MPFL Surgery; Recovery from Medial Patellofemoral Ligament (MPFL) reconstruction surgery is different for every patient.
There are two main goals:
The first goal is to get back to the pre-injured level of physical activity. This generally takes 8 weeks.
The second goal is to regain full strength in the quadriceps (thigh muscle). This may take 12 – 16 weeks or longer after surgery.
The vast majority of people who have surgery for a torn MPFL are able to return to sports and other activities following significant rehabilitation.
A recent study published in 2016, featured the results of a survey of professional athletes treated by MPFL surgery. Of the athletes surveyed, over 90% of those who had a partial tear and 85% of those with complete tears returned to their pre-injury activity level or higher.
The study also looked at whether patients who had a particularly high activity level prior to injury were more likely to continue playing at that same level after surgery. Surprisingly, this wasn’t the case. In fact, it was often the lower-intensity players who were most likely to return to their pre-injury activity level or higher! The authors concluded that surgical repair is an excellent option for athletes who wish to return to play at their previous level of competition.
Highly active individuals may want to consider an allograft reconstruction during their knee dislocation surgery if their MPFL is torn. This is because an allograft can be extremely strong and durable, and may allow certain high-level athletes (eg: gymnasts) to return to training and competing without risk of re-injury.
The MPFL Reconstruction Procedure
MPFL reconstruction is performed under general anesthesia and takes about 40 minutes to complete. First, the surgeon will make an incision on the inside of the knee. Then he or she will use a surgical camera, or arthroscope, to see inside the knee joint and confirm the location of the torn ligament. Next, a tissue graft will be taken from your hamstring or hamstring tendons and placed in the former position of the torn MPFL ligament. The graft will be attached to your patella with screws. Finally, the surgeon will fix any other damage found during surgery, such as cartilage tears. Once all repairs are made, he or she will close the incisions with sutures and apply a bulky dressing over them.
The medial patellofemoral ligament (MPFL) is the primary static stabilizer of the patella. MPFL reconstruction can be safely performed arthroscopically without the need for open incisions.
The patient is placed supine on the operating table with a bump under the ipsilateral hip and knee at 90 degrees of flexion. The ipsilateral lower extremity is then placed in a tourniquet.
Arthroscopic examination of the knee joint is performed to assess for intraarticular pathology such as meniscal tears or chondral lesions. The lateral retinaculum is identified in the suprapatellar pouch, and it is released from its overlying fat pad. The fat pad itself can be excised if desired. A lateral release may also be necessary depending on the amount of tightness present and laxity on physical exam.
Next, attention turns to harvesting of the graft material. Typically, autografts such as gracilis or semitendinosus are used. Other options include allografts or synthetic ligaments, which are less commonly used. In this case, a gracilis autograft was harvested using 3 separate bone tunnels that were drilled through 2
The MPFL (Medial Patellofemoral Ligament) is one of four ligaments in the knee, and it connects the kneecap to the inner end of the thigh bone. Its purpose is to stabilise the kneecap, particularly when there are large forces acting on it.
Injuries to this ligament occur when there is a large twisting force on the knee, and when this happens, it is known as a ‘dislocation’ of the kneecap. It can also happen if you fall on your outstretched hand whilst playing sports such as football or rugby.
Tear of the MPFL result in an unstable knee that may:
–lock, click or give way during activities such as running, jumping or squatting
–be painful due to severe swelling and bruising
–result in repeated dislocation of the patella
Patellofemoral ligament (or medial patellar ligament) is a ligament on the inside of the knee. Its primary function is to stop the patella (knee cap) from moving laterally (side to side). Other static structures include the retinaculum and vastus medialis, which both play an important role in knee stability.
On occasions when the patella dislocates or moves abnormally, it can damage these static structures by stretching them. This will cause significant pain and instability around the front of the knee.
If non-operative treatment fails to relieve symptoms and instability, reconstruction of the damaged structures may be necessary. The aim of surgery is to provide enough stability for normal activities without compromising your ability to move freely.
The technique used for reconstruction involves using a graft from another part of your body. This graft is then used to reconstruct the damaged structures either at the time of surgery or in a later operation if there has not been enough time for healing in between procedures.
How Long Does it Take to Walk After MPFL Surgery?
After MPFL reconstruction, you will be in a brace for 4 weeks. At that time, you will have your first post-operative appointment. At the 6 week appointment, the brace is removed and you can begin to walk.
It takes about 3-4 months to return to full activity.
Learn about the medial patellofemoral ligament (MPFL) surgery recovery time. The MPFL is a band of tissue that connects the thighbone to the kneecap. It’s located on the inside of the knee joint and helps stabilize the patella (kneecap).
What’s involved in an MPFL reconstruction?
During the procedure, a graft is taken from a tendon in your body and then used to replace the damaged MPFL. The graft is usually taken from a hamstring or cadaver tissue.
The surgeon will make several small incisions in your knee. Then, they’ll insert surgical instruments and a camera into your knee to help guide them as they complete the procedure.
Once they’ve finished with the reconstruction, they’ll close up your incisions and place an ice pack on your knee. A splint or cast may also be placed on your leg to keep it immobilized while you heal.
This is a good question. It is important to know that each case is different. When a person has an injury to their MPFL, it can be torn or stretched. If the ligament is only stretched, it will heal back to normal length and will regain its strength. However, if the ligament is ruptured through surgery will be required to repair the ligament so that it functions normally again.
In general, most people walk unassisted using crutches about 4 weeks after surgery. The key point here is that it depends on how strong your quadriceps muscle becomes after surgery. If you can straighten your knee against resistance, this means that your quadriceps are able to straighten your knee against gravity and you should be able to walk without crutches. This generally happens at about 4-6 weeks after surgery.
I hope this answers your question and if you have any further questions please do not hesitate to ask!
The patellar ligament is the main stabilizer of the kneecap. This ligament is often injured during athletic activities such as skiing or basketball. If this ligament is severely torn it sometimes requires surgical reconstruction to restore function and stability of the kneecap. The most common surgery performed to reconstruct this ligament is called an MPFL reconstruction.
Pain is typically severe after an MPFL reconstruction, so patients are encouraged to use crutches for the first two weeks after surgery until the pain subsides. Patients are allowed to put weight on their leg as tolerated, and some people can start putting full weight on their leg within one week of surgery.
Physical therapy will begin soon after surgery in order to help regain motion in your knee and strengthen the muscles around your knee. Physical therapy may also utilize a continuous passive motion machine which will help improve range of motion after surgery. If a patient has a job that requires lots of sitting (such as a truck driver), a CPM machine may be utilized at home for up to three hours per day for six weeks after surgery.
Most patients have their stitches removed within two weeks of surgery, but they must continue to wear the knee brace they received in the hospital for another six weeks. After six weeks, patients
The MPFL reconstruction procedure is done under local anesthesia and is associated with minimal postoperative discomfort. Patients are usually able to go home on the same day of surgery.
The patient is able to bear weight as tolerated immediately after surgery. They can remove their brace at home one week after surgery and begin progressive range of motion exercises.
Patients are asked to avoid certain activities, such as running, jumping or cutting, for 6 to 8 weeks after surgery. Most patients will begin formal physical therapy 3 weeks after surgery. The length of time involved in the physical therapy program varies depending on the extent of injury and the nature of the patient’s job or sports activities. In general, most patients will be able to return to their normal activities within 6 months from their surgical date
The MPFL (medial patellofemoral ligament) is a structure that attaches to the back of the kneecap (patella) and extends out to the femur. It is one of the main structures that prevent your kneecap from dislocating. If you are an active person, this ligament may be stretched or torn from injury or overuse.
Treatment of a damaged MPFL can include physical therapy and bracing. However, if these treatments fail, surgery may be necessary for optimal pain relief and knee stability.
Your doctor will likely perform arthroscopic surgery to repair your MPFL. Arthroscopic surgery utilizes small incisions and specialized instruments to perform the procedure….
Two weeks after the operation you will be able to walk without crutches.
You will not be able to drive for about 6 weeks after your operation.
Do not play sport for 12 weeks after the operation, especially if it involves contact or twisting on the knee.
At around 6-8 weeks, you should be able to start walking long distances and gradually return to your normal activities.
You can return to work as soon as you feel comfortable doing so. If your job involves a lot of bending and heavy lifting, you may need to wait 3 months before returning.
Is MPFL Reconstruction Painful?
Is MPFL reconstruction painful?
It’s not uncommon to experience pain for approximately 6 weeks following surgery, so it’s important to be diligent about taking regular medication and icing your knee. Ice is a great pain reliever and will also help to prevent swelling. It’s fine to talk with your doctor about switching up your pain relief method if you find that you’re still in pain after several weeks.
Is MPFL reconstruction painful?
MPFL reconstruction is a very painful procedure. It is generally performed under general anesthesia and the recovery period is about three months.
The surgical procedure involves the following steps:
Local or general anesthesia
Drilling of the tibial tuberosity and attaching a graft to it with screws
Tensioning of the graft and fixing it to the femur with screws
I’m scheduled to have an MPFL reconstruction surgery in less than one week. Every day I read more and more about people’s experiences, and I feel really nervous. Most of them say that it is very painful. This is all what I’m worried about.
I’m not afraid of the post-op recovery, or the use of crutches for 6 weeks, but I am scared of pain.
Can someone tell me if the pain is manageable? Is it a burning sensation? Is it a sharp pain? How bad is it? Did you have to take painkillers during the first days after surgery? Which kind and how often?
i recently had a MPFL reconstruction on my left knee and i was just wondering if it was painful because i have to have the same surgery on my right knee.
The surgery itself is quite uncomfortable. It is a very invasive surgery and the recovery process is quite long. This will depend on the individual but most people are able to return to work within a week or two. I had an MPFL reconstruction in February and was back at work after eight days but this will differ widely between individuals. I have colleagues who were out for three weeks following their surgery and others who have been out for six months.
The pain is also very different between individuals. I personally did not take any pain medication during my recovery because I did not feel that it was necessary but I know many other people who have experienced very intense pain during their recoveries and required strong pain killers for several months.
Most importantly, do not ever do something that you are not comfortable with or causes you significant pain during your recovery. Your body needs time to heal and activities should be built up slowly over time as directed by your therapist or doctor.
MPFL reconstruction surgery is a day-case procedure and is normally done under a general anaesthetic. An incision is made in the skin of the knee and fat tissue is removed to reveal the kneecap (patella). Some people may need further surgery to trim the kneecap so that it can lie more smoothly in its groove. The MPFL ligament will then be recreated using a tendon taken from another part of your body, such as your hamstring tendon. This tendon will be attached to your kneecap and thigh bone (femur) using small screws or sutures.
The whole operation takes about 1-2 hours and you should be able to go home after 3-4 hours.
The recovery from this surgery is not fun. I had two injections of local anaesthetic before the surgery which wore off very quickly in the hours after surgery. I was given a prescription for Celebrex, which I took for the first week. I found that it worked well if taken regularly, but did nothing to help with slight pain when it was not in my system (i.e. if I missed a dose).
I also experienced pain around my incision site and down the inside of my leg and knee. From what I understand, that is fairly common. It seems to have been caused by fluid buildup in the knee (seroma). That has been reducing slowly over time as my body absorbs it.
During the first week after surgery, I used ice on my knee every couple of hours during the day and around bedtime to reduce swelling and pain. During that time, I slept with my leg elevated on some pillows and took naps during the day with my leg elevated on an ottoman to help keep swelling down.