What are the treatment options available?
Conservative treatment is typically the first-line course of action for an MPFL injury. The presence of loose bodies, cartilage-bone fragments, or cartilage injuries can complicate MPFL injuries and require surgical intervention. The focus of nonoperative therapy is the restoration of normal knee kinematics. Treatments should facilitate the resolution of joint swelling using rest, NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatories), and icing. Physical therapy is often helpful in the recovering from MPFL injuries. PT exercises will help strengthen the weakened knee, and aid in the patient’s functional return.
Surgery repair of the MPFL may be necessary in cases where nonoperative treatment fails. Surgery if often needed for the remove loose cartilage-bone fragments, repairing cartilage lesions or to repair the MPFL. Dr. Williams will use small incisions to perform arthroscopic surgery to repair or reconstruct the ligament. Arthroscopic surgery procedures use a small, narrow tube that is attached to a fiber-optic camera; the camera is carefully inserted in a small incision for visualization of the knee structures. The images are projected on a high-definition screen, allowing Dr. Williams to perform this minimally invasive procedure. Dr. Williams will repair the MPFL or use a tissue graft to reconstruct the injured ligament. Once the surgery is completed, the knee will need to be immobilized for a short period of time before physical therapy will be required. A complete return to athletic activities can happen in as little as 4-6 months following MPFL repair.