Patellofemoral pressure changes after static and dynamic medial patellofemoral ligament reconstructions

A. Rood, G. Hannink, A. Lenting, K. Groenen, S. Koëter, Nicolaas Jacobus Joseph Verdonschot, A. van Kampen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Reconstructing the medial patellofemoral ligament (MPFL) has become a key procedure for stabilizing the patella. Different techniques to reconstruct the MPFL have been described: static techniques in which the graft is fixed rigidly to the bone or dynamic techniques with soft tissue fixation. Static MPFL reconstruction is most commonly used. However, dynamic reconstruction deforms more easily and presumably functions more like the native MPFL. Purpose/Hypothesis: The aim of the study was to evaluate the effect of the different MPFL fixation techniques on patellofemoral pressures compared with the native situation. The hypothesis was that dynamic reconstruction would result in patellofemoral pressures closer to those generated in an intact knee. Study Design: Controlled laboratory study. Methods: Seven fresh-frozen knee specimens were tested in an in vitro knee joint loading apparatus. Tekscan pressure-sensitive films fixed to the retropatellar cartilage measured mean patellofemoral and peak pressures, contact area, and location of the center of force (COF) at fixed flexion angles from 0° to 110°. Four different conditions were tested: intact, dynamic, partial dynamic, and static MPFL reconstruction. Data were analyzed using linear mixed models. Results: Static MPFL reconstruction resulted in higher peak and mean pressures from 60° to 110° of flexion (P < .001). There were no differences in pressure between the 2 different dynamic reconstructions and the intact situation (P > .05). The COF in the static reconstruction group moved more medially on the patella from 50° to 110° of flexion compared with the other conditions. The contact area showed no significant differences between the test conditions. Conclusion: After static MPFL reconstruction, the patellofemoral pressures in flexion angles from 60° to 110° were 3 to 5 times higher than those in the intact situation. The pressures after dynamic MPFL reconstruction were similar as compared with those in the intact situation, and therefore, dynamic MPFL reconstruction could be a safer option than static reconstruction for stabilizing the patella. Clinical Relevance: This study showed that static MPFL reconstruction results in higher patellofemoral pressures and thus enhances the chance of osteoarthritis in the long term, while dynamic reconstruction results in more normal pressures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2538-2544
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican journal of sports medicine
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • METIS-314262
  • IR-100867


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