MPFL Reconstruction

What is an MPFL reconstruction?

The medial patellofemoral ligament (MPFL) is one of the ligaments providing knee stability by keeping the patella (kneecap) in place. More specifically, it facilitates steady movement in the early stages of knee flexion as it connects from the femur (thigh bone) to the patella. It also prevents the patella from being dislocated laterally (outwards). The MPFL will require reconstruction if the patella dislocates and tears the ligament. The surgeon will use a tissue graft to replace the damaged ligament and restore normal knee mobility, relieve patient pain and prevent further dislocations. This is typically done as an arthroscopic surgery that requires a small incision and arthroscope (camera) to minimize muscle loss and damage. A surgeon may want to perform an open surgery instead of the arthroscopic option depending on the tear and accessibility.

Who needs an MPFL reconstruction?

Typically, patients report feeling pain, swelling, stiffness and instability in their knee region. The MPFL is usually injured in those playing high-energy sports with frequent knee pivoting and collisions. Patients who play high-impact sports like basketball, football, soccer and tennis are at an increased risk of tearing their MPFL. MPFL reconstruction candidates may also have anatomical differences which predispose them to dislocations and subsequent tearing: “patella alta” (high-riding patella), loose joints and/or a flatter patellofemoral joint. Female patients are more likely to have such patellar instability. Those who did not respond positively to conservative treatments like wearing braces and physical therapy may require MPFL reconstruction.

More about MPFL reconstructions...

MPFL reconstruction done after the initial injury reduces the chances of the knee dislocating in the future and causing additional damage to the ligament and knee joint region.

Life after MPFL reconstructions...

More information coming soon!