MPFL Rehab Protocol

Keys to a Successful Outcome

  • Therapy should start 7 to 10 days after the surgery to prevent knee stiffness

  • Avoid over-stressing fixation or dynamic valgus early in the rehabiliation process

  • No running until week 16

Phase
Brace
WB Status
Range of Motion
Exercises
Weeks 0-4
At all times, locked in extension*
WBAT w/ brace locked in extension
P/AAROM 0-90°
Quad sets, ankle pumps/isotonics, 4-way leg lifts w/ brace
Weeks 4-8
Can transition to lateral buttress knee brace if desired
WBAT
AROM - gradual
Gentle strengthening, closed chain movements in shallow arc, un-weighting techniques (pool/double leg support)
Weeks 8-12
Lateral buttress brace
WBAT
FAROM
Balance/proprioception, single leg stance, gait drills
Weeks 12-16
Lateral buttress brace
WBAT
FAROM
Stationary bike, CC strengthening, single-leg press, hip/core, Stairmaster**
Weeks 16+
None
WBAT
FAROM
Impact control exercises, progression to multi-planar agility drills

 

*Should be worn night and day, can be removed for therapy and hygiene

**Avoid closed chain exercises on land past 90° of knee flexion to avoid over-stressing the repair