MPFL reconstruction in rugby player


George had a patellar dislocation which we managed with an MPFL (medial patellofemoral ligament) reconstruction.

George had an injury playing rugby and had subluxation of his patella - not a frank dislocation. As a first-time incident we obviously treated it non-operatively and he initially did very well and I did not see him again for six months. He got back to playing rugby at a very high level and has aspirations of being a professional rugby player in the future. He was then competing in the summer in athletics at school and did the long jump and as he landed he had a further major episode of subluxation with significant pain following this. Fortunately there was no chondral (joint cartilage) damage and the kneecap re-located spontaneously.

On examination he was 'apprehensive' on both sides and particularly on the injured side. As this was the second episode in a relatively short time the next step we decided on was a surgical reconstruction of the MPFL (medial patellofemoral ligament) which was deficient on both examination and the MRI scan. He has obviously done well with that procedure having regained full movement and good control within a matter of weeks. I am delighted with his progress.

MPFL reconstruction

In preparing for the ligament reconstruction, we located the so called 'Schoettle point', named after my good friend Philip Schoettle from Munich who perfected this technique and described the position for the tunnels and the anatomy as part of his PHD. There is a guide wire in the bone and the drill has been placed over the guide wire to mark out where the guide wire is entering the bone.

One week after MPFL reconstruction

Commentary by Steve (father) -

My son George is 15. His kneecap was subluxated in rugby training - a full-force side-on tackle was made after the drill had stopped, catching him unaware. This did the damage.

A surgeon at the hospital mentioned Professor Wilson and so we consulted him, and he performed this surgery.

Our hopes were that George would make a full recovery and carry on playing rugby to an elite level. So far the signs are incredible and the next two months will be crucial.

If your son or daughter is in acute pain or feels the knee is unstable and just not right - which were George's words - then the decision is already made for you. However the rehab and physiotherapy must be full on and 100 % dedication needed , then anything is possible."


George's father

Rehab -

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