Isolated medial patellofemoral reconstruction outcomes: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Christopher Castagno, Sterling Kneedler, Austin Fares, Michael Maier, Gil Gontre, William M. Weiss

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background: Treatment of patellar instability remains up for debate, and a combination of tibial tubercle osteotomy and medial patellofemoral ligament reconstruction (MPFLr) of the medial patellofemoral ligament (MPFL) has become the mainstay treatment for recurrent lateral patellar dislocation. Due to limited small studies, there remains a variety of surgical techniques still being practiced. The use of MPFL reconstruction, in isolation, has demonstrated promise. Purpose: The purpose of this systematic review and meta-analysis is to investigate if isolated medial patellofemoral ligament reconstruction (iMPFLr) can safely and efficaciously restore knee stability and to present the patient demographics, surgical techniques, graft choices, clinical outcomes, and complications after iMPFLr for recurrent patellar dislocation (RPD). Methods: A review of the current literature according to Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analysis (PRISMA) guidelines, yielded 299 abstracts. Twenty-seven articles met the inclusion/exclusion criteria accounting for 1200 patients. Data was pooled and analyzed focusing on patient demographics, graft type used, Kujala, International Knee Documentation Committee (IKDC), Lysholm, Tegner, and complications. Results: Across all studies the weighted mean age was found to be an average of 24.5 years, BMI was 24.9 kg/m2, follow-up was 47.3 months, as 67% were female, TT-TG distance was 15.3 mm, and Caton Deschamps index 1.11. The pooled effect size difference of pre versus post assessment of Kujala was −2.8, IKDC was −4.5, Lysholm was −6.4, and Tegner was −0.74. The pooled complication rate was found to be 8% across all included studies. A subgroup analysis was also performed, specifically looking at how single bundle, double bundle, gracilis, semitendinosus and knee angle during fixation effect outcome data. Conclusion: This systematic review and meta-analysis demonstrates that isolated MPFL reconstruction is a safe and effective treatment for recurrent patellar dislocations. Given the efficacy of isolated MPFL reconstruction, future investigations should aim to uncover the exact TT-TG distance, trochlear dysplasia, and patella alta grade for selecting patients to undergo this procedure. Furthermore, more primary research needs to be conducted on this topic due to the overall lack of published data from randomized controlled studies and no broad standardization of outcome measurements. Level of Evidence: (4) Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-71
Number of pages13
StatePublished - Oct 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Isolated
  • MPFL
  • Medial patellofemoral ligament
  • Meta-analysis
  • Reconstruction
  • Systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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