How Long On Crutches After MPFL Surgery (And Why)?

Exact Answer: After about 4-6 weeks

Life without a knee or with a useless knee is a nightmare because it is the most supportive part of the body. Its usefulness is also related to the complex manner of its construction. It has various bones like the femur, fibula, tibia and patella. Tendons and ligaments present in the joints help in promoting free movement and play a significant role in stabilizing the bones of the knee.

The patella in association with the femur is jointly referred to as the patellofemoral joint in which the ligaments play a significant role in keeping the bones at their place and allowing the all-round movement of those bones. Sometimes, injuries or any accidents may lead to the temporary or permanent of those ligaments thereby impairing them from performing their normal functioning.

How Long On Crutches After MPFL Surgery

How Long On Crutches After MPFL Surgery?

Minimum Time of Recovery4 weeks
Maximum Time of Recovery8 weeks

MPFL stands for medial patellofemoral ligament which contributes to establishing the bones of the knee. It consists of tissues present between the patella and femur of the leg. The patella, tissues and the femur are jointly known as the patellofemoral region of the bone with the joint being known as the patellofemoral joint. Sometimes, this region, especially the tissues, are affected by an injury, accident or due to some inherited.

This results in the partial or complete dislocation of the patella from its place thereby leading to patellar instability. It is mainly noticed in women as they tend to have ligaments that are comparatively looser than men. However, there is a surgery known as MFPL surgery which helps to correct this problem thereby preventing further damage to the affected region.

MFPL surgery is the medical procedure in which a new ligament of the affected region is recreated and inserted between the patellofemoral joint as a replacement to the older one. The new ligament functions exactly as the lower one thereby serving the basic function of stabilizing the bones of the knee. It was discovered in 2006. Before the invention of this surgery, the affected individuals had no other option left rather than trying to immobilize the affected region and seeking rehabilitation. But, the invention of this surgery has made lives easier to a great extent.

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It has been beneficial for patients who had their ligaments completely damaged as well as for those who have experienced more severe dislocation than the normal ones. Proper treatment is essential to healing the affected region. Although in some cases, the affected region heals on its own, it is best to get the treatment done by the doctor.

Why Should One Use Crutches For So Long After MFPL Surgery?

If the affected region is left untreated without any treatment, then there are chances of the region getting healed by its own self. But, the healing wouldn’t be proper because the ligaments would still be loose. This makes it more difficult to serve the function of stabilizing the knee thereby leading to the dislocation of bones which is quite more painful. The dislocation of bones is more painful because of the swelling and the further irreparable damages to the cartilage.

This is why it is best to get the proper treatment from a doctor. As a part of the treatment, the patient is advised to go through some physical examinations to ensure that no underlying health conditions affect the process of treatment. MRI scans are even conducted to know the extent of damage to the cartilage and to determine if the condition really demands surgery or could be treated without surgery. In case the patient has only one dislocation, then the treatment is done with the help of a short period of immobilization which is followed by some physical therapies.

Before the actual process, the patient is administered with anaesthesia or any kind of sedative to lessen the pain. Then, during the process, the affected tissue is replaced by the surgeon either from the hamstring of the patient or from that of the donor. The surgery can be carried out easily within three hours and the patient can be immediately discharged from the hospital by walking with the support of braces. The results of this process have been very accurate and the risks involved with complications such as fractures and clots are even minimal.


After the surgery, the affected region would be dressed properly by the surgeon and would be supported with the help of braces. Some blood loss due to bleeding may occur in the first two days after the surgery during which the old dressing has to be replaced by a new one. The patient should take adequate rest and should keep the body in an elevated position.


Proper aftercare after the surgery can fasten up the healing process of the affected region. The patient should give cold compressions on the affected region and should keep the affected region in an elevated position. Crutches and braces are to be used for at least 4-8 weeks to support the affected region thereby providing it enough time to heal and recover.

While taking medications to reduce pain, one should avoid consumption of alcohol or any such narcotic substances. Driving and other such physical activities should be strictly avoided during the healing process. Proper diet with high fibre providing food items should be taken. Proper care and nutrition can help the patient recover within minimal time and pain.


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