Vim & Vigor - Winter 2017 - University of Virginia - 56

SLIP NOT
Complex new procedure helps prevent
knee dislocations BY HOLLY FORD

I

t's easy to take for granted the
many parts that come together
to move our bodies from seated
to standing to full-on sprint. But
for 22-year-old athlete Olivia Kitelinger
of Charlottesville, Virginia, there's no
denying the merits of a fully functioning
knee joint.
"All of my life, since age 5, I had knee
pain," she says. "I played sports anyway,
but I took lots of Advil."

Knee Pain in Childhood

56

W IN TER 2 0 1 7

Fix for the Young

Trochleoplasty is suggested for patients
ages 13 to 30 who have stopped growing
but have not yet developed arthritis in
the knee. ■
WEBSITE

Meet the Experts
To learn more about the orthopedic expertise
for all types of knee and other musculoskeletal
issues, go to uvahealth.com/orthoexperts.

PHOTO BY GETTY IMAGES

Kitelinger is one of many people born
with an anatomic abnormality that
causes her kneecap (or patella) to dislocate. The problem is a bump on the end
of the femur or thighbone that alters the
usually smooth trochlear groove, upon
which the kneecap glides.
The condition, known as trochlear
dysplasia, is typically identified in childhood or early adolescence when most
patients experience their first patellar
dislocation. Once the kneecap slips out
of place for the first time, the ligament
securing it is torn, making the patient
susceptible to future dislocations.
"We can do a lot to reconstruct the
ligament," says University of Virginia
Health System orthopedic surgeon
David Diduch, MD. "But ultimately,
for certain patients, you have to
remove the bump. That is the underlying problem."
Diduch is one of few surgeons in the
country providing a relatively new and
complex procedure called trochleoplasty.
This involves reshaping the trochlear
groove to achieve proper positioning of
the kneecap. "This is not a cookbook
surgery," Diduch says. "You have a menu

of options, and it takes experience to
identify what combination works for
each patient."
Kitelinger was one of the first
patients to have the trochleoplasty
procedure at UVA after years of recurrent kneecap dislocations and ongoing
pain. "My knee popped out of place in
high school, but there was no procedure available, so I was forced to wear a
knee brace, which didn't help the pain,
but it did stabilize the knee," Kitelinger
says. "I was afraid it would dislocate
again, so I limited myself and I was
more cautious."
After a successful outpatient surgery
and about six months of physical therapy to regain strength and flexibility,
today Kitelinger is unburdened by pain
and fear of another dislocation. "Since
the surgery, I have no limitations,"
Kitelinger says. "I returned to work
after six weeks, I go to the gym and I
go running. I feel great, and I'm happy
with the outcome."


http://www.uvahealth.com/orthoexperts

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Vim & Vigor - Winter 2017 - University of Virginia

Contents
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2017 - University of Virginia - Cover1
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2017 - University of Virginia - Cover2
Vim & Vigor - Winter 2017 - University of Virginia - Contents
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