Lee DY, Park YJ, Song SY, et al. Which Technique Is Better for Treating Patellar Dislocation? A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Arthroscopy. 2018 Nov;34(11):3082-3093.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.arthro.2018.06.052. Epub 2018 Oct 6. (Systematic review)

PURPOSE: To clarify the discrepancy in surgical options and present evidence to treat patellar dislocation by evaluating which of the techniques yields better improvement in stability and functional recovery for patellar dislocation.

METHODS: The MEDLINE, Embase, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Web of Science, and Scopus electronic databases were searched for relevant articles comparing the outcomes of medial patellofemoral ligament (MPFL) treatment published up until August 2017. Data searching, extraction, analysis, and quality assessment were performed based on The Cochrane Collaboration guidelines. Clinical outcomes were evaluated using various outcome values in various techniques. For results with high heterogeneity, 95% prediction intervals (PIs) were also investigated.

RESULTS: Eleven clinical studies were investigated. In patients with primary patellar dislocation, there were no significant differences in all evaluated outcomes between the conservative and surgical treatment groups. For patients with recurrent patellar dislocation, MPFL reconstruction was associated with a favorable Kujala score (mean difference, -8.91; 95% confidence interval, -14.05 to -3.77; I2 = 94%; 95% PI, -9.64 to -8.1) and Lysholm score (mean difference, -13.51; 95% confidence interval, -21.35 to -5.68; I2 = 96%; 95% PI, -14.86 to -12.16) when compared with soft tissue realignment surgery.

CONCLUSIONS: Although surgical treatment of the MPFL for primary patellar dislocation is not superior to conservative treatment in restoring knee function and clinical outcomes, MPFL reconstruction is associated with more favorable clinical outcomes compared with medial soft tissue realignment surgery in patients with recurrent patellar dislocation. Double-bundle MPFL reconstruction seems to provide more favorable outcomes than single-bundle MPFL reconstruction, but this finding should be interpreted with caution because the evidence levels were low and were from only a few studies.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Level III, meta-analysis.

Discipline Area Score
Physician 5 / 7
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Comments from MORE raters

Physician rater

Poor quality meta-analysis of low-quality studies. This does not improve our understanding of the relative merits of different forms of treatment.

Physician rater

Not my specialty but of interest if the conclusions are confirmed with a larger number of patients.
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