Medial patellofemoral ligament (MPFL) repair

The medial patellofemoral ligament (MPFL) attaches to the inner edge of the patella to help keep the patella from slipping toward the outer side of the knee.

A damaged MPFL can be repaired arthroscopically. Surgical repair of this ligament may be appropriate if it is:

  • Torn by injury to the knee.
  • Stretched and damaged by patellar dislocation.

In more than 8 out of 10 people, repairing the MPFL makes the knee joint more stable.1 Some people whose dislocation problem is surgically repaired will have another dislocation. And many people continue to have pain and swelling, which may be due to cartilage damage on the underside of the patella.2

Some surgeons think it best to repair MPFL damage immediately after a first patellar dislocation. Other surgeons will wait until they see a recurrent problem.

Citations

  1. Mulford JS, et al. (2007). Assessment and management of chronic patellofemoral instability. Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, British Volume, 89-B(6): 709–716.
  2. Kaplan L, et al. (2007). Patellar maltracking section of Knee injuries. In PJ McMahon, ed., Current Diagnosis and Treatment in Sports Medicine, pp. 92–95. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Last Updated: January 19, 2010

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