Dynamic tracking influenced by anatomy following medial patellofemoral ligament reconstruction: Computational simulation

John Joseph Elias, Kerwyn C. Jones, S. Cyrus Rezvanifar, Joseph N. Gabra, Melanie A. Morscher, Andrew J. Cosgarea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background: Continued patellar instability can occur following medial patellofemoral ligament (MPFL) reconstruction. Computational simulation of function was used to investigate the influence of the lateral position of the tibial tuberosity, trochlear dysplasia and patella alta on lateral patellar tracking following MPFL reconstruction. Methods: Multibody dynamic simulation models were developed to represent nine knees being treated for recurrent patellar instability. Knee extension against gravity and dual limb squatting were simulated with and without simulated MPFL reconstruction. Graft resting lengths were set to allow 10 mm and five millimeters of patellar lateral translation at 30° of knee flexion. The bisect offset index, lateral tibial tuberosity to posterior cruciate ligament tibial attachment (TT–PCL) distance, lateral trochlear inclination, and Caton–Deschamps index were quantified at every five degrees of knee flexion to characterize lateral tracking, lateral position of the tibial tuberosity, trochlear dysplasia, and patella alta, respectively. For the pre-operative and post-operative conditions and each type of motion, bisect offset index was correlated with the anatomical parameters using stepwise multivariate linear regression. Results: For both motions, the pre-operative and post-operative bisect offset indices were significantly correlated with lateral trochlear inclination and lateral TT–PCL distance. For both motions, the adjusted r2 decreased with MPFL reconstruction, but was still approximately 0.5 for MPFL reconstruction allowing five millimeters of lateral translation. Conclusion: MPFL reconstruction decreases but does not eliminate lateral maltracking related to trochlear dysplasia and a lateralized tibial tuberosity. Patients with these pathologies are likely at the highest risk for instability related to maltracking following MPFL reconstruction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)262-270
Number of pages9
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2018


  • Maltracking
  • Medial patellofemoral ligament reconstruction
  • Patellar instability
  • Tibial tuberosity
  • Trochlear dysplasia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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