The medial patellofemoral ligament revisited: an anatomical study

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Abstract

The perpose of this study was to provide a comprehensive description of the anatomy of the medial patellofemoral ligament (MPFL). The anterior and medial aspects of 4 unpreserved and 16 preserved cadaveric human knees were dissected with particular attention being paid to the relationship of the various layers to one another and to the place of the MPFL within these layers. We confirmed that the MPFL is a distinct structure lying within layer II. Its bulk varies considerably between individuals but not from side to side in a given individual. The visualisation, attachments, and gross morphology of the ligament are described. The attachments of the MPFL and the orientation of its fibres suggest that it may have a role in limiting lateral excursion of the parella. The common attachment of the tendon of the vastus medialis muscle and the ligament to the superomedial patella suggests that there may be a dynamic element to such a stabilishing function.