Medial patellar retinaculum

Last revised by Joel Hng on 16 Mar 2023

The medial patellar retinaculum is a fibrous expansion comprising of superficial and deep layers.

The superficial layer originates from the lowest fibers of the vastus medialis muscle, sartorius and the medial collateral ligament. The deep layer has contributions from the medial patellofemoral ligament and fascial thickenings. 

It inserts onto the medial aspect of the patellar ligament, patella and quadriceps tendon. From this insertion, it extends posteromedially to blend with the medial margin of the knee capsule and inferior surface of the medial tibial condyle.

It is an important stabilizer of the patella, through this firm medial tibial condyle attachment and resists lateral patellar dislocation 1,2,3.

The medial patellar retinaculum is often partially or completely torn in lateral patellar dislocation 4. It is more commonly injured than the lateral patellar retinaculum.

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