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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 326586, 7 pages
Research Article

Vastus Medialis Obliquus Muscle Morphology in Primary and Recurrent Lateral Patellar Instability

Department of Trauma Surgery, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, University Medical Center, Robert-Koch-Street 40, 37075 Göttingen, Germany

Received 26 February 2014; Revised 11 April 2014; Accepted 11 April 2014; Published 29 April 2014

Academic Editor: Jón Karlsson

Copyright © 2014 Peter Balcarek et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The morphology of the vastus medialis obliquus (VMO) muscle in the anatomical setting of an unstable patella has not been described. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate the morphological parameters of the VMO muscle that delineate its importance in the maintenance of patellofemoral joint stability. Eighty-two consecutive subjects were prospectively enrolled in this study. The groups were composed of thirty patients with an acute primary patellar dislocation, thirty patients with recurrent patellar dislocation, and twenty-two controls. Groups were adjusted according to sex, age, body mass index, and physical activity. Magnetic resonance imaging was used to measure the VMO cross-sectional area, muscle-fiber angulation, and the craniocaudal extent of the muscle in relation to the patella. No significant difference was found with respect to all measured VMO parameters between primary dislocation, recurrent dislocation, and control subjects with a trend noted for only the VMO cross-sectional area and the VMO muscle-fiber angulation. This finding is notable in that atrophy of the VMO has often been suggested to play an important role in the pathophysiology of an unstable patellofemoral joint.