Where is the Medial Patellofemoral Ligament?
The knee is a complex joint that contains a network of soft tissues which stabilize the knee. The medial patellofemoral ligament, also called the MPFL attaches the inside part of the patella (kneecap) to the long bone of the thigh, or the femur. Injury to this ligament can occur when the patella is dislocated, as in a traumatic incident during athletics or many other activities. The patella can also dislocate as a result of naturally loose ligaments, often seen in girls and women. This is called patellar instability. Problems with the medial patellofemoral ligament can be treated by Dr. James Mazzara, orthopedic knee surgeon, serving patients in Manchester, South Windsor, Rocky Hill, Glastonbury and surrounding Hartford communities.
What is an MPFL Reconstruction?
In the past, many individuals with damage to the medial patellofemoral ligament had few treatment options beyond immobilization and rehabilitation. Today MPFL reconstruction surgery performed by Dr. James Mazzara, offers an excellent treatment option for patients who have recurring knee dislocations.
Medial patellofemoral ligament reconstruction is a surgical procedure that involves making a new ligament to replace or compensate for the damaged ligament. A tendon graft is used as a new medial patellofemoral ligament. The MPFL is held into place with special screws and sutures.
Are you a candidate for patellofemoral ligament reconstruction?
There are two ways to initiate a consultation with Dr. Mazzara:
You can provide current X-rays and/or MRIs for a clinical case review with Dr. Mazzara.
You can schedule an office consultation with Dr. Mazzara.
Can this Reconstruction be Done Arthroscopically?
An MPFL (medial patellofemoral ligament ) reconstruction does involve an arthroscopic part of the procedure but small incision are required to attach the graft to the patella and to the femur where it is attached to the bone using small bone tunnels and screws or suture anchors. Other procedures that Dr. Mazzara may need to do through an open surgery include: tibial tubercle osteotomy, a lateral retinacular lengthening, or a trochleoplasty. MPFL reconstruction typically takes approximately 60-90 minutes to perform and is done under general anesthesia.
What is the Recovery Time After Medial Patellofemoral Ligament Reconstruction?
Patients who undergo MPFL reconstruction will need to be non-weightbearing for approximately 6 weeks and will be instructed on how to use crutches. Knee motion may be limited for the first 2 weeks, afterward full range of motion is allowed. At 6 weeks, the patient can begin to decrease the use of crutches and may discontinue them completely when they are able to walk without a limp. A stationary bike may be used at the 6-week mark with strengthening exercises beginning approximately 3 months after surgery. Most patients who do not have arthritis in their knee joint are able to return to full work and sports activities within 5-6 months after surgery.
If you have questions regarding medial patellofemoral ligament reconstruction or are experiencing patellar instability with recurrent dislocations of the kneecap, please contact the orthopedic offices of Dr. James Mazzara, knee surgeon in Manchester, South Windsor, Rocky Hill, Glastonbury and surrounding Hartford communities.