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Author Topic: Lateral release and medial reef: So far so good  (Read 1593 times)

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Offline A.D.Canada

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Lateral release and medial reef: So far so good
« on: January 29, 2007, 06:17:05 PM »
Since there are so many scary stories about lateral releases, Iíd like to add my story, which is not so bad so far. I had an arthroscopic lateral release, with a medial reefing, done 8 weeks ago. I was released the same day as the surgery.

For me the key to getting through the first week in good shape was to use all the gizmos recommended to me.  I woke up already in the Chryocuff (HEAVENLY I swear!! I highly recommend it), and in the CPM (motion machine to keep the leg moving Ė also amazing. I had rented it for the first week.)  The first thing done during surgery was a total nerve block, which also was great, cause I really felt absolutely nothing in that leg for the first day and a half. When that wore off I relied heavily on the meds.
For the first 3 days at home, I was in bed, using the CPM (at 60 degrees) almost constantly. I even started to use it through the night to keep my leg from stiffening up. Made a BIG difference. I also relied very heavily on pain management with Percocet and Tylenol 3s, taking them BEFORE I felt any pain, which made a huge difference. The only time I got up was to get to the bathroom. When not in the CPM I had on the zimmersplint (which I think is often referred to as an immobilizer on this site?). 

I was on crutches for the first week, and used the zimmersplint for the first month.  I also started physiotherapy one week after surgery.  Iím still going twice a week, am up to 120 degrees of flexion and my extension is almost normal.  The key it to find a great physiotherapist and be really REALLY diligent about doing all the exercises everyday. Itís a huge commitment.  I always say between getting to physio, and doing the exercises at home, its like having a second job.  Both my surgeon and PT swear that the key to success is to do keep up with the exercises.  Every week my PT adds another one to the list and it now takes me about 1.5 hours a day to do them all.

The whole thing can definitely be discouraging at times, particularly those weeks where thereís little improvement, or youíve just had a Ďbad knee dayí or didn't realize who much time and effort is involved in rehabbing.   I still have pain on the stairs and its pretty sore in the morning, but walking is getting better and better. Overall itís a long haul, but I havenít had any of the disasters Iíve read about.

And once this is all done? YupÖ. we start all over on the other knee.  Iím referring to this as ďThe Year of the Knee.Ē Hope it helps to hear that not all stories are brutal.  Just be ready for a long rehab and stick with the physio. I'll send another update in a while

Offline Shine

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Re: Lateral release and medial reef: So far so good
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2007, 08:21:40 PM »
I had a lateral release done also had a broken patella fixed. Have been going to pt for six months. My quads atropied drastically since I a scar tissue complication. Anyhow, I am still experiencing pain in the front of my knee(patella tendon) when going down the stairs and doing a single leg squat. Other than that everything is good, and I am progressing to harder exercises in pt.

Since you had a lateral release my question is are you experiecing this type of pain still? I am kinda scared but not trying to freak out. My OS and PT who are very good keep telling me I just need to rebuild my muscles. Thanks!