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Medial Patellofemoral Ligament

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  • General
    • aka 'MPFL'
  • Anatomic description
    • Ligamentous anchor between the patella and femur
    • Femoral attachments: 1.9 mm anterior, 3.8 mm distal to the adductor tubercle and 10.6 mm proximal and 8.8 mm posterior to the medial epicondyle[1]
    • Patellar attachments: broad insertion onto the medial superior half of the patella (deep to the Vastus Medialis Obliquus


  • Prevents excessive lateral movement of the patella
  • Most important patellar stabilizer during the first 30° of knee flexion[2]
    • Provides 50%–60% of medial restraint to lateral subluxation
    • Trochlear groove providing further patellar stability with deeper knee flexion

Vascular Supply


Clinical Significance

See Also


  1. LaPrade RF, Engebretsen AH, Ly TV, Johansen S, Wentorf FA, Engebretsen L, et al. The anatomy of the medial part of the knee. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2007;89:2000–10.
  2. Stephen JM, Lumpaopong P, Deehan DJ, Kader D, Amis AA. The medial patellofemoral ligament: Location of femoral attachment and length change patterns resulting from anatomic and nonanatomic attachments. Am J Sports Med. 2012;40:1871–9.
Created by:
John Kiel on 15 March 2021 18:47:06
Last edited:
15 March 2021 19:09:55