The Medial Patellofemeral Ligament (MPFL) attaches the kneecap (patella) to the inner part of the knee. It helps stabilize the kneecap as the knee moves, preventing it from moving or dislocating outward.
The MFPL is most commonly injured when the kneecap is dislocated, Patients with an underlying abnormality of the knee, or those with ligament laxity or weak leg muscles are at an increased risk for patella dislocations, as are individuals involved in sports or other activities that involve pivoting.
Most first time MPFL injuries can be treated non-surgically with NSAIDs and immobilization, followed by physical therapy to strengthen the muscles around the knee. If there injury is more severe, or if there are small pieces of detached bone or cartilage in the knee, surgery may be recommended. MFPL reconstruction is often recommended for patients who experience repeated kneecap dislocations.
Depending on the patient’s individual condition, knee surgeons will either directly repair the ligament, or reconstruct the ligament using a graft from another ligament in the patient’s own body or with that of a donor in order to stabilize the knee and allow the patient to return to normal activity
Typically, MPFL reconstruction is performed at an outpatient facility. The knee will be immobilized while walking and standing for a period of six weeks, followed by a program of physical therapy. Patients usually return to normal activity after a period of four to six months.