The patella (kneecap) is a protective bone attached to the quadriceps muscles of the thigh by quadriceps tendon. It attaches with the femur bone to form a patellofemoral joint. The patella is protected by a ligament called the medial patellofemoral ligament (MPFL), which secures the kneecap from gliding out.
Dislocation of the patella occurs when the patella moves out of the patellofemoral groove, (called as trochlea) onto a bony head of the femur. If the kneecap partially comes out of the groove, it is called as subluxation and if it completely comes out, it is called as dislocation (luxation). One of the causes for dislocation is a tear in the MPF ligament. The common symptoms include pain, tenderness, swelling around the knee joint, restricted movement of the knee, numbness below the knee, and discolouration of the area where the injury has occurred.
Treatment of Patella Dislocation
Dislocation due to MPFL tear can be treated with the reconstruction of the MPF ligament.
In this procedure, the torn MPF ligament is removed and reconstructed using a graft. The Grafts are usually harvested from the hamstring tendons, located at the back of the knee and are fixed to the patella tendon using screws. The grafts are either taken from the same individuals (autograft) or from a donor (allograft). This procedure is also performed using an arthroscope.
Postoperative Care following MPFL Reconstruction
After the surgery, your doctor will suggest you use crutches for a few weeks, prescribe medications to control pain and swelling, and recommend physical therapy which will help you to return to your sports activities at the earliest.