Medial patellofemoral ligament

Dr Joachim Feger et al.

The medial patellofemoral ligament (MPFL) belongs to the anterior medial supporting structures of the knee 1-3 and it is the main structure, preventing the patella from lateral displacement at 50-60% restraining force 1,7-9. It is one of the medial patellar stabilizers together with the medial retinaculum and the vastus medialis oblique (VMO) 5.

Gross anatomy

It is located superior and anterior to the medial collateral ligament (MCL) and is part of the medial patellar retinaculum and the intermediate medial capsular layer 1-4 and it forms the medial patellofemoral complex together with the medial quadriceps tendon femoral ligament 5.

Attachments
  • femoral insertion between the medial femoral epicondyle, the adductor tubercle and the gastrocnemius tubercle, just superior to the femoral origin of the superficial portion of the medial collateral ligament 1,2,4
  • distal insertion is at the superomedial aspect of the patella 1,2

Related pathology

Lateral patellar dislocation

  • medial patellofemoral ligament (MPFL) usually injured/ruptured in up to 87-100% 1,7
  • rupture/tear occurs usually at its femoral origin 1
Anatomy: Lower limb

Anatomy: Lower limb

Article information

rID: 75391
Section: Anatomy
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Medial patellofemoral ligaments

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1: with avulsion injury
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  • Case 2: disruption of the femoral attachment
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