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Protecting Your Knees: How Surgery Can Prevent Future Patella Dislocations


Clinical trial shows surgery is more effective than rehabilitation for patella dislocations

If you've ever experienced a patella (kneecap) dislocation, you know how painful and inconvenient it can be. Moreover, this injury can result in long-term knee instability by increasing the risk of patellar dislocations in the future as well.

A clinical trial has shed light on an effective treatment option called medial patellofemoral ligament (MPFL) reconstruction for the management of patellar dislocations in patients with no underlying anatomical high-risk factors. This surgical procedure has shown promising results in protecting against further patella dislocations, surpassing the benefits of active rehabilitation.

Traditionally, patella dislocations have been treated conservatively with active rehabilitation consisting of physiotherapy. However, MPFL reconstruction has become the predominant stabilizing procedure in the treatment of lateral patellar dislocations in recent times.

What is MPFL Reconstruction?
The medial patellofemoral ligament (MPFL) is a vital structure that helps stabilize the kneecap and prevent dislocations. In some cases, this ligament may become damaged or torn, leading to recurrent dislocations. MPFL reconstruction is a surgical procedure that involves reconstructing the damaged ligament using either a tendon from your own body or a donor's tendon. By restoring the integrity of the MPFL, the surgery aims to provide better stability to the patella and prevent future dislocations.

Clinical Trial
A clinical trial was conducted to compare the two treatment approaches: MPFL reconstruction and active rehabilitation in patients with patellar dislocations in the absence of anatomical high-risk factors.

The researchers wanted to determine which method was more effective in preventing recurrent patella dislocations.

The trial included a total of 61 participants who had presented with a patella dislocation. 30 of the participants underwent MPFL reconstruction surgery, while the other 31 received active rehabilitation, which involved exercises and physical therapy to strengthen the knee. The main outcome measure was persistent patellar instability at 12 months.

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The findings of the clinical trial were clear: MPFL reconstruction proved to be superior to active rehabilitation in protecting against further patella dislocations. Persistent patellar instability at 12 months was reported by 13 (41.9%) patients in the control group, versus 2 (6.7%) patients in the MPFL group. These findings suggest that MPFL reconstruction may be an effective long-term solution for individuals prone to patella dislocations.

These results are significant because reconstruction of the damaged MPFL enhances the stability of the kneecap. This improved stability allows you to engage in physical activities, such as sports or even everyday tasks, with more confidence and reduced risk of further injury.

The clinical trial demonstrates the superiority of MPFL reconstruction over active rehabilitation in improving patellar stability. It shows that patients with recurrent patellar dislocations have a six-fold increased risk of persistent patellar instability if treated with active rehabilitation alone, compared to MPFL reconstruction in combination with active rehabilitation, even in the absence of significant anatomical risk factors.

If you've experienced a patella dislocation and are looking for a long-term solution to protect your knees, MPFL reconstruction may be an excellent option to consider. Consult with your orthopedic specialist to explore whether MPFL reconstruction is the right choice for you and to discuss the potential benefits and risks.

Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy, Mar-28-22
ClincialTrials.org NCT02263807

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This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. CenTrial Data Ltd. does not take responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. Treatments and clinical trials mentioned may not be appropriate or available for all trial participants. Outcomes from treatments and clinical trials may vary from person to person. Consult with your doctor as to whether a clinical trial is a suitable option for your condition. Assistance from generative AI tools may have been used in writing this article.