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A lateral release is a surgical procedure to release tight capsular structures (lateral retinaculum) on the outer (lateral) aspect of the knee.

This is done to improve tracking of the patellar in the groove of the underlying femur bone.

Lateral retinacular release

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Proximal realignment procedures

Realigning the patella in the proper axis by surgical procedures above the patella.

The lateral retinaculum and lateral release

This structure is important and it should be surgically 'released' only in very special circumstances.