Background: The medial patellofemoral ligament (MPFL) is the primary restraint to extreme lateral displacement and is typically disrupted with an acute lateral patellar dislocation. Patients who fail a comprehensive nonoperative program and experience recurrent lateral patellar instability episodes are candidates for surgical treatment. Current surgical procedures include a variety of proximal realignment techniques, including repair or reconstruction of the MPFL along with distal realignment of the tibial tubercle when indicated. Purpose: The objective of this study was to review the clinical, functional, and radiographic outcomes of isolated MPFL repair for recurrent lateral patellar dislocation. Study Design: Case series; Level of evidence, 4. Methods: The records of all patients undergoing MPFL repair for recurrent patellar dislocation at the Mayo Clinic from 2001 to 2006 were retrospectively reviewed. Twenty-seven patients (29 knees) with an average age of 19 years (range, 11-32 years) were included in this study. Clinical, functional, and radiographic outcomes were assessed at an average of 4 years after surgery (range, 2-7 years), using recurrent instability as the primary end point. Results: The success rate of MPFL repair for preventing recurrent dislocations was 72% (21 of 29 knees). Eight patients (28%) experienced a recurrent lateral patellar dislocation. Five of these patients required a reoperation, including two MPFL reconstructions, 1 tibial tubercle osteotomy with MPFL reconstruction, 1 tibial tubercle osteotomy with revision MPFL repair, and 1 revision MPFL repair. At final follow-up, the mean Lysholm and Kujala scores were 86 (range, 42-100) and 92 (range, 57-105), respectively. Postoperative radiographs revealed a mean patellofemoral congruence angle improvement of 27° (range, 5°-44°). The only statistically significant risk factor for failure was nonanatomical MPFL repair at the medial femoral condyle (P =.004). Conclusion: Isolated repair of the MPFL for recurrent patellar instability is associated with a relatively high failure rate, but remains a viable surgical option if surgical technique principles are followed. The clinical success of this operation depends on restoration of the anatomical origin of the MPFL and careful patient selection.
- medial patellofemoral ligament
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation