Arthroscopic Repair Favored for First-time Patellofemoral Dislocations

A network meta-analysis favors acute MPFL repair over surgical treatments and nonsurgical management to prevent further dislocations

What’s the Claim?

A network meta-analysis of randomized trials suggested that arthroscopic medial patellofemoral ligament repair was more effective than several nonsurgical approaches and more effective than other surgical approaches (arthroscopic or open MPFL reconstruction or open repair) among patients with an acute, first-time, traumatic patellar dislocation. But that’s not exactly what they found, as a fairer read of their statistics shows:

  • Arthroscopic MPFL repair was better than surgical and nonsurgical alternatives for reducing the risk of a second dislocation and was probably better for reducing the risk of subsequent subluxation.
  • No surgical or nonsurgical approach was better than any other in terms of Kujala or Tegner outcomes scores; the authors claimed arthroscopic repair was better, but the stats don’t bear this out.

How’s It Stack Up?