MPFL Reconstruction Post Surgery Recovery Information

The following can be expected following Medial Patellofemoral Ligament Reconstruction (MPFL) surgery:

  •  MPFL Reconstruction surgery usually involves a hospital stay of one or two nights
  • On discharge the patient does not need any bracing and is able to walk with full weight bearing using walking aids such as crutches. It is advised that for the first few weeks walking is assisted with walking aids until it feels comfortable to walk unaided
  •  An ice pack should be applied regularly for 20 minute intervals until swelling subsides
  • The bandage dressing will be removed at the first postoperative visit, one week after surgery. The wound will be checked and x-rays of the knee taken
  • Physiotherapy should start at two to five days after surgery with the goal of a quick return to a full range of motion and the strengthening of the quadriceps muscles and vastus medialis oblique fibres (VMO). 90 degrees range of motion of the knee should be achieved by six weeks post surgery
  • It is common to experience pain on the inner side of the knee along the graft for a few months following the surgery
  • The knee swelling will decrease significantly after six weeks post surgery, however, some swelling may last for up to six months


Weight bearing status and driving

  • Weight bear as tolerated, initially with crutches. Crutches can be discontinued when you can achieve full extension of the knee without an extensor lag and you are able to walk comfortably without a flexed knee gait pattern
  • You can return to driving once there is no need for crutches


Return to Activity

  • Returning to full activity should be eased into with care not to overdo it and over stress the knee
  • As the swelling settles cycling on a stationary exercise bike can begin
  • Low impact exercises such as swimming can commence after two weeks
  • Full range of motion is expected at about three months post surgery. It is at this point that a return to full activity and contact sport can be commenced