. Histopathological report of the excised patella revealed patella sclerosis. He made an uneventful recovery and presently walks about unaided. Patella gigantism can occur following treatment of patella fracture by traditional bonesetters. We recommend patellectomy and reconstruction of the extensor mechanism, whenever a giant patella is encountered.
Keywords: Fracture, gigantism, patella, traditional bonesetter
|How to cite this article:|
Harcourt SL, Echem RC. Patella gigantism following traditional bonesetter treatment. J Med Trop 2018;20:74-7
| Introduction|| |
The patella is the largest human sesamoid bone, lies within and is an important component of the knee extensor mechanism.,, It serves to protect the front of the knee and increases the lever arm of the quadriceps.,,
Tumors and tumor-like lesions of the patella are rare,,,,,, with benign lesions occurring more frequently than malignant lesions. Fractures of the patella are relatively uncommon and account for 1% of all musculoskeletal system fractures.,,, These fractures can be managed by traditional bonesetters with attendant complications, as a number of those who sustain these injuries resort to them.
Traditional bonesetters are commonly found in most developing nations, and they play a significant role in the treatment of fractures in these nations.
The aim of this paper is to report a case of patella gigantism following a patella fracture, which was treated by a traditional bonesetter.
| Case report|| |
An 18-year-old male Nigerian presented to a Nigerian hospital in March 2006 with a 2-year history of anterior left knee swelling following a motorcycle accident. He had sustained closed injury to his left knee with a loss of active extension, associated with acute swelling. A diagnosis of patella fracture had been made radiologically, immediately following his injury, but he declined orthodox treatment and went home. Thereafter, treatment had been from traditional bonesetters, who were massaging the knee regularly using native concoctions/pastes for about 2 years. He had no constitutional symptoms.
Physical examination revealed some wasting of the left lower limb with a grossly enlarged left knee. The anterior swelling, which was bony and mobile (patella), measured 32 and 22 cm in the vertical and transverse diameters, respectively [Figure 1]. There was some effusion, and the range of motion in the knee joint was 10–75° of flexion.
|Figure 1: Photograph of the lower limb showing the anterior knee swelling (enlarged patella)|
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Radiograph of the affected knee showed an enlarged patella with granular opacities. His chest radiograph was within normal limits. His genotype was AS, and the full blood count, blood chemistry and urinalysis were within normal.
He underwent patellectomy and reconstruction of the extensor mechanism of the left knee. Operative findings included a patella measuring 22 cm × 18 cm [[Figure 2] and [Figure 3]], adherent to the overlying fascia and weighing 0.5 kg with gross thickening of the knee joint capsule and synovium. One hundred milliliters of amber-colored synovial fluid was evacuated from the knee. [Figure 4] shows the immediate postoperative photograph.
Histopathological report of the excised patella revealed patella sclerosis. No cysts were found. There was no cortical disruption, and no evidence of malignancy was found. The patient made an uneventful recovery and presently walks about unaided.
| Discussion|| |
The patella is roughly triangular in shape with the base proximal and the apex distal., The patella in an adult measures 5 cm in diameter, although limits of length varying from 47 to 58 mm (4.7–5.8 cm) and width from 51 to 57 mm (5.1–5.7 cm) have been described. The weight of normal dry human patellae was reported by two studies, one among those of Iraqi ethnicity and the other among those of Japanese ethnicity. In the Iraqi study, the mean weight of dry human right patella was 7.06 g (range = 4.21–11.07 g), and that of the left was 7.04 g (range = 3.28–12.91 g). In the Japanese study, the combined mean weight of the right and left patellae was 7.178 g. The range for the right patellae was 4.281–10.832 g, and that for the left was 4.240–13.195 g. The index patient had a patella, which measured 22 cm × 18 cm, which is almost four times the measurement cited in the literature and it weighed 0.5 kg. The weight of the excised patella is about 70 times the mean weight of dry human patella. We propose that any patella, which weighs this much (0.5 kg) and above should be regarded as a giant patella.
The giant patella that was encountered in this patient may have been due to the treatment by the traditional bonesetter. The treatment consisted of massaging the knee regularly. Regular massage of an injured part is a common form of treatment by traditional bonesetters in this environment. With the patella fracture that had occurred in the patient, the massaging may have stimulated more vascularization of the patella. The patella has a rich blood supply,, which in the face of fracture may lead to hyperplasia as the callus forms. Hyperplasia of the patella has been associated with infection and trauma of the patella, with or without fracture., However, in the present report, the hyperplasia is extensive giving rise to the giant patella. This is a unique sequela of massaging as a form of treatment by traditional bonesetters.
Patella enlargements have been reported in both benign and malignant tumors.,,,,, The most frequent benign lesions are giant cell tumor, chondroblastoma, and aneurysmal bone cysts. The more frequent primary malignant lesions are osteosarcoma, hemangioendothelioma, and malignant fibrous histiocytoma.,,, The malignant lesions could be metastatic.,,, The possibility of later malignant transformation of the patella in the index patient had the patellectomy not been conducted could have been borne in mind given the size of the patella. It has been documented that some initially benign patellar tumors have been reported to have the potential for malignant transformation over time.,,,
Patellectomy together with reconstruction of the extensor mechanism is a recommended treatment option for patella tumors.,, The index patient had this form of treatment and did well. Reasonable knee function has been reported after patellectomy,, especially when formal rehabilitation is instituted. Hence, patellectomy will, therefore, be advantageous in the long term.
| Conclusion|| |
Patella gigantism can occur following treatment of patella fracture by traditional bonesetters. We recommend patellectomy and reconstruction of the extensor mechanism, whenever a giant patella is encountered.
Declaration of patient consent
The authors certify that they have obtained all appropriate patient consent forms. In the form the patient(s) has/have given his/her/their consent for his/her/their images and other clinical information to be reported in the journal. The patients understand that their names and initials will not be published and due efforts will be made to conceal their identity, but anonymity cannot be guaranteed.
Financial support and sponsorship
Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
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[Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4]