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The medial patellofemoral ligament (MPFL) is a condensation of the medial capsule of the knee joint. In the past two decades dissection studies have shown that it extends from the superomedial border of the patella to the femoral epicondyle, at or immediately above the adductor tubercle. MRI and operative studies have revealed that it is almost invariably damaged by lateral patellofemoral dislocation. Current surgical management of such dislocations may involve imbricating the torn medial capsule and parapatellar retinaculum back onto the medial border of the patella. If the medial patellofemoral ligament is torn at or near the femoral attachment, as the latest MRI and operative studies demonstrate it frequently is, then this medial reefing procedure will not be successful in restoring normal anatomy and function. Here we review the anatomy and function of the MPFL, its role in patellar dislocation and as well as surgical treatment for patellar dislocation.

Original publication




Journal article


Int J Surg

Publication Date





101 - 103