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Am J Sports Med. 2007 Nov;35(11):1851-8. Epub 2007 Aug 27.

Long-term follow-up and knee osteoarthritis change after medial patellofemoral ligament reconstruction for recurrent patellar dislocation.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Saitama Municipal Hospital, 2460, Mimuro, Midori-ku, Saitama 336-8522, Japan.



Proximal or distal realignment procedures have long been selected as treatment for recurrent patellar dislocation, but associated knee osteoarthritis has been a substantial problem that leads to poor results. A new approach, medial patellofemoral ligament reconstruction, has recently started, but there have been no reports on the long-term follow-up.


Anatomical medial patellofemoral ligament reconstruction can lead to satisfactory long-term outcome and a low association rate of knee osteoarthritis.


Case series; Level of evidence, 4.


Twenty-four knees from 22 patients who underwent medial patellofemoral ligament reconstruction for recurrent patellar dislocation were reviewed at a mean follow-up of 11.9 years (range, 8.5-17.2 years). A lateral release was done on 14 of 24 knees. The clinical/physical outcome and the association of knee osteoarthritis were investigated. Patellofemoral and femorotibial osteoarthritis on the radiographs was evaluated using the Crosby/Insall and the Kellgren/Lawrence grading systems.


According to the Crosby/Insall criteria, 11 knees (46%) were classified as excellent, 10 (42%) as good, 3 (12%) as fair/poor, and none as worse at follow-up. Further lateral subluxation or dislocation occurred in only 2 knees. The mean Kujala score improved significantly from 63.2 points preoperatively to 94.2 points at follow-up (P < .0001). According to the Crosby/Insall grading system, patellofemoral osteoarthritis was none to mild in 23 of the 24 knees and moderate in 1 knee, pre-operatively. At the final follow-up, 21 knees were none to mild, and 3 knees were moderate. There were only 2 knees that had definite progression from none to mild to a moderate grade.


The association of definite knee osteoarthritis in medial patellofemoral ligament reconstruction with or without lateral release was small in the long-term follow-up. The conclusion is that medial patellofemoral ligament reconstruction not only prevents further patellar dislocation but also shows no or only slight progression of knee osteoarthritis.

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