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Opinions on lateral release surgery please!!
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Opinions on lateral release surgery please!!

Hello, my name is Heather and I am a 31 year old female. I had a THREE opinions on my knee and finally found an orthopedic surgeon that seems on the right track with my problem. He was the first doctor that was able to notice on exam and through x-ray that I have a negative patellar tilt. It is very slight in my right knee but worse in my left knee which is probably why I have been having pain problems in the left. I am not sure what aggravated it because up until 2 and a half months ago, I never had any issues with my knee at all. It must have been the heavy sqautting that I was doing in my workouts. I have been active my whole life and never had any previous knee issues. Anyway, my new doc stated that the patellar tilt is causing lateral compression syndrome and, although he did not say this, I am assuming it may be why I have grade III chondrosis in the medial aspect of the patella as well. He said through examination with my leg fully extended that he could almost get his thrumb up under the medial side but the lateral side feels pretty tight. His treatment plan that I have just started is to throw the guantlet at it to try and avoid surgery. I had a cortisone shot, am supposed to wear a PTO brace for 8 weeks, and I am supposed to go through physical therapy 2-3 times a week for 8 weeks. After the 8 weeks, I have an follow-up appointment with the doc. Since I have been dealing with this for over two months and rest is not helping, he wants to try these three things and if they don't work, consider lateral release surgery. The reason I am writing on this board is because I have researched this surgery and found that it does not always help and sometimes can make things worse and I am afraid of that. If the above treatment plan does not work, would you suggest lateral release as the last resort? I'm not sure if it would be the best option for my above issues. The articles that I have read say it seems to work best with people with patellar tilt and no instability. I do not think I have instability, but I am not sure how to tell. I don't want to go through multiple surgeries for sure. I just want to be able to workout and be as active as I used to be. I am very frustrated by all of this and it is so hard for me to not be able to do squats, biking, high impact aerobics. Any one else go through this and or have an opinion about this surgery???
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1014494_tn?1252455542
Think long and hard before you decide to take the option of a
Lateral Release. I am 24 years old and have had severe Chondromalacia Patella since I was 18. I have taken every medication and injection thrown at me. When I was 21 I had my first lateral release on my left knee, my doctor told me I basically had nothing to lose by doing this surgery. He was wrong. I was stupid enough to have a Lateral Release done on my right knee before my other knee completely healed and now have severe chronic pain in both of my knees. After realizing it was getting worse I did some research only to find out that the surgery can have the exact opposite effect on the knee. I have been living with debilitating pain for almost 7 years now and nothing will make it better. I can't say with 100 % certainty that my knees wouldn't have gotten this bad if I didn't have the surgery but I'm personally convinced that my orthopedic surgeon ruined my life. I don't want to scare you into not getting a procedure if you think it will help, I just want you to be fully aware of the negative effects these surgeries can have on your life. I hope you make the right decision for you.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have to say that after reading all the negative posts on lateral release, I was also terrified about the surgery. That said, my recovery is either amazing or the only things people care to share are horror stories. I was weight baring the day after surgery (yes, you read right!!) and probably could have tolerated weight the very same day. I had a cartilage clean up and a meniscus repair along with the lateral release. I am now 3 weeks post op (rt knee) and there's not even a limp to my step. I wish I had had this surgery years ago instead of putting it off for so long and dealing with terrible pain for the past 10 years. Immediate relief! It seems like the surgery is a case by case basis though. I was told by my doctor all the things that could go wrong and read all the negative posts about it ruining people's lives. I am so glad I took my doctor's advice and went with the surgery. I think my fast recovery had a lot to do with being in really good shape before the surgery. I worked out and specifically tried to build up all the muscles in my leg that I could. I was also running several miles a day. I did not baby my knee in the slightest and the muscles came right back since I wasn't off my knee for long. Don't forget to ICE ICE ICE!! I keep a pack at work to use while I'm sitting and have almost no swelling
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1243445_tn?1268431205
I have also had a negative outcome from my lateral release surgery.  I had an ACL reconstruction in October of 2008.  My surgeon said that my knee was so unstable I needed the lateral relese. I didn't even have time to look into the procedure, he said it was "routine" so I said OK.  Big mistake.  I am a professional horse trainer, and now have terrible pain while riding.  I never had this pain before surgery - even when I was riding with no ACL.  It is now March of 2010, with no end to the pain in sight.  Think long and hard before you allow this procedure to be done.
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Avatar_m_tn
I had my first, yes my first lateral release done February 19, 2010.  I was in an ace-wrap brace from my groin to my heal with limited ability to bend for 12 days.  When I came home, I was walking( YES, WALKING) around on it the same day as surgery, but still used the crutches as support.  I walked on it everyday until I got my brace off.  I had an allergic reaction to the mastisol (glue) used for the steri-strips, but that is uncommon.  As far as recovery, I am suprised that I can bend as far as I can for not even being a month later.  It was not as bad as I thought it would be.  The negative thing, my incisions are not healed yet, and my knee is still swollen.  If you live in PA or can get a referral to Geisinger Sports Medicine, I 100% recommend DR. FANELLI.  Because like some of you, I saw another dr. who diagnosed me wrong, before seeing Fanelli.  The surgery is not as bad as people make it to be.  I am currently awaiting my second one.
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Avatar_n_tn
I had a lateral release done on my left knee a few weeks ago, and because I researched others' experiences online before I got mine done I figured I will add my story to the pot.
My issue is that my patella (kneecap) dislocated recurrently. It happened when I was 18 three times, and this year (I am 21) it happened several more times. The last time it happened (playing soccer), was the worst. It was so swollen and I was on crutches for about a month. I got the opinions of several doctors. THe first doctor pointed out that my Q-angle is larger than average, and suggested doing a TTT, or Fulkerson procedure, as well as a lateral release. The Fulkerson is a pretty extreme procedure, I thought- it involves fracturing the Tibia (bottom bone in the leg) and bolting it so that the Q-angle is smaller.
I wasn't willing to give up my very active lifestyle for what could potenially be a year or more, and the possible side effects are quite extreme (never kneeling again?! no thanks). After 2 more opinions, I decided to go with the doctor who recommended just the Lateral Release.
They surgery went well- textbook release- and my Doc cleaned up the inside of my knee where cartilage had been scraped away from the traumas. Luckily I had the procedure done the first day of my summer vacation from college, and got some time off work so I was able to keep my knee iced and elevated quite constantly. I started doing my PT exercises (I had started PT the weeks previous) gently the day after the surgery. I was prescribed Percocet, which made me a zombie who slept a lot, but by day 3 after the surgery I was off that. Large doses of Advil were sufficient to kill the pain. I was able to bear weight a day or two after, but my doc kept me on crutches for a week, which I think was a great desicion. Now, I am doing Physical Therapy once a day, and go to my Physical Therapist twice a week. My left leg is definetly still very weak, but it has been like that for a while because I wasn't able to use it for a month following my injury. The most important thing for me right now is to stay very active with the PT and icing. I am now able to walk much further than I was pre-op- now I can go a few blocks without resting, and I am riding my bike up to a mile or so. It feels great to be a little active again. My advice to anyone who is getting this surgery is to be sure that you have explored your options, ICE ICE ICE, and stay off of your knee as much as possible to allow it to heal properly. Also, PT!!! It gets boring, but I find it helpful to spread the exercises out through the day a bit- for example balancing on my leg while talking to a friend or doing them while watching a movie. One thing I found to really help with the swelling is taking Arnica- a herb that you take in homeopathic doses. Of coure, I'm no professional so talk to your doc about everything. Good luck and stay positive!!! Reminding myself that I am fortunate to have healthcare, a supportive family, the ability to take time off work, great Docs and PTs, the sun is shining, my dog is hilarious, now I can watch all these movies and read these books I've been wanting to- staying positive is the key to not getting depressed about the change from an active lifestyle to a more relaxed one.
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Avatar_m_tn
When i read the first post by Heather I finally felt like someone else knows how i feel.  I'm so frustrated.  I have been having this knee pain for almost 2 years, ive done the physical therepy, the tape, ice, braces, everything helps a little. but, im still having so much pain ive had to learn how to live by useing my arms to pull myself out of the bath tub, not shopping on the bottom shelf at the store.  The first dr said my problem was insignifigent, the second was ok, but i want to go back to doing my old work outs, crossfit, squats.  I just need to find the best dr in my area (louisiana) to fix this once and for all.
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