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Medial patellofemoral ligament (MPFL)

Medial patellofemoral ligament reconstruction is a surgical procedure indicated in patients with more severe patellar instability. Medial patellofemoral ligament is a band of tissue that extends from the femoral medial epicondyle to the superior aspect of the patella. Medial patellofemoral ligament is the major ligament which stabilizes the patella and helps in preventing patellar subluxation (partial dislocation) or dislocation. This ligament can rupture or get damaged when there is patellar lateral dislocation. Dislocation can be caused by direct blow to the knee, twisting injury to the lower leg, strong muscle contraction, or because of a congenital abnormality such as shallow or malformed joint surfaces.

Treatment

In many cases patella dislocations may be treated without surgery. This usually involves a period of pain control, bracing, and physical therapy

Surgical Technique

Surgery usually involves a reconstruction of the torn ligament using autograft (the patient’s own tissue) or allograft (donor tissue). In select circumstances, the ligament may be able to be repaired instead. There are other factors to be taken into consideration such as the patient’s lower extremity alignment, which may require additional treatment to prevent recurrent of the patella dislocation.

Post-operative care

A knee brace should be used during walking in the first 3-6 weeks after surgery. Avoid climbing stairs, squatting and stretching your leg until there is adequate healing of the tendon. Rehabilitation exercises, continuous passive motion and active exercises will be recommended.

  • American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
  • American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine
  • AANA: Arthroscopy Association of North America
  • Louisiana Orthopaedic Association
  • North Oaks Health System