Lateral retinacular lengthening is a procedure that lengthens the lateral retinaculum by cutting and sliding the superficial layer over the deep layer to allow a more controlled release of tension.

lateral retinacular lengthening

The superficial layer of the lateral retinaculum is released.

lateral retinacular lengthening

At a lower level, the deep layer is also released, allowing the patella to un-tilt.

lateral retinacular lengthening

When the patella is in a good position the two layers are sutured together in the new position.


Controlled retinacular tensioning

The lateral retinacular lengthening procedure allows the surgeon to control the tension in the retinaculum, so that the patella is in a better position but the lateral retinaculum is still functioning as a guy rope.

lateral lengthening, lateral retinaculum langthening

A patellofemoral expert discusses the modern role of the now controversial lateral release procedure



Is lateral retinacular release still a valid surgical option? From release to lengthening. Sanchis-Alfonso V and Montesinos-Berry E. Ann Transl Med. 2015 Nov; 3(19): 301.

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Video embed courtesy of Dr Jack Farr