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Did you know? The knee is one of the body’s most intricate joints. As the largest and most complex joint in the body, it joins together the thigh bone, shin bone, fibula (on the outer side of the shin), and kneecap. As it is essential for movement, the knee is also one of the most stressed joints in the body and is quite vulnerable to injury.

What is an MPFL?

The Medial Patellofemoral Ligament (MPFL) is an important component of the knee, as it 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. When this ligament is strained or injured, it affects simple movement.

What causes an MPFL injury?

The MPFL is most commonly injured when the kneecap is dislocated. Patients with an underlying abnormality of the knee, ligament laxity or weak leg muscles are at an increased risk for patella dislocations. Individuals who play sports or are involved in activities that involve pivoting are also at high risk.

What is the treatment of an MPFL injury?

Most first time MPFL injuries can be treated non-surgically with NSAIDs and immobilization. The injury is then followed by physical therapy to strengthen the muscles around the knee. If the injury is more severe, or if there are small pieces of detached bone or cartilage in the knee, your physician may recommend surgery. MFPL reconstruction is often recommended for patients who experience repeated kneecap dislocations.

What is Medial Patellofemoral Ligament Reconstruction?

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. 

How long does it take to recover from MPFL surgery?

Typically, MPFL reconstruction surgery is performed at an outpatient facility. Following surgery, 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.

How do I know if MPFL surgery is right for me?

If you have knee pain that persists, seek advice from a board-certified Orthopedic Surgeon with expertise in Sports Medicine. The specialist will diagnose your pain and indicate an appropriate protocol for treatment. If your doctor sees that your Medial Patellofemoral Ligament is injured, they will recommend the best course of treatment. 

Contact us today to learn more or to make an appointment.