Rehabilitation after Medial Patellofemoral Ligament Reconstruction

Terrence G. McGee, Andrew J Cosgarea, Kevin McLaughlin, Miho Tanaka, Ken Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Patellar instability resulting from subluxation or dislocation is a painful and commonly recurring condition. Retinacular restraints control patellar tracking, limiting the movement of the patella in the trochlear groove. The medial patellofemoral ligament (MPFL) is considered the main soft tissue stabilizer against lateral displacement. Few studies of patellar instability discuss rehabilitation after MPFL reconstruction. In this review, we discuss the phases of rehabilitation after MPFL reconstruction, typical interventions by rehabilitation specialists, and patient-specific guidelines for return to prior level of function. The Musculoskeletal Institute at The Johns Hopkins Hospital (a collaboration of orthopedic surgeons, primary care sports medicine physicians, and clinicians from the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation) presents its rehabilitation protocol with phase-specific guidelines for progression after MPFL reconstruction. This evidence-based protocol is a generalized approach that is customized for each patient's needs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-113
Number of pages9
JournalSports Medicine and Arthroscopy Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2017


  • medial patellofemoral ligament
  • medial patellofemoral ligament reconstruction
  • rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

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