The patello-femoral joint :
Question about lateral releases - - Posted by Andrea (Andrea), 21 July 2002
I have had lateral releases done to both of my knees, the most recent one being 4 months ago. I have a stabbing pain at the release site when ever I try to put weight on it. I don't understand why there would be a stabbing pain there. And also what is the retinaculum, is it a ligament, tendon, or something else? And what do they do with it after they cut it, do they remove it or leave it severed just hanging there? It is very sore to the touch also. I didn't have these symptoms to this severity on my other knee, and I was wondering if it is normal. Thanks.
Posted by Iona_-Uk (Iona_-Uk), 21 July 2002
Firstly if you are having severe pain from your LR you must see your o/s.
LR's can cause a variety of pains for up to 12 months after in some cases. I too get a stabbing pain on my LR on my R knee which was done 13 days ago and I have been told it is part of the healing process (non orthpaedic dr's say that when they don't know what is wrong).
Secondly when the release the capsule they usuallyt cauterised the two ends and scar tissue grows between them, however every o/s has their own ways of doing LR's, some put holes in to make the capsule stretch, so cut both side but not to the middle and some cut right across, it really varies on your o/s and reasons for having a LR done.
I cannot stress how important it is that you see your o/s if you are in pain.
Posted by Kris (Kris), 22 July 2002
Hi Andrea. I had my second lateral release in May. I have the pain that you refer to whenever I have to push to go up the stairs. My therapist said with the first LR that it would go away as the muscle in my leg was retrained and strengthened. She was right for the most part, it did decrease but it never went away. After I had that second LR in May in came back and now the second LR is 5 times as good as the right one done first. I know how frustating this pain thing is. The only reason I had both the surgeries was because he said it wouldn't make me any worse than I was before hand. That was wrong although it started out before the second one looking like it was an accurate conclusion. Anyways, if it worries you that much and if it keeps you from doing daily activities talk with OS, it's just a phone call.
Posted by jessi13 (jessi13), 22 July 2002
Andrea ~ I had a lateral release on my left knee in March and I am having the same symptoms. I get a sharp pain when I walk on it, and if I lay on my stomach with my knee down it is extremely uncomfortable
Posted by admin (The KNEEguru), 22 July 2002
Take a look at this site with its amazing illustrations. The lateral retinaculum is seen in the 'knee joint anterior view' picture.
David describes it as the 'aponeurosis of the vastus lateralis muscle' - which means it it a sort of fibrous extension of one of the parts of the quads muscle.
Updated Thu Apr 29 2010