Patellar Instability Surgery



Reconstruction of the medial patellofemoral ligament (MPFL) is for patients who may have experienced a tendon tear that is causing recurring knee patellar instability. MPFL injury is commonly attributed to acute traumatic patellar dislocation—when the knee cap suddenly moves out of place.

A common sign that surgery may be necessary, is continued knee instability despite attempts at non-operative treatment. Nonsurgical treatment usually includes wearing a brace in conjunction with targeted physical therapy. Reconstructive surgery is also considered as a solution if you are suffering from a mild bone malalignment.

Your MPFL is: A tendon on the inside of your knee’s medial side that connects your kneecap (patella) to your thigh bone (femur), and stabilizes your knee by preventing lateral displacement of your kneecap.

Bone malalignment: The displacement of bones out of line in relation to joints.

  • Lateral patella dislocations are common injuries seen in active young patients.
  • It is necessary to treat associated cartilage injury in conjunction with the MPFL reconstruction surgery
  • Patients who may not respond well to MPFL reconstruction are those with extreme malalignment and patellofemoral arthritis. Dr. Alkhatib offers other procedures in these situations
  • An MRI is the most common means to assess MPFL damage

The following symptoms are commonly reported from patient with an MPFL injury:

  • Feeling unstable, or shaky when using the affected knee
  • A sensation that the kneecap is moving to the side during movement
  • Swelling of the knee
  • Restricted range of motion
  • Pain when moving the joint
  • Pain, stiffness, or “locking,” after sitting for a prolonged period of time.