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Radiographic Landmarks for the Femoral Attachment of the Medial Patellofemoral Complex: A Cadaveric Study

Published:February 10, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.arthro.2022.01.046

      Purpose

      To report the radiographic landmarks for the medial patellofemoral complex (MPFC) footprint on the medial femur and describe the difference between the radiographic positions corresponding to the medial quadriceps tendon femoral ligament (MQTFL) and medial patellofemoral ligament (MPFL) fibers.

      Methods

      In 8 unpaired cadaveric knees, the MPFC footprint was exposed on the medial femur, and the proximal and distal boundaries of the footprint were marked. Lateral fluoroscopic images of the knee were obtained and analyzed using Image J. The proximal boundary corresponding to the MQTFL, the MPFC midpoint, and distal boundary corresponding to the MPFL were described radiographically and compared for differences in position.

      Results

      The proximal MQTFL footprint was 0.8 ± 0.6 mm anterior (P = .013) and 5.2 ± 1.8 mm proximal to the MPFC midpoint (P <.001), whereas the distal MPFL footprint was 0.8 ± 0.7 mm posterior (P = .012) and 5.9 ± 1.1 mm distal to the radiographic MPFC midpoint (P <.001). The radiographic point corresponding to the distal MPFL footprint was 0.8 ± 0.9 mm posterior (P = .011) and 11.1 ± 2.3 mm distal to the radiographic point of the proximal MQTFL footprint (P <.001). When using the point of intersection of the posterior cortical line and the proximal posterior condyle as a reference, 91.6% of all points correlating to the MQTFL, MPFC midpoint and MPFL, were within 10 mm in any direction from this radiographic landmark.

      Conclusions

      On fluoroscopic imaging, the proximal MQTFL and distal MPFL fibers had significantly different radiographic positions from the MPFC midpoint on the femur. These findings should be considered when reconstructing specific components of the MPFC.

      Clinical Relevance

      As fluoroscopy is often used intraoperatively to guide graft placement, our findings may serve as a reference when differentiating the locations of the MPFL vs MQTFL on the femur for anatomic reconstruction.
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