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MPFL Injury and its Physiotherapy Management

What is MPFL injury?

The MPFL is a medial patellofemoral ligament that links the femur to the patella. It is important in the stability of the patella’s medial side. The MPFL is an important component in patellar tracking and stability inside the trochlear groove, especially in the early phases of knee flexion. MPFL injury occurs due to traumatic knee cap (patella) dislocation.

Clinical features are:

    • pain and tenderness along the medial knee joint as well as the medial border of the patella.
    • Stiffness and Swelling of the knee.
    • Restricted joint movement (range of motion).

Physiotherapy treatment after the first lateral patellar dislocation has been regarded as the most appropriate course of treatment. Surgical intervention of the MPFL is performed only when physiotherapy treatment fails or the patient presents with recurring dislocations.

Physiotherapy treatments for MPFL Injury are:

Ice and heat treatment. Icing helps in the reduction of swelling and heat therapy helps in the reduction of spasms and muscle tightness.

Range of motion exercises. Such as active heel slide, etc.

Muscle strengthening. The quadriceps and hamstrings muscles on the front and rear of the thigh assist regulate the stresses delivered to the knee. Long arc quads sets in short sitting on the plinth with theraband for resistance are examples of quadriceps strengthening exercises. The hip and core muscles can be strengthened to assist balance the amount of strain on the leg joints. An example of hamstring strengthening exercise is hamstring curl with theraband for resistance with progression from a seated position to standing. For gluteal muscle Bridging with abduction with theraband. Also strengthening of the calf (heel raise) muscle is important.

Manual therapy. manual therapy such as soft tissue release technique, etc. These techniques can aid in the restoration of normal joint mobility, flexibility, and strength.

Exercise therapy Such as wall ball squats, theraband clam shells,

Bracing. Compression sleeves wrapped over the injured joint may aid in the reduction of discomfort and edema. Braces for those who have excessive kneecap mobility give extra support by wrapping a specific pad around the kneecap. Also, we can use Kinesio taping for joint support as well as swelling reduction.

Modalities. We may recommend therapeutic modalities, such as ultrasound therapy or combo therapy, wireless professional, TECAR therapy, Laser therapy, etc.

Balancing training. Balance training on a BOSU ball, rocker board, etc.

Home exercise program (HEP). HEP includes long sitting quadriceps sets using a rolled towel under her left knee, long sitting heel slides within a pain-free range, and 4-way straight leg raises.

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