Association of Systemic Hormonal Contraceptives With Reconstruction Procedures for Patellar Instability

Brandon J. Martinazzi, Nicholas Bertha, Hannah H. Nam, F. Jeffrey Lorenz, Vincenzo Bonaddio, Anna Ptasinski, Robert A. Gallo

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Background: Previous research suggests that estrogen plays a role in increased ligamentous laxity observed within the female population. Whereas many studies have sought to evaluate the impact of exogenous estrogen on anterior cruciate ligament injuries, research has not yet explored its impact on the medial patellofemoral ligament. Furthermore, less is known about the role of exogenous progesterone on ligamentous structures. Purpose: To determine whether women prescribed systemic estrogen (ethinyl estradiol) or progesterone (norgestimate or etonogestrel) hormonal contraceptives had an increased risk of undergoing reconstruction surgery for patellar instability compared with women without a prescription for systemic hormonal contraceptives. Study Design: Cross-sectional study; Level of evidence, 3. Methods: The TriNetX Research Network database was queried using International Classification of Disease and Common Procedural Terminology codes for women aged 15 to 26 years who underwent reconstruction procedures for patellar instability between 2012 and 2022. Women were grouped according to whether they had a coded prescription for a systemic hormonal contraceptive containing either ethinyl estradiol or etonogestrel; controls were matched by age, sex, race, and ethnicity. The relative risk (RR) of undergoing reconstruction for patellar instability was determined for each contraceptive. Results: After 1-to-1 propensity score matching, 0.054% (525/980,878) of women prescribed a systemic contraceptive containing ethinyl estradiol underwent reconstruction procedures for patellar instability compared with 0.043% (417/980,878) of controls (RR, 1.3; 95% CI, 1.1-1.4; P =.0004). Likewise, 0.058% (67/116,260) of women prescribed a form of systemic contraceptive containing only etonogestrel underwent reconstruction procedures for patellar instability compared with 0.026% (30/116,260) of controls (RR, 2.2; 95% CI, 1.5-3.4; P =.0002). Conclusion: Female patients prescribed systemic contraceptives containing estrogen or progesterone had an increased rate of reconstruction procedures for patellar instability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalOrthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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