To report the shape and orientation of the medial patellofemoral complex (MPFC) footprint on the medial femur and describe the difference between the proximal (medial quadriceps tendon femoral ligament, MQTFL) and distal (medial patellofemoral ligament, MPFL) fibers.
In 20 cadaveric knees, the MPFC footprint on the medial femur was exposed. Images of the medial femur were analyzed using ImageJ software. The length and width of the MPFC footprint were described to the nearest 0.1 mm; the angle of its long axis was described relative to the axis of the femoral shaft (0.1°). The footprint’s most proximal and distal margins were described in relation to the adductor tubercle and medial epicondyle. The differences between each were compared using paired t tests.
17 knees from 10 cadavers were included in this study. The MPFC footprint had a length of 11.7 ± 1.8 mm and a width of 1.7 ± 0.4 mm. The long axis of the footprint was at an angle 14.6° ± 16.6° anterior to the axis of the femoral shaft. The most proximal (MQTFL) fibers originated 7.4 ± 3.8 mm anterior and 1.8 ± 4.7 mm distal to the adductor tubercle and 4.1 ± 2.9 mm posterior and 8.4 ± 5.6 mm proximal to the medial epicondyle. The most distal (MPFL) fibers originated 4.9 ± 4.2 mm anterior and 12.7 ± 4.3 mm distal to the adductor tubercle, as well as 7.1 ± 2.4 mm posterior and 0.5 ± 5.6 mm distal to the medial epicondyle. The distal margin of the femoral MPFC footprint was 10.9 ± 1.7 mm distal (p < .001) and 2.6 ± 3.2 mm more posterior (p = .005) than the proximal margin.
The femoral footprint of the MPFC has a length almost 7 times greater than its width, with the distal margin being 10.9 mm distal and 2.6 mm posterior to the proximal margin.
This differential anatomy within the femoral origin suggests that MPFL and MQTFL reconstruction may require separate positions of femoral fixation to recreate the anatomy of these fibers.
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Published online: June 19, 2020
Accepted: June 12, 2020
Received: December 4, 2019See commentary on page 3016
The author reports no conflicts of interest in the authorship and publication of this article. Full ICMJE author disclosure forms are available for this article online, as supplementary material.
© 2020 by the Arthroscopy Association of North America
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- Editorial Commentary: Back to the Future With the Medial Patellofemoral ComplexArthroscopyVol. 36Issue 12
- PreviewThe desire to better re-create the native anatomy in orthopaedic surgery—and especially knee ligament reconstruction—was an area of great debate and discussion approximately 10 years ago in anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction. Our better and more detailed understanding of the anatomy, especially the insertional anatomy, of the ACL fueled the debate over the best surgical technique to maximize function, improve patient outcomes, and reduce long-term morbidity. While these discussions are still ongoing, detailed study of the medial patellofemoral complex (MPFC) anatomy is bringing us “back to the future” with similar discussions on how to best re-create this anatomy.