Hypermobility is an acknowledged risk factor for patellar instability. In this case control study the influence of hypermobility on clinical outcome following medial patellofemoral ligament (MPFL) reconstruction for patellar instability was studied. A total of 25 patients with hypermobility as determined by the Beighton criteria were assessed and compared with a control group of 50 patients who were matched for age, gender, indication for surgery and degree of trochlear dysplasia. The patients with hypermobility had a Beighton Score of ≥ 6; the control patients had a score of < 4. All patients underwent MPFL reconstruction performed using semitendinosus autograft and a standardised arthroscopically controlled technique. The mean age of the patients was 25 years (17 to 49) and the mean follow-up was 15 months (6 to 30). Patients with hypermobility had a significant improvement in function following surgery, with reasonable rates of satisfaction, perceived improvement, willingness to repeat and likelihood of recommendation. Functional improvements were significantly less than in control patients (p < 0.01). Joint hypermobility is not a contraindication to MPFL reconstruction although caution is recommended in managing the expectations of patients with hypermobility before consideration of surgery.
N R Howells, J D Eldridge