The WAITING ROOM => GENERAL KNEE QUESTIONS and comments (good for new threads) => Topic started by: bbkmom on February 10, 2006, 05:07:22 PM

Title: Lateral release...recovery time?
Post by: bbkmom on February 10, 2006, 05:07:22 PM
Just went to the OS yesterday for my first followup after surgery a week ago. Found out not only did he trim the torn meniscus, but also did a lateral release. The pictures were a wonderful tool to help me understand what he did, but I still have questions. How long will recovery take? OS said 8 weeks, but I am wondering what others have done? I haven't been told I need therapy, but from what I read online I should be doing it. The pain is awful and I am still on pain killers, will it ever end???
Thanks for any help anyone can give, I really appreciate it!!! ;D
Title: Re: Lateral release...recovery time?
Post by: bobbiewinnard on May 15, 2006, 12:01:43 PM
I had a lateral release on 28th April this year and am still on crutches because my knee is so weak I cant walk on it, it keeps giving way.  My hospital didnt tell me how to strengthen it or what exercises to do so I'm a bit lost at the moment.

I am doing as much stretching and patellar movement as possible but I'm scared of damaging it or snapping something.

Just remember R.I.C.E and you will feel better, I am without pain after 2 weeks but it is still a bit swelled, but thats expected.

Good luck.
Title: Re: Lateral release...recovery time?
Post by: ClimbingGirl on May 15, 2006, 01:58:13 PM
recovery from Lateral release surgery can be slow and hard. It varies greatly from person to person. I would definately try and get some physio as the lateral release site can heal up tighter than it was before making the problem much worse. i am 10 weeks post-op from my lateral release and MPFL recon and the lateral release site is still giving me many problems. I am getting alot of massage therapy to try and keep the site supple but it is a hard battle. Its amazing that surgeons perform this surgery without providing any post-op therapy and advice. i would get back in touch with the hosipital and try and organise some formal therapy - some exercises etc that you can do at home would be a start.
All the best.
Title: Re: Lateral release...recovery time?
Post by: CYNNIEB4` on May 15, 2006, 08:18:56 PM
Hi I just wanted to write and let you know i am six weeks post up lateral release, lateral meniscus.  Definately set up with os about therapy right away.  I was in pain for three weeks, I also had two subluxations and one incident where quads locked on me and fell all three times.  I'm trying to post as much as i can to let you guys know take it slow.  I know that you can do home therapy but ive tried that and never had success unless i had someone telling me to do it.  Recovery time i found for me is really slow.  i know how your feeling don't rush it  I just went back to work after five weeks and probably shouldve taken six.  using a crutch still at work.  anyway i can give you some excercises there having me do but like i said i would set something up because everyone is different.  good luck
Title: Re: Lateral release...recovery time?
Post by: misshilde on May 15, 2006, 10:39:04 PM
Everybody is different, I was fine and back teaching ballet after 2 weeks, but I'm still weak and it's been almost 6 months....but I have other things giving me problems now...take it easy and do what you can to stengthen the quad...and let pain and swelling be your guide...too much of one or the other usually means you're over doing it.....

Title: Re: Lateral release...recovery time?
Post by: Pumpsky on May 16, 2006, 09:56:59 AM

I actually had a lateral release done over the summer for a dislocating patella. I gained back full mobility very quickly because I was literally up and running two weeks out of surgery. My doctor was not too happy about this, but he was impressed that I had reached full range of motion less than two months out. That being said, since then I've had pain and swelling, and occasional bruising on the outside of the knee. Also I waited too long for surgery I think (I went through four doctors) and I ended up atrophying over an inch and a half of muscle in my thigh, and since then despite a regular workout routine I can't seem to gain the muscle back! Did something go wrong? I'm concerned because I want to start playing ice hockey reguarly and I'm really afraid with not enough muscle I'll end up doing worse damage to my knee, I've been told I'm at high risk for an ACL tear.  :-\

Has anyone else had this problem?
Title: Re: Lateral release...recovery time?
Post by: ClimbingGirl on May 16, 2006, 10:13:49 AM
Hi Pumpsky,
Sorry to hear you're still having trouble following your LR. It could be that your kneecap is still subluxing. As far as I know (fellow knee-geeks please correct me if I'm wrong), a  LR done in isolation usually corrects a tilted patellar rather one than is subluxing or dislocating. If you haven't regained quad strength, especially the VMO, then your kneecap may well still be moving laterally - if you still have pain, swelling and bruising on the outside of the knee then it sounds to be that this may be the case. The pain in itself will be enough to prevent your quads from firing properly making the whole situation worse. I would get your OS to check how well your patellar is tracking.
Title: Re: Lateral release...recovery time?
Post by: bobbiewinnard on May 16, 2006, 02:58:54 PM
No, an LR is there to correct a subluxing patella NOT a tilting one.  If you are right though I must have some serious words with my OS if I can contact him.
Title: Re: Lateral release...recovery time?
Post by: Heather M. on May 16, 2006, 07:46:26 PM
I'm afraid it's the other way around--an LR is intended to treat a tilted patella. It has a VERY poor record with subluxing and/or dislocating kneecaps, and this is generally a contra-indication to doing a lateral release.

Google articles on lateral release and anterior knee pain by Dr. Fulkerson for a VERY thorough overview of surgeries and what they are intended to do, what the contra-indications are, etc.

Another great page is   Check out the section on patella pain and surgery--very good.

Title: Re: Lateral release...recovery time?
Post by: thebandgeek on May 16, 2006, 08:10:06 PM
I had my LR yesterday and i'm in extreme pain. My os wants me to start pt tomorrow so that it doesn't get too stiff.  I haven't even seen my knee yet because there's a bandage, then an ace wrap, then an imobalizer.  I'm on crutches and my os said that i'll be on them anywhere from 1-3 weeks. It's going slow so far but i'm going to give it some time. by the way, i'm pretty sure that lateral releases are intended for the patella tilt, atleast, that's what i had mine for.

Title: Re: Lateral release...recovery time?
Post by: bobbiewinnard on May 17, 2006, 11:32:01 AM
Wow, you scared the hell out of me, I thought my OS had done the wrong surgery.  I had a subluxed patella and found this on Dr Fulkerston's website.

"Lateral release is performed when the patella becomes misaligned and does not track properly............."