Question - Lateral Release (recovery time)

by Mary
(Talladega, Alabama)

Yesterday i had a lateral release on my right knee. I have 3 incisions on the knee and i didn't get to discuss with the doctor how long i will be out of work or when i can actually put weight on the knee or walk without crutches. I have a mobilizer on my leg and it seems to feel better when i am up moving around on it than sitting with it elevated.

what do you recommend.

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May 20, 2008
Timelines are different for everyone
by: Bart - SII

Every surgeon has their own timelines for different surgeries - so, I can only give you estimates based on my own experiences with my patients.

Most of the time, after a lateral release, my patients are walking without crutches within 2 weeks after the surgery - I get them started on gait training just a few days after surgery. Sometimes they have a brace, other times they just have an elastic bandage with a pad on the outside of their knee.

Most of the time after a lateral release, moving the knee and using it some will make it feel better. And as long as it doesn't increase your pain and swelling, then being up on it some is usually ok. But, if it does increase your pain or swelling, you are probably doing too much.

Make sure you talk to your surgeon to be sure to follow his instructions - if you are unsure, give the office a call and ask all of your questions - thats what they are there for.

Hope this helps - comment back if you have other questions.

Feb 07, 2009
REHAB FOR A LATERAL RELEASE
by: ROBIN

CAN YOU REHAB ON YOUR OWN WITH YOUR BOOK AFTER A LATERAL RELEASE. IT'S BEEN 12 WEEKS SINCE SURGERY AND STILL HAVE SOME SWELLING AND DISCOMFORT AND CANNOT RUN. I WAS GOING TO A PT (5X) AND DIDN'T SEEM TO BE IMPROVING MUCH FOR THE COST. I CAN WALK, BIKE,USE THE ELLIPTICAL AND LOCK MY KNEE OUT,BUT WANT TO GET BACK TO RUNNING. WAS ADVISED DISCOMFORT WAS COMING FROM SWELLING, WHAT CAN I DO AND IS THIS NORMAL TO TAKE THIS LONG?

Mar 25, 2009
QUESTION
by: CHRISTINE

Hello i have patellofemoral degeneration in my right knee i have done theriphy 2 times and it is not helping would u recommend sergery for it i go see my doc. soon but i dont know what i want to do??

Jun 13, 2009
lateral release recovery
by: margaret mcewan

i had lateral release surgory just over 12 weeks ago and had to have MUA just over 1 week ago and i am still really struggling. I cannot weight bear and i am experiencing alot more lateral maltracking since the MUA. I regret the surgery and believe that i could cope with my origional problem of patella subluxation better than i have coped with the after affects of surgery

Oct 14, 2009
Riding horses after lateral release
by: Anonymous

I am having lateral release surgery tomorrow and I was wondering how long it would be before I can get back to rodeoing

Oct 22, 2009
Lateral Release problem
by: Anonymous

I had a lateral release on July 24th 2009. I still cant walk without a bad limp. The pain is terrible! I am in physical therapy and it doesnt seem to help. I cant sleep and can barely walk. I just got off of crutches about 3 weeks ago. I wish I hadnt had it done! My doctor did not tell me that this could be the outcome. I dont recommend it. Is it ever going to be normal? I cant even walk up my stairs in my house normally. Any suggestions??

Nov 07, 2009
Lateral Release
by: Kylie

I had a lateral Release October 15th 2009 and I am still on crutches and have the immobilizer on as the doctor recommended I still have quite a bit of swelling, pain and discomfort also have not been able to bend my knee since before the surgery without it hurting like hell. I go back to the doctors on November 13th so hopefully he will have something good to say. I am nervous that this surgery isn't going to help me at all.

Nov 08, 2009
Ref Lateral Release
by: Robin

I had my lateral release 1 year ago this month and I'm just starting to be able to run. The most important thing is to rehab as soon as possible. My doctor did not push this and the PT I went to briefly did not push me enough. I'm now training with a trainer at the gym, to strengthen my leg, which I've noticed has helped greatly.

Nov 19, 2009
Lateral Release
by: Anonymous

I had a lateral release on Nov. 3, 2009 and a little over two weeks later I am walking with just a cane when I go out and am permitted to walk around my house without using it. Still have some swelling and discomfort but not really pain. My doctor told me it would be another few weeks before I would be able to negotiate stairs normally and a couple months before it would be as strong as it was before. I had a 20 year history of patellar dislocation which was the reason for the surgery. Not far enough along yet to say that the surgery was a sucess or not but doctor seems confident it will.

Nov 19, 2009
Lateral release
by: Anonymous

I had a lateral release June 2 2009 was in horrible pain for three days.I stared therapy twelve weeks later did twenty-five PT visits and feel good but still cant run.I really did all my exercise every day it was really hard. Felt good enough to go back to work three weeks ago. The first day back I was limping in four hours as I stand all day since Im in the building trades. Can make full eight hour days but after the ride home I can barely walk in the house. It hurts like hell but each week the pain is getting lesser. think I should of waited a month or two longer to go back to work. After a full day of rest it feels good again till I go to work so i would take my time going back to work if you stand all day

Dec 02, 2009
Lateral Release Recovery
by: Kylie

I had surgery a little less than 2 months ago. Went to the doctor after having been put in an immobilizer for a month. He told me to bend it, I wasn't able to and he stated "If you dont ill bend it for you' this hurt like hell. I have been going to physical therapy 3 times a week i have a little bit better range of motion but i still dont have strength and also have a really hard time coming down stairs. Also having pain on my patella feels as if its pinching which was where I was before I had the surgery.

Dec 17, 2009
Lateral Release Recovery
by: Anonymous

I had lateral release surgery 8 days ago. I was walking on crutches within a day, have been doing rehab type exercises at home. I have been up this AM, no cane, no crutches, cleaning the kitchen, feeling guilty for NOT being at work.

I have pain when trying to get Up from sitting, and trying to do the stairs like I normally would. I have no problem doing either of those things using my arms, banisters, etc for support. I have little to no real PAIN, so I am using swelling as my monitor. After about an hour being 'up", I sat down and iced my knee..I could literally FEEL the knee swelling. So, back on my butt again.

I cannot say this has been a bad experience at all. I look forward to being able to work out again. When they got in my knee, they found torn cartilage, a bone spur the size of the top part of my surgeon's thumb, and a cyst the size of a golf ball. I HAVE to feel better now that all that is out of my knee.

Jan 04, 2010
About the same
by: Kelly

I had LR on Dec 14th & I'm going back to work tomorrow. I'm not able to run, but I can get around pretty good without help of the crutch or banister. Rehab is going OK, but I feel it's a waste of time/$ as I can do the same things at home. I still have swelling and pain but the Polar Care (glorified cooler) they gave me has been a life saver. The pain feels no different than before I had the surgery so I'm skeptical at this point on whether or not it was worth it. I'm going to stick to rehab and see what happens in a few more weeks.

Jan 24, 2010
not a lost cause
by: Shelley

I went in for a chondroplasty in March of 2009 and they ended up doing a lateral release as well. I was on crutches for 4 weeks. I did PT 2x/week for 5 weeks, which seemed like a waste of time, but was actually quite crucial! I was able to start cycling again after 6 weeks from the surgery date and rode in the Tour de Cure 10 weeks after. I was also playing sand volleyball after about 12 weeks, but the jolting did bother me quite a bit. Still to this day I cannot run or play softball, but the physical therapist did tell me not to expect a full recovery for 1 year due to the internal bruising. I did work with a trainer for a month, which helped a lot! Long story short, if you want a quick, healthy recovery you MUST exercise it!

Jan 28, 2010
recovery time
by: s.scolding

i had a lateral release nearly 4 months ago ,have only just started physio and ive been told i should have had this straight after op.i still cant run and since starting physio im now in way more pain ,i cant do my stairs and im seeing my specialist in may ,im now in so much pain its getting unberable ,i was told if this didnt work i would have to have another op ,to be honest i need a new knee but ive been told im to young ,would love to no how long i will be like this ,i have gone back to work ,but im taking loads of pain killers ,and im worried about that to any ideas sandy.

Feb 03, 2010
Revovery
by: Anonymous

I had my surgery about 9 weeks ago. I was off crutches in 2 weeks, then used one crutch for another week. I was told no running or jumping for 3 months, but i am swimming now.

Feb 04, 2010
Lateral Release= bad idea.
by: Anonymous

Hi. I have had my left knee dislocate 12 times and my right knee dislocate 3 times. I had a lateral release done 5 years ago and since then, have still had to wear a "j" brace to keep my knee from dislocating. Two days ago, my knee dislocated again.. IN the brace. Lateral releases are a bad idea and I was much better off before having it done. I am only 22, so I can't have a knee replacement. Is there any other option?!?!

Feb 07, 2010
Just had lateral release - PAIN!
by: Jo

I had a lateral release on Friday (two days ago) and I already regret it. If I get up and walk, I almost fall over. I feel like I'm walking on a broken leg. My doctor did NOT give me crutches.

The vicodin they gave me is NOT doing a thing for me. Do you think if I call the doctors' office, they can call in a prescription for something stronger?

Feb 25, 2010
Lateral Release recovery
by: Karen

I am a Specialist Nurse aged 45 (young at heart!) and had a lateral release on my right knee 5 weeks ago, due to a genetic condition/maltracking and severe pain following several injuries, which rendered me unable to drive or work for 3 months prior to the op. I walked out of hospital with crutches and climbed the stairs as advised by the physio the same evening, however, I was in agony. The swelling and tightness was extreme, and the bruising all the way down my calf/ankle was dreadful and has only just disappeared. I was late receiving physio, 2 weeks post-op but it has been marvellous, and I do my exercises every two hours and have used ice packs frequently, which have also considerably helped reduce the pain and swelling. I needed codeine and paracetamol for the first 7 days and gradually reduced this to paracetamol 6hrly. At last I feel I am returning to my usual activities(did a bit of gardening today), however, not ready to work yet, and still experience weakness and occassional leg collapse! The worst thing is being dependant on others for a while, and feeling like I walk like a duck! Now I'll have to psych myself up for surgery on the other knee, maybe next xmas!! I suppose being able to watch the Vancouver winter olympics without interruption has been a bonus!

Mar 05, 2010
knee
by: blake

I had the lateral release in june of 09.I was back to work in november of 09 I'm 22 and I heald fast was doing more than most people were with recovery.its now march and I have no pain no sweling my knee feels great.I run everyday and I'm glad I had it done.its worth it if your knee just slips out all the time.

Mar 14, 2010
DO I OR DONT I
by: Christine

I am about to have a LR due to maltracking, I play outdoor hockey, I am so confused I have read so many comments and only 2 are positive, so my question is to do it or not to do it. I need more positive I have no choice I have to have it done or become null and void in the fitness world, please more positive HELP

Mar 14, 2010
My Dr. said no PT needed??
by: Anonymous51

I had chondromylasia surgery on 4/3/09 and ended up in way more pain than before. I had it done again on 3/1/10 along with lateral release. I am still in quite a bit of pain and swelling. My dr said I should do light stationary biking and don't have to do PT because they'll just "beat you up," so do you think PT would make a difference? Also, just how long will this recovery take? I know it's different for everyone, but I'd really like to know if and when I'll ever feel normal again. Also, what kind of exercises can I do at home on my own? Thanks for any advice you can give.

Mar 24, 2010
Successful Recovery
by: Karl Spencer

For those that are a bit disheartened about lateral release recovery time I'd like to give you some optimism. I had my surgery on March 8th and will be returning to work on March 29th. That is 3 weeks. I had to be fully recovered when I returned to work since I am a Correctional Officer in a Maximum Security Prison. I never used crutches. I kept my leg elevated above my chest for the first week and iced it continuously. I forget about the ace bandage until the 2nd week and had it on that entire week continuing the process. Today, after 17 days I did 10.8 miles on the stationary bike. No pain whatsoever. The only pain meds I have been on are Hydrocodone and Ibuprofen. I will watch to see if there is any swelling and have wrapped it and put ice on it again. Good luck to all of you in your recovery.

Mar 26, 2010
LR surgery # 1
by: Ashley Louise

Hi,

I just had my first LR surgery on my right knee. After reading many horror stories I put the surgery off for a few years, but after a year of PT my knees were getting worse and I could barely walk or stand to sit ( in n my mid-late twenties).

So I had the first surgery for my PFS and cartilge damage 8 days agi today. This surgery is not without pain, but I was off crutches after 4 days and can walk very short distances now ( a few blocks ) with a limp. The knee I had surgery on actually feels better than the left knee- which I will have done in 8 weeks.

So as a last resort to athletes with a severe lateral tilt, this is a option for some. I am hopeful this will work, however it does take a significant commitment to icing, elevation, and physical therapy after surgery, Good Luck!

Apr 03, 2010
Lateral Release Scheduled for April 9 - 2010
by: Amy A

I am scheduled for a lateral release next Friday, and am very nervous about the whole situation. I have had recurring subluxations since I was about 14 (I'm 33 now) and up until recently they've just healed on their own. However, this past one (Dec 09) was as a result of my dog hitting me from behind and totally took me out. Recovery has pretty much been non-existent and I've been in pain since December. I tried conservative knee exercises, but cannot avoid the patellar pain. I think I've made progress in the strength of my medial quads, but the pain under the kneecap is very frustrating. My ortho thinks the best bet is to clean up any loose bone/cartilage under the knee, then perform the lateral release to try to help with the malalignment.

My biggest concern is that I'm rushing into this. Anyone have any opinions on that? I don't want to put it off too long and end up laid up all summer.

It's my hope to write here in order to provide positive feedback after the surgery, God willing! I signed up for summer volleyball (I'm still not sure if that's going to happen, but I'm holding out optimism!), and I'm also planning to go to FL for a conference just over a week after surgery. Again...optimism here. Wish me luck! I hope to be back and giving good news shortly!

Apr 03, 2010
Lateral Release Scheduled for April 9 - 2010
by: Amy A

I am scheduled for a lateral release next Friday, and am very nervous about the whole situation. I have had recurring subluxations since I was about 14 (I'm 33 now) and up until recently they've just healed on their own. However, this past one (Dec 09) was as a result of my dog hitting me from behind and totally took me out. Recovery has pretty much been non-existent and I've been in pain since December. I tried conservative knee exercises, but cannot avoid the patellar pain. I think I've made progress in the strength of my medial quads, but the pain under the kneecap is very frustrating. My ortho thinks the best bet is to clean up any loose bone/cartilage under the knee, then perform the lateral release to try to help with the malalignment.

My biggest concern is that I'm rushing into this. Anyone have any opinions on that? I don't want to put it off too long and end up laid up all summer.

It's my hope to write here in order to provide positive feedback after the surgery, God willing! I signed up for summer volleyball (I'm still not sure if that's going to happen, but I'm holding out optimism!), and I'm also planning to go to FL for a conference just over a week after surgery. Again...optimism here. Wish me luck! I hope to be back and giving good news shortly!

Apr 30, 2010
Help!! Wish I Never Heard of "Lateral Release"
by: Anonymous

I had a lateral release on 3/2/10 (after also having had arthro surgery a few months back) and have been in agony since. After the arthro, I hurt for 6 mos., all day, every day, before my dr. decided I should have another MRI. He then said I needed to have the arthro done again; I did. Then, he said I needed the LR and that my recovery time would be much longer (at least 6 mos., but would take a year to determine if surgery was successful). I am still in LOTS of pain, there's lots of swelling and my range of motion sucks. And, getting up from a chair and in and out of a car is next to impossible. Just want to let you all know to get 2nd opinion and think long and hard before you do the LR. Wish someone had warned me. I'm a 50 yr. old female and know I won't heal as fast as a 30 yr. old, but this has been the longest year of my life.

May 01, 2010
also full of doubts
by: Anonymous

Ok. I've been told this week that I have a torn meniscus and lateral tilt, with wearing down of three surfaces. I was ok thinking I may have to have arthroscopy for the meniscus. But the release is freaking me out. 99% of what I've read is horrible. My Dr. said he does the release from the outside and that it is a far better surgery. I really dread this and if there is a way to avoid it by therapy, I'm in. Anyone have experience witha release done from the outside??? And how long can I put off this.

May 05, 2010
do the PT
by: Hegs

Hi,
I had my lateral release in mid Jan 2010. Was back at work a week later, and was off crutches within 4 weeks. I can walk fine, but I didn't do anywhere NEAR enough of the exercises, mainly due to swelling (couldn't engage the kneecap etc).
My quad is now non-existant and I will have to do a lot of exercise to rebuild it. My advice is to rest for three days, and then work like mad on that straight leg lift and don't let the muscle waste away, it happens so quickly it's scary!
Good luck.

May 05, 2010
Lateral release (almost) 4 weeks later
by: Anonymous

I did go through with the lateral release on April 9, 2010. (See post from Apr 3 for details.) I would not say it was a piece of cake, but I continue to be optimistic that I made the right decision. I've had some promising PT appt's, and I'm hoping to be on my mt. bike by the end of the month. Albeit on flat ground. (My PT says I may have the range of motion to pedal, but he's not sure about the quad muscles!)

The biggest surprise for me was my reliance on other people. Which, as a single mom, I wasn't prepared for. I've never spent a lot of time on crutches, but I've found it's good to invest in a no-leak water bottle, and some shorts with big cargo pockets. Otherwise you may find yourself choosing between food and water. (I made the wrong choice and ended up very dehydrated.)

Overall, the patellar pain that I was having before the surgery (lateral release and chondroplasty) has diminished significantly. I've even been able to do some swimming. I think it's going to be a good recovery. But, it never really goes as well as we'd like, does it? If anyone is interested in hearing more about my post-surgery, shoot me an email - ariasbyamy@hotmail.com

Best of luck to all of you on your surgeries!

May 12, 2010
My recovery with a lateral release
by: Anonymous

I had a lateral release on my right knee last November. I have a 4/4 arthritis in that knee. I was having tracking problems and my knee was giving out on me. It is my opinion that the first week is rough. I used Hydrocodone for 4 days. I was able to go upstairs after one week. I am a firm believer in physical therapy! I had surgery on a Wednesday and was in therapy 3 x per week on the following Monday. The physical therapist can help you strengthen your knee and get the mobility back sooner than you can do it yourself. It took 2 months to get back to work. I do feel that I went back to work about 2 weeks too early. To the person that went back after 3 weeks as a correctional officer, all I can say is "WOW!!!" I do still get some swelling in that knee but it is not painful and I can walk without a limp. My release was also done from the outside of the knee. I do still get achy on rainy days but this also happened before surgery. Things went so well, I am having my left knee done next Wednesday. Yes, I am nervous because I will need to depend on my family to get me thru that first week or so but we will be fine and then I can get on with my life.

May 13, 2010
Best decision
by: Anonymous

My daughter (15yo) kept dislocating her patellas. Right and left. After a lot of pain we decided on a lateral release on both knees. The left knee was done first, she was up walking on crutches the afternoon of the operation. She was put on a bending machine over night and the next day came home. She started excercing and icing and walking straight away. Was back at school the next week. Because the operation was so successful she had the other knee operated on 8 weeks later with the same successful result. Its been 5 months and she is now back dancing. I believe that its important to start bending, exercising and icing as soon as possible. Before the operations it was always a worry that I would get a phone call that she had dislocated again. Its important to research the surgeon. I can recommend Dr. Bill Cumberland from Port Macquarie.

May 14, 2010
a word of advice
by: Kim

Icing is so important--20 minutes of every hour. Also, when resting, prop your leg up higher than your heart. This will reduce swelling. I have no regrets.

May 16, 2010
twice in a month
by: Wendy

I had my left knee LR surgery a week ago. Ive had similar symptoms as everyone else. The first couple days were the worst, but after that, standing on it felt much better than sitting or laying down. My doctor went ahead and scheduled the same surgery for my right knee exactly two weeks after the first surgery. Im a little scared at the thought of my left knee not being recovered enough to support me while the right one heals. Has anyone ever heard of having this surgery performed on both knees in two weeks?? I still have pain in my left knee but not as bad as it was before surgery. My doctor never told me it would take months to recover like others have said on this site so im a little worried!!!

May 18, 2010
LR Right Knee
by: Matt Thompson

I had a LR of the right knee on the 13 April 2010.
I left hospital on crutches and put them away after 2 days. I began straight leg lifts after 2 days and walked as much as possible, the walking caused a considerable amount of swelling so i would advise against it. I attend physio 3 to 4 times a week in a gym and work the VMO until it cant be worked anymore. As the weather gets colder i am finding that i am getting a little pain and stiffness around the scar/wound. Pysio has told me that elevation of the leg and massage should help with both problems. Physio has also advised that icing after work and a heat pack in the morning would also help. 5 weeks on and i still suffer swelling, i am still unable to run but i am determined to break into a trot in the next week or so (I will keep you posted). My advice is to do everything in moderation, listen to your knee. If it hurts you have probably overdone it. Sit back and get the ice pack out and rest and then do it all over again the next day. Good Luck.

Jun 17, 2010
This will be s long recovery
by: Monique

So i read everyone else comments and it had me scared to do it. I did get some good tips about rehab and looking for a personal trainer.
Now.... My surgery was May 28th,10 and surgery went well without any problems . I had it done @ 10am and home by 3pm. I would say the first couple of nights the pain was horrible!!!! . The Vics did nothing for me. It hurt me to elevate my knee and ice made it painful, but i have made it thru. lol
today june 16,10 i still have pain but nothing like the beginning. i can walk with my imobilizer on,without it i can do very little. knee still swollen to the size of a softball. still on crutches and sometimes i cant sleep cuz of the pain. i havent started rehab yet, and dont see the doc till mid july. im suppose to go back to work end of june but they way ive been feeling i doubt that.

I will give updates

Monique
26year old female

Jun 17, 2010
fast recovery
by: Anonymous

I had a lateral release on my left knee in 2007 and I was walking short distances by the third day. I had a lateral release on my right knee in 2008 and was able to go to work full time at a day care without pain three weeks after the surgery. My surgeon gave me simple exercises to do starting the day of the surgery to be done every couple of hours. I found that doing these exercises the first week really helped with my recovery. A week after the surgeries I began pt, where I was on an exercise bike and worked on regaining my mobility. My recoveries were really fast, the second one being faster because I was less tentative about moving the knee. I was in active recovery (where I had to be more aware of my knee pain and occasionally wear my braces) for 13 months, but was back to full participation in sports (rowing and water polo) after 3 with very limited pain.

Jun 25, 2010
nervous
by: Pete

I have a lateral release schedules on both knees for the 6th july...so not long to go now!
I am 19 years old and live for running/cycling/triathlons and I have ambitions of joining the Royal Marines in the future. I am prepared to do whatever it takes to get my knees to a position where I can compete.

Any tips from people who have been through this, especially those who have had both legs done at the same time.. For those sporty ones of you out there, how long before you were back into training?

How soon should rehabilitation (physio) be after the Op....I've got appointments book for 4 weeks after the op but after readign through this, that seems a little long

Cheers from a very nervous Pete

Jul 03, 2010
slow recovery
by: Lynne

I am 44 and I had a lateral release April 1,10. I am still having a hard time with recovery.I was on crutches for 2 1/2 weeks and started pt at that point too. I went to pt 3x a wk for a month and was still having issues so my doctor gave me pt for another week. I am now doing exercises at home on my own. I am still swollen in the knee and quad area. I do my exercises 3-4x a day but can't seem to get more bend or strength form my knee. I am still having a problem with stairs,getting in and out of the car,bed and the shower as I have to be able to bend my knee to do all of this and I just can't do it. I don't have a stationary bike so I lie on my back and move my legs as if iI am riding a bike. Still can not get a good bend in my knee. I thought I would be running a month ago at the latest. I am not one to sit around and this slow recovery is really getting to me. My knee often gives out on my also so I have to be careful getting around. I go back to my doctor again next week and I am hoping he will give me some positive advice on getting better.

Jul 03, 2010
Six Months Post LR
by: Anonymous

Well, I posted earlier, just a few weeks after surgery. I was doing very well then. I can't say the same now. The point of the arthroscopy and LR was to avoid knee replacement surgery for as long as possible. A few months post surgery though, I am scheduled for knee replacement surgery.

I think LR are good for SOME individuals. The articles I see are about 50/50. My knee was so far gone from arthritis, and from the extremety of my "knock-kneed- ness"...that it wasn't very successful.

The issue is less constant pain than it is instability. I have been working out with a trainer for two months know (VERY HARD WORK) trying to see if strengthening my muscles is enough to avoid the surgery. As excellent as she is, and as hard as I work, it just isn't happening. I am fine, and suddenly my knee is "GONE",and I holding onto a wall, in extreme pain.

My NEW surgeon says that he can tell just by my xrays that the LR wouldn't help. But I think that hind sight is 20/20. It is easy to say that when it already proven.

My original surgeon refuses to a do knee replacement on me b/c of my age. I just turned 50. I understand his hesitancy and concerns. But there are no guarantees I am going to live past the 20 years the new knee give me, and I want to be able to enjoy life NOW, and be active NOW. Thus, the new surgeon.

Jul 21, 2010
Recovery
by: Anonymous

I had a lateral Release a year ago today , my left knee is still giveing me problems . Sometimes when i walk it just gives why . i don't know what to do ? i have seen me Doctor and he has said if he does another operation he doesnt know if it going to help . I am still haveing Physio every couple of weeks , does anyone have any advice .

Jul 21, 2010
PETE HOW ARE YOU??
by: Melissa

How are you Pete! I too run and was training for a tri and I am having a LR on my left knee tomorrow and am very nervous! How was recovery and are you able to train again yet?

Jul 21, 2010
Melissa
by: Pete

Hi Melissa, not sure if you get this in time but good luck.

It's just over 2 weeks from the OP and I have my 2nd physio tomorrow who said I may be put onto the exercise bike already. Last tuesday was my first physio appointment and the physio said the amount of swelling I had was superb - guess I am lucky.

The day after my Op I began bending my knee and weight bearing with crutches. There was little swelling to begin with which is a godsend. However that little swelling has taken ages to go down, and my right knee has a sausage type lump where the lateral release was done.

In short I am not back in training, but my recovery has been far quicker than normal. I put this down to be 19, and active in sports, so I am sure as an active runner that you will have an advantage. I will let you know how I get on after tomorrow's physio.

Good luck

Pete

Jul 23, 2010
Successful LR Surgery, so far!
by: Vanessa

I had a left knee lateral release surgery eight days ago. I went to my first physical therapy appointment 16 hours later. My doctor never gave me crutches and I really didn't need them.

I regained my full range of motion within four days and have been riding a stationary bike for 15 minutes since day three. I have therapy sessions three days a week but also do the same exercises at home. Exercises consist of stretching the hamstring and quad, hip and low back.

I made a mistake of standing too long, maybe 40 minutes, and my knee swelled up like a balloon. All I can say is elevate and ice.

Jul 24, 2010
LR yesterday
by: Catherine

I had my LR in my right knee yesterday. It was supposed to be just the LR and a debridement, but when they got in there, they found a lot more that they didn't know about. After the LR and debridement, they had to permanently relocate my knee cap (after detatching it as well as removing a band of tissue that is a deformity in my knee. I hurt more today than in the hospital because the anesthesia is wearing off more, but I can walk WITH CRUTCHES, with the weight on my toes only for about five minutes already.

I'm really scared about recovery--the doctor told me that it's normal for it to take about a year, and I'm only 18. I just want to be able to move around like a normal teenager.

Aug 03, 2010
Lateral Release
by: Anonymous

I had a lateral release on June 30. Went to PT about 5 times then quit going, the exercises were something I could do at home and have been doing, I think my biggest problem is fear; I can bend my knee and have almost no pain but I still hold on to walls and walk with a cane due to the fear of dislocating my knee again, I have had this problem since I was a young girl and somehow have lived with it all this time, now with the surgery my knee feels totally different; I feel better knowing it takes time to get back to normal, my doctor wants me running already. Thanks for all your comments I know I'm not alone. Good Luck to everyone!

Aug 05, 2010
4 weeks on
by: Pete

So my lateral release was on the 6th july which means I am more or less 4 weeks out.

My recovery has been brilliant so far - I am walking about fine (with pain over longer distances though) and can do around 20 mins cycling on the static trainer a day as well as all the exercises. I'm only 19 so I was nervous about the whole procedure, but I am working hard at the physio and all is ahead of schedule - perfect!

There is hope yet for those of you struggling with the recovery. Good luck to everybody

Aug 13, 2010
Regret it
by: Anonymous

I had L/R on both knees 18 months ago, I regret it as I have less mobility than before the op. My physio has discharged me as there is nothing more to be done, I still need crutches a lot of the time and my right leg appears to collapse at will.


Aug 16, 2010
One week post -op
by: Lori

I had a lateral release on my right knee one week ago. I spent three days in mild to moderate pain with my leg elevated and iced. By day four the pain was gone although I stil have stiffness and swelling. I can get around without crutches since day 5 although I am not going long distances and still have a strong limp. I am doing some excercises as home to move my knee and start PT this week (10 days post op). I am normally very active and anxious to get back to cycling, yoga, weight training and running. I have not tried to naviage stairs yet but I am noticing more range of motion in my knee each day. Overall, I am pretty pleased with my recovery. I was so worried about the pain and it wasnt that bad at all.

Aug 27, 2010
One Month Out- Long Way To Go
by: Mark

I had my lateral release exactly one month ago. I was in an immobilizer for 10 days, and started PT two weeks post op. I needed two crutches for the first 3-4 weeks. I am now pretty much down to one crutch, but may still be several weeks before I am off crutches completely. ROM is right at 90 degrees, but constantly feels stiff. There is still a fair amount of swelling though no where near where I was before PT started. My therapist is starting to get more aggressive on ROM stretching and scar tissue breakdown, and I cannot begin to describe the pain. I really hope this surgery was worth it and that I'll look back and be happy I did it. But right now, if I could go into the Wayback Machine to one month plus one day ago, I would not have done this.

Aug 28, 2010
still having problems
by: Ridgefan

had my lateral release on 3-5-10. started therapy 6 weeks after surgery and still have 2 weeks left as of today. this is the 3rd round of pt. i still have problems on stairs..when i pedal on the bike i cant go all the way around..and i still have pain and swelling...at pt today it tried to give out and begin to hurt the worst it has since surgery...i also cant bend it completey... but the worst is the popping when the patella gets off track..my dr. told me about another surgery which i am all for if it will help but he wants to wait till im a year out of my last surgery..im not going to make it another 6 months!!...i honestly wish they would just do a knee replacement but im 35 and dont think that will happen..any thoughts or tips ?

Sep 05, 2010
lateral release quick recovery
by: judy

I had LR 13 days ago (also torn miniscus and dead cartilage removed); no crutches at all; was walking on day 2, back at work in less than a week, though I was able to raise my leg and ice at work. still problems with swelling, but am able to walk around for an hour or two before I need to sit down. very little pain; just twinges now and then. Ibuprofen is enough. Cannot yet do stairs, but walking almost normally on flat surfaces. Have not had any PT, and not sure what exercises to do--doc said I can do anything the leg will tolerate, but should avoid stairs. after reading some other posts, am feeling better about recovery; I was concerned about the swelling as abnormal, worried it would now always be part of my life. at only 50, don't want to deal with ankles falling out of my shoes.

Sep 05, 2010
lateral release quick recovery
by: judy

I had LR 13 days ago (also torn miniscus and dead cartilage removed); no crutches at all; was walking on day 2, back at work in less than a week, though I was able to raise my leg and ice at work. still problems with swelling, but am able to walk around for an hour or two before I need to sit down. very little pain; just twinges now and then. Ibuprofen is enough. Cannot yet do stairs, but walking almost normally on flat surfaces. Have not had any PT, and not sure what exercises to do--doc said I can do anything the leg will tolerate, but should avoid stairs. after reading some other posts, am feeling better about recovery; I was concerned about the swelling as abnormal, worried it would now always be part of my life. at only 50, don't want to deal with ankles falling out of my shoes.

Sep 05, 2010
lateral release quick recovery
by: judy

I had LR 13 days ago (also torn miniscus and dead cartilage removed); no crutches at all; was walking on day 2, back at work in less than a week, though I was able to raise my leg and ice at work. still problems with swelling, but am able to walk around for an hour or two before I need to sit down. very little pain; just twinges now and then. Ibuprofen is enough. Cannot yet do stairs, but walking almost normally on flat surfaces. Have not had any PT, and not sure what exercises to do--doc said I can do anything the leg will tolerate, but should avoid stairs. after reading some other posts, am feeling better about recovery; I was concerned about the swelling as abnormal, worried it would now always be part of my life. at only 50, don't want to deal with ankles falling out of my shoes.

Sep 07, 2010
Lateral release on Aug. 9, 2010
by: Hamilton

I had a LR on Aug. 9. after having a 2nd opinion. I have been in pain for 10 yrs having subluxation & maltracking issues. LR is not an easy surgery but you just have to commit yourself so you can get better. You have to go into knowing that the first week - you need to elevate and ice. I would suggest anyone having this done, take off atleast a month before going back to work. Physical therapy is crucial!!! Let me say that again, PT is crucial. I read these posts about people not having physical therapy & the PT goes hand in hand with the surgery. You can not have one without the other!!! I was on crutches the 1st 2 weeks then graduated to 1. There are exercises you should be doing a week or so after surgery. They can be painful & tight feeling but you just have to do it. An exercise ball is the way to go. A good PT can show you the right exercises. If the doctor does not offer this info, you have to seek it!!! You can lose your quad control if PT is not started right away. PHYSICAL THERAPY goes hand in hand with the LR surgery!

Sep 08, 2010
lateral release not doing well
by: candice

I had a lateral release last oct 2/09 and am in more pain than I had before surgery. I can not go up or downstairs without a railing. I try all the time and still am not stable. I was going for 5 days a week for 13 weeks for just under 2 hours a day and than down to once a week and started back to twice a week 3 weeks ago.
Needless to say I am beyond frustrated and just want to scream and cry. I am 39 years old and before the surgery was active now I am very limited. I love to dance and now can dance about 25% of what I use to be able to do.
My life has changed for the worse and I am very unhappy. I try not to show my sadness to my husband or young son . I try to be positive, but find myself crying because I blame myself for my situation. I tried to get into the drs, but can't get into Oct 14/10 so I must wait.
If you watch me walk I look almost normal, but if you watch me attempt stairs you can see me struggling.
I have no choice but to accept that it might not get better which scares me.
My phsio dr doesn't understand because I started off recovering early pretty well and now have hit a road back.
My surgeon told me when he seen me this Dec 30/10 I would have a different attitude. I seen him in June and have not seen any improvement.
I pray every night for changes. I just hope I will better.
My husband wants to take me to the carribean for my 40th in January and was hoping to be better by than.
I guess all I can do is wait...

Sep 08, 2010
Right knee Lat Release
by: Anonymous

Hello,

I am a 29 yo K-9 Handler who's job demands I be in good physical shape. I injured my right knee in a fall at work in October of 2009. In Feb '10 after 6 weeks of physical therapy twice a week, I had my first surgery. The Doc performed a Synovectomy which is basically smoothing out the soft tissue that was torn in my injury under my knee cap. He did not locate ay other injuries but said there was enough torn and loose tissue to choke a horse in there. I started my 10 week physical therapy course 2 weeks after surgery and returned to work doing light duty April '10. I continued having problems just doing the simple tasks of desk duty and informed the Doc. After doing another X-ray and set of contrast MRI's he determined that my right knee cap was tilted. I had my right knee Lateral Release surgery on August 20th '10. Although it did not show up on the 2 MRI's, he did find some shredding of my Miniscus and cleaned it up as well. As with my first surgery, I walked from my vehicle into my house without crutches. I took it easy, iced and elevated my knee for the first week. I was out of the house using a cane the next day, however, I think I over did it which caused swelling. I had my knee drained of fluid twice in the first 2 weeks. I am 2 & 1/2 weeks post surgery now and can get around on level hard surfaces fairly easy. I still have to take stairs carefully, favoring my right knee and I use a cane on unstable surfaces since it causes my knee to give out on me. My mobility seems better with this surgery but I still have problems with my knee giving out on me, locking and catching and popping which causes a significant amount of pain. I'm anxious to start my first session of PT tonight and get it started. I came to this site looking for answers on a possible recovery time line since my doctor is unable to tell me when I can expect to return to work. As you can imagine keeping up with a 90lb Police K-9 demands a lot of running & physical agility. Seeing all the comments on not being able to run for 1 year has me pretty worried but I am going to work hard to get myself back sooner than that. I will keep updates posted on my recovery status. I hope that it will give someone else a better idea on recovery time lines and what to expect as all of your postings have helped me.

Best of luck to you all.

Sep 08, 2010
Right knee Lat Release
by: Anonymous

Hello,

I am a 29 yo K-9 Handler who's job demands I be in good physical shape. I injured my right knee in a fall at work in October of 2009. In Feb '10 after 6 weeks of physical therapy twice a week, I had my first surgery. The Doc performed a Synovectomy which is basically smoothing out the soft tissue that was torn in my injury under my knee cap. He did not locate ay other injuries but said there was enough torn and loose tissue to choke a horse in there. I started my 10 week physical therapy course 2 weeks after surgery and returned to work doing light duty April '10. I continued having problems just doing the simple tasks of desk duty and informed the Doc. After doing another X-ray and set of contrast MRI's he determined that my right knee cap was tilted. I had my right knee Lateral Release surgery on August 20th '10. Although it did not show up on the 2 MRI's, he did find some shredding of my Miniscus and cleaned it up as well. As with my first surgery, I walked from my vehicle into my house without crutches. I took it easy, iced and elevated my knee for the first week. I was out of the house using a cane the next day, however, I think I over did it which caused swelling. I had my knee drained of fluid twice in the first 2 weeks. I am 2 & 1/2 weeks post surgery now and can get around on level hard surfaces fairly easy. I still have to take stairs carefully, favoring my right knee and I use a cane on unstable surfaces since it causes my knee to give out on me. My mobility seems better with this surgery but I still have problems with my knee giving out on me, locking and catching and popping which causes a significant amount of pain. I'm anxious to start my first session of PT tonight and get it started. I came to this site looking for answers on a possible recovery time line since my doctor is unable to tell me when I can expect to return to work. As you can imagine keeping up with a 90lb Police K-9 demands a lot of running & physical agility. Seeing all the comments on not being able to run for 1 year has me pretty worried but I am going to work hard to get myself back sooner than that. I will keep updates posted on my recovery status. I hope that it will give someone else a better idea on recovery time lines and what to expect as all of your postings have helped me.

Best of luck to you all.

Sep 08, 2010
part 2
by: Anonymous

Just to let people know I started physio 15 days after the surgery and am still doing physio. Physio has been a big part of my life since the surgery. I thought I was going to be just fine even my physio dr thought I was a quick healer and doing well. I also do the eliptical trainer 5 days a week at home 20 mins a day or depending on pain. I am not a quitter and am trying my best to be positive.I never thought I would be coming up on the anniversary date to my surgery feeling worse than I started.
I will know more after I see my surgeon Oct 14/10 and I will not leave without answers. The problem here in Windsor Ontario it is hard to get a surgeon because they are so busy so when you have an appt they rush you out telling you you will be fine.
All I know is I want answers and not going to take you will be fine see you in 6 months.
I am happy for all who are recovering very well and I wish you the best. Am I a little envious of you yes because I wish I was in your shoes.

Sep 12, 2010
Post LR
by: Rachael

I had my LR done on August 30, 2010. I had major swelling in the knee all the way down to my foot. I have never used crutches to get around. I had the polar ice machine I used for 1 1/2 weeks. I went to the Dr. for follow up and had to purchase a $100.00 compression hose. I have to wear it for 6 weeks. I have noticed that the sleeve has worked on the swelling for the most part, but I still have a golf ball size knot, which I guess is a fluid pocket on the outside of my knee. I still can not get up from a chair using that leg. If I even use it a little bit, it feels like fire going up and down my whole leg. I did have severe pain in my calf after surgery, but that has pretty much gone away. The Dr said I would need to have my other knee eventually done. I had back surgery in March and would rather do that again anyday than do another LR. This is painful and had no idea. I do PT three times a week. I have good ROM for the most part and sometimes think I could do most of the exercises in my home or at work( I manage a gym). I am thinking about calling the DR. tomorrow to see about this fluid pocket and discuss the burning on the outside of the knee. Hope everyone has a speedy recovery!!!

Sep 23, 2010
LATERAL RELEASE ON RIGHT AND LEFT KNEE WITHIN 5 MONTHS
by: 34 YEAR OLD FEMALE

I had a lateral release on my right knee in April I completed 12 sessions of PT and my quad atrophied. I had to do another 12 sessions and my knee and quad are getting stronger. I had a lateral release on my left knee on 09/09/10. I had both surgeries on a Thursday and returned to work on Monday. I did not have much of a knee cap left one either leg. My left knee was in much worse shape. I had a another piece of knee cap that had grown to my knee cap and it had to be removed. I never used crutches with this surgery. If you are thinking of having a lateral release I highly recommend you do the PT exercises to strenghten your quads before surgery. I had a lot more motion immediately after surgery. However, I went for my follow up yesterday and could only bend 60 degrees. He drained 48 cc of fluid and he bent it 90 degrees. Apparently I am not doing as well as I thought I was. I thought I was overdoing it and he says I have not done enough. I am in a lot of pain and extremely bruised. I will begin PT tomorrow instead of doing it on my own. My doctor told me I had very muscular quads which will take me longer to regain the size and strenght I had before surgery. I hope to be better then ever in another 6 months to a year. It takes a lot of hard work.

Sep 24, 2010
lateral release
by: candice

Well my 1 year anniversary is Oct 1 and I am worse than when I started. I can not go up or downstairs without 2 footing each step. If there is no railing or no one with me I am screwed. Needless to say I am beyond frustrated with my progress. I went for an xray yesterday because I can't deal with the pain anymore. I think my family doctor just didn't know what to do because in reality it should be my surgeon I should be seeing , but I have to wait for that. However I did get my appt moved up from Dec 31 to Oct 14 and can't wait. I will make sure I have all my questions ready and not be rushed. I was told in June that come October I would be feeling great, far from it. I am beyonds words with describing the pain and my physio dr get figure out my I relaspe. I am 39 and am functioning at 50% if that. I now live my life around avoiding stairs. Just to get out of my car is a chore because I can't put pressure on my leg to lift myself out. I basically try not to put any extra weight on my knee as best as I can. It is not a weight issue I am 5 "4" 135pds. When the mention of this procedure was offered to me I asked what my outcome would be and I was told 95% full recovery ,3% 85% recovery and 2% worse I guess I fell in the 2%. He told me he seen me in the 95% because of my age etc. I hope I get answers and I well keep all posted. I hope everyone is doing great.

Sep 24, 2010
lateral release
by: Anonymous

Well my 1 year anniversary is Oct 1 and I am worse than when I started. I can not go up or downstairs without 2 footing each step. If there is no railing or no one with me I am screwed. Needless to say I am beyond frustrated with my progress. I went for an xray yesterday because I can't deal with the pain anymore. I think my family doctor just didn't know what to do because in reality it should be my surgeon I should be seeing , but I have to wait for that. However I did get my appt moved up from Dec 31 to Oct 14 and can't wait. I will make sure I have all my questions ready and not be rushed. I was told in June that come October I would be feeling great, far from it. I am beyonds words with describing the pain and my physio dr get figure out my I relaspe. I am 39 and am functioning at 50% if that. I now live my life around avoiding stairs. Just to get out of my car is a chore because I can't put pressure on my leg to lift myself out. I basically try not to put any extra weight on my knee as best as I can. It is not a weight issue I am 5 "4" 135pds. When the mention of this procedure was offered to me I asked what my outcome would be and I was told 95% full recovery ,3% 85% recovery and 2% worse I guess I fell in the 2%. He told me he seen me in the 95% because of my age etc. I hope I get answers and I well keep all posted. I hope everyone is doing great.

Oct 07, 2010
3 months from LR
by: Anonymous



I had a LR of my right knee 3 months ago. After the surgery I had no pain although I took diclofenac every 8 hours for 2/3 weeks.
I had swelling during the first month but keeping elevated the leg and applying ice every 1 or 2 hours helped a lot.
I started phisio-teraphy 10 days after the LR, first with electro-estimulation, bike, and exercise for flexibility and extension with little weight. After 30 sessions I started to go to a normal gym.

I went back work after 3 weeks, walking really slow and very often loosing the control of my leg. For one month I went to swimming but I quit . I don't know if it was useful.

I haven't tried running yet because I don't have the expected balance. I can climb up ladder but going down it's difficult.

Next week I seeing my surgeon.Hope I can still improve my condition for the next couple of months.

I have the same problem on my left knee. I'm trying to find if I could avoid the surgery with this "long excercise period" . By now, I don't think so.

Finally, I would recommend this surgery but only if you REALLY tried all the other options. Now I can say that as other surgeries, you must be sure what you are going into first.

Oct 19, 2010
Lateral release 10/08/10
by: Tammy

I had my lateral release 11 days ago I have not had to use crutches and was walking full weight bearing in 3 to 4 days (with a limp of course) I have had some swelling but I know that is from over doing the walking as with a bad back I can't sit for extended periods of time. I only have about 90% of my range of motion back on my knee and believe this is due to the swelling. I think that the success of my recovery thus far has to do with believeing that ice is a miricle worker and that the best way to improve something is to go a little further than you think you can because when I do my leg stretches and ancle pumps or just walking if it hurts I will push just a little futher (not too much as it would make it worse) I am looking forward to the muscles loosing up some and getting full raange of motion but over all the recovery has been good with minimal pain about the same as before surgery and swelling. I have read many horror stories on here and was actually scared to have it done so I thought there was a need for the success stories too as any surgery poses risks for loss of ability or no improvement but as I said this is only day 11 I will update you later as to the full outcome.

Oct 20, 2010
lateral release
by: candice

Tammy;

Just want to say good luck and have a speedy recovery. Yes it is frustrating to read all comments, but most are helpful.
However, I was under the impression that I was going to be 100% and that was by my surgeon who reassured me of this. I just seen him last week and he was baffled that I am still not able to put my full weight on my leg . I think he was trying to imply that my physio was the issue which I was taken back with cause he has been incredible and pushes me every visit.
I am now going tomorrow for a cortizone/pain shot that will be put in a differnet area of the knee. He now says I have to much inflammation which at this point I don't think he knows what else to do.
I am over a year now which is frustrating.
Good luck to everyone

Oct 26, 2010
lateral release
by: Vikii

I had a lateral release and was off crutches after 2 days but a year later and i still cannot kneel properly.

Oct 26, 2010
Decision to make
by: Jaime

Ok I went to the orthopedic today. He says both knee caps are out of alignment. He referred me to surgon that I am to see on the 12th of Nov. He said I would probably have to have a lateral release done on both knees. I'm scared! I have a 1yr old and a 2yr old to take care of. Plus I work at a prison. They won't let me return if I have any restrictions. There are stairs to climb and i am on my feet majority of the day. I've read alot of these comments and if any of these outcomes happen to me I will be out a job and unable to spend quality time with my babies. What do I do? So confused!

Oct 27, 2010
JAIME
by: Candice

All I can say is every surgery is different. If you do decide please make sure you do physio and don't stop till your surgeon says so. I am over a year and still recovering, but now starting to feel ok.
I would talk more to the surgeon and get his feedback on what he thinks. In the end it is your decision.
The big key to a good recovery is rest, physio and follow your doctors advice.
As far as your job I would try to talk to someone who can you advice you of your options and in the invent that you don't heal quickly see if they can place you somewhere else until you fully recover.
Good luck if you decide on the procedure and keep us posted on what you decide.

Oct 31, 2010
15 years and counting
by: Anonymous

I had a lateral release done on BOTH knees. Back then it was done with a complete opening of the knee. My knees started disclocating at age 8 and I had the surgery done at 18....best choice ever. I was limited to some activities (skiing was out) but on the whole my quality of life increased exponetially. Don't be afraid to fix it if they need it but DO ALL THE PT.. Without the PT you will never be the same. Do the PT, in office AND AT HOME and you will enjoy good knees for years to come.

Nov 19, 2010
Set to have LR on my Right knee
by: LMO

I am 26 and have had multiple surgeries on my knees for meniscus tears. I have done PT and nothing was getting better, a year ago the tried to get me to do the LR but I was not ready. I am now tired of the pain and going for it. My knees have and always will hurt when it gets rainy. I am more concerned with when I can get back to driveing my job is not close to home. Seeing as it is my right knee that makes a big impact on me. I also work with young children. I can deal with the crutches just concerned about getting to work and PT.

Nov 20, 2010
waiting for LMO's results
by: MMD

LMO - Can't wait to hear about your experience. Have had driving knee problems for five years now, with many different diagnoses from well-respected orthos here in Atlanta. One says small meniscus tear, another says chondromalacia patella, another says IDK. MRIs and x-rays are inconclusive. Can only walk down stairs by leading with bad leg on one step, and then catching up with good leg on the same step. Not much problem walking up stairs in a normal fashion. In fact, walking on incline treadmill or hiking uphill makes knee feel much better for a few hours or day parts. No swelling or locking, just much soreness. Ice does not help, but a hot bath does help. Sitting is often bad, but standing is fine. Have been doing PT for a few months and am not sure it helps much. My surgeon has me weighing the possibility of an exploratory scope and possible debridement and/or LR, since both my kneecaps track poorly, although I don't have any left knee soreness. Not sure I want to risk it getting worse, though, as has happened to others on this forum. I'm 59, and seem to be able to manage by avoiding missionary intercourse (knee is very sore for two days after that) and by talking stairs down in the manner described above. Break a leg with your surgery, and please report on your progress. I'll be listening.

Nov 23, 2010
6 years later
by: Alex

I had a lateral release 6 years ago at the age of 20. I went thru over 2 years of pain and not being able to sleep very well. After my surgery my doctor told me that i had a large amount of calcium buildup in my knee and that was why my knee swelled up so bad- so others rehab time might differ from mine. Anyways i was on crutches for about 3 weeks and returned to running and playing basketball after about 14 weeks. I still have knee pain to this day, but it is much less then it was before the surgery- and i am glad i had the surgery. But im not here to sugarcoat it,The rehab process was pretty brutal and too this day i cant jump like i once could, or squat as long as i once could- it was weird having to adjust and feeling old at such a young age. I am now 26 but my knee has felt much older for years...but as i stated above, my knee feels better than it did before so in all it was the correct choice for me.

Dec 03, 2010
Lateral Release
by: Anonymous

I just had my LR surgery and scope 3 days ago on my right knee. Pain was pretty intense after surgery. Pain was mostly from the right thigh area and pain radiating from knee cap. I barely was able to move my leg enough to get it in the vehicle to go home. I was a little scared thinking what the next day would be. The 2nd day was better. I used my crutches to move around and was able to walk on the leg slightly using the cruthes as support. I had PT today after only 3 days after surgery. PT helped a lot with the steaching but I had lots of swelling. My only problem is I have occuring catching in the knee cap that brings tears to my eyes. I am not sure if this is common or not. I feel better by doing pt exercises but like I said my knee cap catches a lot and makes me stop everything while I deal with pain. I plan on returning to work next week if I can get rid of my crutches.

Dec 13, 2010
6 Months and Still Recovering
by: Anonymous

I had lateral release surgery on my right knee on June 16,2010. It was quite painful but I had the hope and dream of having a "brand new knee". I tried every non invasive therapy before the surgery going the route of anti-inflammatories and physical therapy to no avail. So after the surgery, I completed about 2 months of PT and felt pretty good. Started back riding my bike on flat ground with little pain. I graduated to light jogging but quickly found that I wasnt ready even for a mile on a flat track! As a physical education teacher, I frequently play along with the students to teach them the activity in which we are engaged in. Well, a simple, slow game of racquetball played with a slower tennis ball has proved to be too much for my knee just yet, I guess due to all the lateral movement. Even when I take it easy and do nothing, my knee still hurts! It is rather frustrating and I am trying to give it a full year before I get totally disgusted with my lack of being able to do the things I normally was able to do. I try to do yoga as it is non-pounding for my joints but have to pull back out of some of the positions that compromise my knee. I really should get in the pool and swim so as to put no pressure on the knee joint but I am too impatient to deal with the whole process of swimming! Anyway, from what I have read, this surgery is no joke and I guess it will take time to heal especially as age creeps in as well. I sometimes think I would have been better off if I did not have the surgery. Hopefully time will heal and I will believe that it was the best decision to have the surgery. So think twice to whoever is reading this, if you can withstand the limitations now, then live with it, if not then have the surgery but be prepared for a slow recovery process!

Dec 23, 2010
L/R or Bust
by: Oilfield Trash

I'm 31 years old and not an athlete, but I have my living climbing jumping, walking and occasionally running in mud and over rough terrain. I have dislocated my right patella 7 times since I was 15 years old. I have noticed over the years that it takes longer to recover, and less stress on the knee to dislocate the patella. I very recently disclocated it while at a remote jobsite and made do for 24 hours with an ace bandage wrap. I returned to civilization and immediately went to an urgent care clinic explained the situation and told them that something is different this time. Since then I have had several xrays and talked to 2 General practitioners and one orthopedic surgeon. The issue at hand is that it is 6 days later with no reduction in pain or swelling. The consensus of the doctors is that my right patella remains out of track. I'm in an immobilizer and scheduled for an MRI later today. If offered the surgery I will jump on it because in my mind the risk reward ratio is worth it. I can and will deal with pain. The only reason I bothered seeking medical help at this time is that my patella just wont stay in place and my whole knee is buckling, making it literally impossible for me to perform my normal duties at work. I feel that the L/R surgery offers me the best chance at recovery, so its L/R or bust for me.

Dec 27, 2010
May cancel surgery
by: Becky

I am scheduled to have a LR on Feb. 4, 2010. I am a 50-yr-old woman who teaches Spinning, yoga and muscle conditioning. I have had problems with my patellas for about ten years, and my doc encouraged biomechanical therapy with LR as a last resort. I can deal with pain pretty well, and I work with my knees when they flare up and swell. After reading about the experiences of so many of you, I am considering cancelling my surgery. It sounds like the LR adds more issues than what it takes away! At my age, I want to be able to enjoy teaching my classes for as long as I can, and frankly, I feel that I have adapted to my knee limitations quite well. My doc says that knee replacement is a reality down the road because I have like no cartilage left on one side of my knee. However, I function pretty well on just two Advil before the class where I include squats and lunges in the routine. I feel very badly for those of you who have suffered more due to the LR; I understand the need to move and enjoy our sports. I am getting a second opinion.

Dec 27, 2010
Glad I cancelled LR and debridement surgery
by: MMD

Canceled scheduled LR and patella debridement surgery a few days prior and am SO glad I did, as my condition just wasn't bad enough to risk the complications and recovery, so I recommitted to a rigorous program of PT, which is DEFINITELY paying off. Sixty minutes of stretching and strengthening three times a week for three weeks, plus kinesio taping, manipulation and NO HOT BATHS has really helped. Now that I no longer have the pain I've had for five years, I will continue to stretch and strengthen, adding weights to the exercises, until the knee is strong enough to be able to descend stairs in a normal manner, instead of having to step down with the bad leg, and then catch up on the same step with the good one, for the past five years. Before this, I was doing some mild PT once or twice a week every now and then, but it didn't seem to be helping. But now the program is much more rigorous, and is paying off.

Dec 27, 2010
almost 6 months post op
by: Anonymous

I had a LR on Aug 9, 2010. Overall, my recovery has gone well although I share a lot of the frustrations expressed by others. I expected that after a few months of PT, I would be doing everything I used to do except without the knee pain. This has not been the case but I have made progress and will also wait a full year before I form my conclusion on the benefit of the surgery. I am in my mid 40s and relatively active. I run, spin, do yoga, and weight train regularly. My issue was always with knee pain in climbing stairs as well as squats and lunges. Well, I still have knee pain in climbing stairs and in squats and lunges. However, the misalignment of the patella that was causing the bone erosion has been halted by the LR so there should be no further damage (at least for a while). But, the damage that has been done is still there so the pain remains. My doc didnt explain that so well pre surgery but I get it now. As for my recovery, I started spinning again at 2 months and am now able to do 90 minutes full intensity with nothing worse than a little stiffness at first. I have resumed running although am building distance and speed slowly and carefully. I am up to about five miles with only mild discomfort. Yoga seems to be helping a lot although I cant do all positions but I am able to do more today than I could last month so that is progress. Single leg squats still hurt like hell. I do my PT excercises and work my quads like crazy to get that strength back but not sure I will ever be able to do them without pain. Double knee squats are doing pretty well. I do a bunch of these on uneven surfaces like a bosu and its really helped. If you have surgery, ask your doc for a thermal cooling machine. My surgeon never mentioned it and I had a lot of swelling. My son just had an ACL repair and his doc told us to get one (ins doesnt cover) and its been awesome at keeping swelling down and discomfort down. Good Luck

Dec 29, 2010
appreciate your responses to my comment on 12/27
by: Becky

I have an appointment with my doc next month to talk about either cancelling the 2/4 surgery or moving it to summer (I am a teacher). I like my doc and I want to give him a chance to address my questions. I found out about three people in my town who have had the LR and they regret it.

MMD: Wow, I feel better about questioning my surgery after reading about your decision to cancel. Surgery is so invasive, but it is done so much these days--like an assembly line it seems. I will ask my doc if he feels that LR will help me progress, or if it is just a lateral move (no pun intended).

Almost 6 Months: I appreciate your detailed response about your LR. It gave me much food for thought. I really hope that your knees continue to improve. Thanks for the scoop about the ice machine. My husband used it last year for shoulder surgery, and it was great for him. I am looking for alternative ways to work the quads, hams and glutes so I that I don't rely so much on squats and lunges--although I still love to do them. I am very impressed that you run and do split squats. Keep hanging tough.

I have increased my yoga... it helps. Also, ladies: High heels aggravate the knees like crazy. I don't go higher than an inch.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences!



Dec 30, 2010
6 months from LR
by: John

I posted a few months ago. I had an LR on mine right knee on 25/jun, six months ago.
After 40 PT sessions I started going to gym to strech and strenght the whole leg, specially cuadriceps.
I had tough times were I was a bit dissapointed with the progress but finally after 4 months I started feeling better.
I go to a gym 3 times a week for about 90 minutes and make a lot of exercises. I've found the real progress when I started doing more press and squats exercises than leg extension.
Now I'm able to play soccer again, not yet as before. I try to run in soft surfaces twice a week as well.
I'm about 80% percent ready. Neither this I think that I should had avoid the surgery because my left knee, that has the same problem, had improved with this rigorous routine.

Dec 30, 2010
6 months from LR
by: John

I posted a few months ago. I had an LR on mine right knee on 25/jun, six months ago.
After 40 PT sessions I started going to gym to strech and strenght the whole leg, specially cuadriceps.
I had tough times were I was a bit dissapointed with the progress but finally after 4 months I started feeling better.
I go to a gym 3 times a week for about 90 minutes and make a lot of exercises. I've found the real progress when I started doing more press and squats exercises than leg extension.
Now I'm able to play soccer again, not yet as before. I try to run in soft surfaces twice a week as well.
I'm about 80% percent ready. Neither this I think that I should had avoid the surgery because my left knee, that has the same problem, had improved with this rigorous routine.

Jan 04, 2011
LR
by: Anonymous

I had my Lr on dec 21st, and don't have crutches just a big brace from ankle to thigh keeping leg straight. I say it's a great choice to get it since I've tried exercise,brace to keep patella in place nothing seemed to work. I no longer feel the aching and pain in my knee :) it's been 2 weeks since op. No longer wearing brace after got stitches out, still have issues walking due to leg giving out, but it will take time with Pt to strengthen my quads. Already can bend knee 90 degrees, but I only bend till I feel pain. Not sure how long recovery will take but I'll see as each day goes by ^.^

Jan 10, 2011
follow up
by: candice

I am seeing my doctor again today to tell him nothing has changed for the better with my knee since my procedure (lr) Oct 2/09.
I am beyond frustrated. I am 40 and am limited with what I can do. I dread goig anywhere that has stairs because I can no longer walk upstairs with out struggling. It is a very painful experience to use stairs.
I am off to Mexico this weekend and do alot of hiking which now will be limited. My doctors advice was to wear my brace. I was told my surgery was suppose to be a success. The pain I was feeling was suppose to be gone within a year. I recently attended a hockey game and almost face planted the stairs because my leg gave out without warning, a common occurance. I was lucky I was able to grab my husbands collar of his coat to break my fall.
My advice is to get a second opinion which is what I will be doing when I return to see if it can be fixed.
I would have NEVER went ahead with this procedure if I know how much it is affecting my life now. Just the thought of knowing that if it doesn't improve and I have no choice , but to live with this pain daily makes me sick to my stomach. I did everything right from recovery to physio. I have been back to the gym and can't lift my leg up with the leg machine with 3pds. I have been doing the leg press, but seen a post about doing squats which at this point I will try anything if it helps.
Just trying real hard to be positive and I keep telling myself I just need more time.

Jan 13, 2011
Left Knee Lateral Release
by: Anonymous

I'm 36 yrs old, I had a left LR on Nov. 22. I must say it's not what I expected. I was told the recovery would be 8 to 12 weeks & could walk on it same day of surgery if I felt up to it. It will be 8 weeks in a few days since surgery & I still can't walk, I'm on 2 crutches. I had NWB for the first 3 to 4 weeks. I started physio 2 weeks after surgery. It is helping but progress is really slow. My quad is really weak, I still can't do straight leg lifts alone, which apparently is a major milestone. I have to use a shower chair because I can't stand for long periods of time. Also when water hits the swollen knee it makes it feels like it is ten times bigger. The swelling still hasn't gone completely down. The 1st few weeks the swelling was awful and I iced all throughout the day and kept it elevated. For the 1st 2 weeks I had to have someone help me lift my leg to get out of bed.(I'm 135lbs and 5'6", not big at all). My kneecap has slipped out of place a few times, first time was the week after surgery...the pain was awful. Walking with crutches for more than 10 mins makes my knee swell even more and it feels really tight, it is not stable at all. I have to use one crutch and use the handle on the staircase to pull myself up the steps. I can't do anything for myself, I still can't drive, I can't cook because it requires me to be on my feet for more than ten minutes. My ROM at 7 weeks is 95. It's hard resting at night, the first few nights were the worst, I practically had to sleep sitting up. Now it's just more so uncomfortable because of the sharp shooting pains I get and the aches and pains in my knee. This has truly been frustrating. I just pray that in the end all of this would have been worth it. I'm going to pt 3 times a week and it does seem to help but again its just slow progress and the only explanation I've gotten from my ortho is that I'm at the age where quads start to get weak which is hindering my progress, along with the swelling. As long as there is swelling the quads have a hard time working...he didn't tell me any of this before the surgery. All he said is to work harder...which I've been doing at home and at pt. Keep in mind this is not just a physical process, it's an emotional one as well. People take their limbs for granted but I realize its hard to do anything if I can't walk. I've never posted anything online but reading posts have helped me to get through my experience, I hope mine can help someone make the right decision about the surgery. Be sure to get all of the facts up front. The worst part of my healing process is that I can't get straight answers out of my ortho. I really want to know at this point was anything else done during surgery because at 8 weeks out I should be on at least one crutch, if that & FWB, but that simply isn't the case. Also try ACE bandage, it helps to keep knee in place and helps with swelling.

Jan 13, 2011
Took 3 months to be close to 100%
by: R Foster

I'm a 47 year old male and had a LR performed on my left knee on 9/2/10. I started doing ankle flexes and leg muscle contractions the next day and my muscles didn't atrophy much at all. The first few days were rough but some of it was my own fault for being on my leg too much. I started riding a stationary bike on day 5 after surgery but I couldn't actually pedal all the way around until day 7. After 2 weeks I could ride the stationary bike for 30 minutes or the elliptical for 20 minutes. After 2 months I could jog slowly. Three months after surgery on 12/3/10 I was skiing and skiing hard zipper-lining the moguls. My knee sometimes gets a bit sore after a full day of skiing but my other knee gets sore as well. I'm glad I had it done as I had a hard time walking and couldn't even play golf for 4 months prior to the surgery.

Jan 14, 2011
7 months later...
by: Peg

To the 36 year old who had surgery on Nov 22, I sympathize with you and your frustration. I, too have never posted anything until I found this site as my condition is very frustrating as well. I posted by Anonymous back in Dec with the title of 6 Months and Still Recovering. Well, now it has been 7 months and I made another appointment to see my surgeon as a follow up. I am not sure what he will tell me but it took me a while to make this appointment because I was actually mad at him for not clueing me into all of the recovery time this surgery involves. It seems that I built up enough strength to do Spin a couple of times a week but can't do it 2 days in a row without pain afterward. The pain at night can be intense. The only thing I can tell you is the same thing that I need to believe myself: Have Patience! It sounds though as if you have had more than just the LR. I had the LR and some removal of cartilage under the patella. Everyone's case is a bit different as different things are usually taken care of while they are in there and you are under the knife. It is highly frustrating to not be able to do daily tasks including cooking, laundry and climbing stairs but I can do those things now. Although, sometimes, even when I do nothing, my knee hurts. I am hoping again that with time, things will repair itself but my confidence is waning. I have found that the only exercise that does not cost me any real pain is swimming. I really cant stand the whole process that comes with getting in and out of the pool and the whole deal but I made a resolution to swim at least once a week. I use flippers and a kickboard to warm up and then shed them. I am now progressing to twice a week along with my spin classes. Yoga is sporadic as it sometimes causes me pain with the lunge positions involved. I had to give up my strength training class as it was too many lunges. Once again, I am giving myself 1 year before I make a judgement as to whether or not this surgery was useful or actually harmful to me. I am approaching 49 years old this year so maybe age is a factor as well.
Things should get better for you but you might consider a second opinion by visiting another doctor with your surgery details.
Hang in there, some progress should be coming your way!

Jan 14, 2011
Response to Peg
by: Anonymous

Thank you so much for the encouraging words. I look so forward to simply walking again. I wish I was more informed before the surgery but sites like these truly have been helping me to get through and to get a better understanding of the healing process. I wish you much success with your continued recovery. Michelle

Jan 15, 2011
wow...
by:

Had I read all of these comments prior to my LR surgery last week -- I would have cancelled. But I am so glad that I didn't do the research. I had my LR 9 days ago and feel great. I was not an athlete by any means prior to my injury. The amount of pain I had in the two days following surgery was exactly what my surgeon told me to expect -- but completely tolerable with medication. He stressed staying OFF the knee for the first week even when the pain meds masked the pain. Continually icing, elevating and doing the stretching exercising as often as possible seem to have helped. I am walking without crutches and am able to almost fully bend my knee and can fully extend my leg without pain. I feel better each day but am paying close attention to how I feel after walking a bit and continue with icing. Looking forward to returning to work after missing only 7 days (had been told to anticipate two weeks off). Each case is different and I feel fortunate to have what I believe is a successful LR. Good luck to you!

Feb 02, 2011
Lateral Release and Recovery
by: Kris

I had a lateral release and chondroplasty on 12/29/10 after 8 months of conservative treatment with therapy, cortisone, bracing, Synvisc, etc. I am a runner and one day while training I fell with a severe pain in my heel, plantar fascitis. The Ortho noticed the swelling in my right knee and after a series of manual manipulations, sent me for an XRAY and an M.R.I. which confirmed a severe lateral patellar tilt, osteoarthritis, and chondromalacia. I did read many of the posts, virtually all of them negative, prior to surgery and this only served to scare me even more. Having had this procedure I will attest that is difficult and the recovery time is extremely long. You really have to be able to commit to your post surgical rehab, rest, and icing for this to be a success. On my initial post-op appt about a week after surgery, my right quad (this is the side that had the surgery) was almost 2 cm smaller than the left. Up until the day prior to surgery, I was still cycling and lifting weights. Yesterday they took new measurements and the deficit is less than 2 mm. They indicated they would be comfortable discharging me from Rehab and state my recovery has been amazing. I just wanted to post that this surgery should not be taken lightly but for the right patient with the right tilt-it can be an imperative. Looking forward to running again although I know that is a few months out.

Feb 16, 2011
Trying to get better
by: Anonymous

I had surgery on my right knee.
Feb 8 2011.
Still lots of pain.Trying to sleep is the biggest
problem.Ice and keeping my leg up is good.
I'm having pt 2x A week.Doing my exercise 3x a day.
Very difficult to do day to day things,Hope it gets better.
Thanks Ray M

Feb 19, 2011
LITTLE BROTHER HITS KNEE AFTER LR
by: Auggie

I had LR 3 weeks ago and up until last sunday I could bend my leg 90 degrees. Which was awesome because before the surgery I couldnt bend it at all. Well last sunday my younger brother came running into my room and his knee hit my knee cap and pushed it off track this was very very painful! I went to PT on Tuesday and couldnt bend my leg, now they have me going back to my doctor next wednesday and I dont know what he is going to do! I get my license in 2 months.... What should I do?

Feb 28, 2011
2nd opinion
by: candice

I am now awaiting a second opinion to see why my LT went wrong. I am in 24/7 pain after have my procedure 16 months ago. He has no clue what went wrong and now I have to travel just under 2 hours to another othropedic surgeon to see if he can help me. I am scheduled for a bone scan and mri to see what they can find. Needless to say I am very frustrated and know that this isn't good at all for me. Not only am I not able to walk up or downstairs my knee gives at any time without warning. I have fallen downstairs and am now afraid to go up or downstairs. I hope they can fix my knee, but am not too positive.. When your surgeon tells you he has never seen this before and has no answers is scary.
I am being refered to th e Fowler Kennedy clinic. In the mean time I try to deal with the constant pain and sleepless nights. You really learn to appreciate being able to walk without pain. I would have never done this procedure if I knew I would never be able to walk properly again. When you are left with no answers it leaves you very vulnerable.
I pray it can be fixed.

Feb 28, 2011
You are not alone
by: Bethyrocky

Candice - I hope everything works out for you! It breaks my heart to read your struggles (and everyone else on here). Please keep me informed on your progress and upcoming prognosis.

To everyone - I think any knee surgery is just a big reality check. And its a constant reminder to be patient with the process and letting your body heal...i know that is something i have to do. BUT, at the same time, its important we educate ourself about whats going to happen and possible complications. Its upsetting knowing some doctors don't do that or how we, as patients, have to push to get the information. If anything, my experiences with my surgeries and the medical experts, has caused me to be more direct and blunt when it comes to answers. Sadly, sometimes it has to be that way.

I had LR done December 2010. My patella apparently was considered at a Grade 3 level so they had to shave a good chunk of it to smooth it out. Prior to this surgery, I had an ACL reconstruction done on the same knee on August 2010. They used my own patellar tendon to make the new ACL. I was working hard to come back from the ACL injury when i noticed the new pain...eventually leading to the LR surgery. It was upsetting knowing recovery from the ACL surgery would take anywhere from 6 months to a year....but, after reading some comments on here, its a bit disheartening hearing the LR surgery also has about the same recovery time. BUT....I'm not going to let that get me down. I will keep trying to do my best and advocate for myself. I have my days when i'm upset my ROM is still taking time to get there....or when i can't go up the stairs like i used to....or the pain i still feel just trying to get up. It sucks but i try to tell myself it could always be worse...To all those on here, a prayer is being sent your way. Thank you for sharing your stories...its helpful knowing I am not alone.

Mar 09, 2011
Lateral Release (both knees)
by: Vicki

I had a Lateral release and clean up and some grounding down of bone on both my knees on Feb 3 2011 (nearly 5 weeks ago). The Dr has told me that my knee caps are some of the worst he has ever seen and I will require a partial replacement at some time in the future. I have had most difficulty with stairs and a general feeling of not being able to trust my knees at all, they feel as if they may give way at any moment, and have done a few times. After reading most of these comments I feel as though I am one of the lucky ones. I was walking after surgery and didn’t seem to require the use of walking aids but it was a struggle for a while. I have been seeing a physio and doing quad Strengthening excursuses and also massaging the knees seems to help. I don’t really suffer from pain as such, more of a tightness and weakness. I am 40 and a single mum and my biggest concern is getting back to work as I work in retail and it can be very demanding on my knees. As many others on here I also feel I was not informed fully of the recovery and its effects, I was told to have at least 3 weeks off work and that I would probably only need 2 but have three to make sure, It is now 5 weeks later and I am in no way ready to return and not returning until April.

I want to say thankyou to all that commented it has been helpful to me. I also want to say to all to be strong and keep positive.

Mar 24, 2011
Arthroscopy and Lateral Release
by: Andrew

Last Thursday I had the second l/r and arthroscopy on my left knee.

Some 20 years ago I had the same operation done on my right knee and since then have had no further problems with that leg.My Left knee has been a different story and I had the first bought of surgery on that about 15 years ago.Since then I have had nothing but problems with knee locking/giving way and constant pain.

I was quite concerend having my Left knee done for the second time but so far my fears have been misplaced.I was able to walk out of the hospital last Thursday albeit with the assitance of crutches.That same night I managed to walk up the stairs to bed albeit 1 leg at a time.

Since then my recovery has been quite dramatic and only 7 days after surgery I am able to walk up and down the stairs quite normally albeit slightly slowly.I have very little pain and have not touched the crutches since that first day and am hoping to go for a walk tomorrow along the sea front.I have followed the exercises for my rehab to the letter given to me by the hospital and I have tried to give my body adequate rest so I can make a full and quick recovery.

I cannot remember the recovery time from the last time of surgery,but I do feel things have moved on over the years and I hope this will continue.I think the art of all of this surgery is to ensure you do adequate exercises upon release from hospital and I will continue.

Mar 30, 2011
lateral release!
by: Giovanni Orlandini

i had a lateral release with dr. jhon uribe on my right knee 5 years ago. it was really painfull and the swelling was really impressive but now a days i dont feel the inestability and the sensation of not doing something becuase i didnt wand to dislocate my knee. it is really painfull but it is totally worth it. you have to be responsible during recovery time. it is extremely important to exercise once the doctor tells you to do it. what really sucks for me is that i have to get surgery on my left knee as well, but still, im going for it. i am a surfer and the only reason why i want to do it again is beacuse now i feel that my left is stopping me from surfing becuase it can dislocate at any time and i hate to feel that. i now i am not gonna be able to surf for over 10 months but i think it is totally worth it. i have been surfing with a excellent knee wich is my right knee (operated knee)and with a bad one (left knee) and my operated knee responds incredible in the water so that is my motivation to go for it.

Apr 17, 2011
last min questions
by: Shan

Hi, id appreciate responses asap. I get a left knee le tomorrow. Im most nervous about the restrictions cause its the end of my senior year. Im hoping it'll be a fast recovery though, since im only 18 and an athlete. Were you guys told to stop using crutches when you felt up to it? And whoever had their left knee done, did they tell you not to drive, or could you as soon as you felt up to it?

Apr 18, 2011
No Real Driving Restrictions
by: R Foster

My Dr. said not to drive while I was on pain medication but other than that no restrictions. He said to stay off of it for 2 days then I could start walking around. I was on crutches for about a week and began riding a stationary bike 5 days after the surgery. I could do most anything after 60 days including jogging and playing golf. I waited 90 days before I went skiing. Just be agressive in the rehab. Good luck.

May 11, 2011
Modified lateral release
by: Pat

Have grade 4 arthritis and trying to postpone TKN at age 53. Had surgery 9 days ago. It hurt some the first few days. Not much now. Taking occasional tylenol. Lots of swelling still. Using ice often. Still using crutches but more weight bearing. I did cpm machine and ice right away. I'm at 0 extension and 120 flexion, which is better than the 2 wk goal of 0/90. I just wanted to thank you for your posts, which I read before surgery. Sorry to hear of prolonged struggle for many. Made me apprehensive but I didn't cancel. It's a positive experience so far.

May 12, 2011
Medial Release Recovery
by: Anonymous

I went into surgery yesterday thinking I was only having a synovectomy (clean out the scar tissue). when I got in the recovery room they told me that I needed a medial release which is not common. I don't know what to expect from the recovery. can anyone help me?

May 16, 2011
help
by: Anonymous

i had a lr 13months ago and my walking is still very bad does it get any better. my doctor doesn't say anything please write back thank u xxx

May 17, 2011
how long
by: Anonymous

can anyone please tell me how long it took for there walking to get better its been 13 months since i had lateral release i still cant bend my leg or walk right. its starting to get me very down my doctor said id never get up and down the stairs on my leg again i couldn't belive it. if anybody has any tips please let me know :)

May 17, 2011
Response to walking
by: Anonymous

You may want to talk to another doctor. I am sure everyone is different, but I had surgury in Sept 2010 and since then I skied (hard) 24 days and have ran and played soccer. Soccer is the toughest on me as my knee may be a bit sore afterward but it doesn't hamper my play.

May 17, 2011
9 months post op
by: Anonymous

My LR was in Aug 2010 so 9 months ago. I am pretty much back to being able to doing everything I did before, although I still have some pain doing things. I can run, cycle, climb stairs, lift weights, etc. I still have stiffness and discomfort when I run. I still have pain going up and down stairs or lunging and squating. Its the same pain I had before the surgery but I am hoping the surgery means its not going to get worse. I know several people have asked if it ever gets better and I wanted to give you some positive encouragement. I did PT for months and still work my quads regularly in the gym but I am back to being fully functional.

May 20, 2011
Is my doctor a liar?
by: Natasha

I just saw a orthopedic surgeon yesterday because I am having inner knee pain after running outside on cement rather than a treadmill. One doctor told me it was a meniscal tear and I would need surgery to repair. Second MD states it is plica syndrome-which also requires surgical repair. I have had tilted knee caps for years, but it has also been about 20 years since my knee when out of place. I sprained this same knee last year and now have the plica thing. When my knee is injured if FEELS like it is going to go out of place, which is gross. So the MD looked at my x-rays and told me that I should get a lateral release at the same time I get the plica repaired. He states that if I don't get the release I will just continue to have more and more knee problems the older I get. I figure i have known for about 20 years I had the problem and if I am going to have surgery I might as well fix everything all at once. HERE IS WHAT I AM WONDERING ABOUT!!!!! HE TOLD ME THAT BOTH SURGERIES WOUDL BE DONE VIA SCOPE AND THAT I WOULD WALK OUT OF THE SURGICAL CENTER NEEDING NO CRUTCHES, NO BRACE, NO PHYSICAL THERAPY AND WOULD BE ABLE TO RUN IN 3 WEEKS. Now after reading all of these comments I feel like he is either a MIRACLE WORKER or a HUGE LIAR!!! The day my appointment I asked the MA how long I would be in pain and needing medication and she said that they really don't like their patients to take pain meds for more than a day or two. So here I was thinking I would have surgery Friday and be able to go to the town fair the next day and on the following Monday I would be driving my kids to gymnastics and swim lessons. Have any of you had an experience where you recovered that fast?

May 22, 2011
LR recovery time - realistic expectations
by: Pat

I think it's fine to do multiple 'fixes' once the scope instruments are inserted. Better to get it all done at once.
As for walking out of surgery, full weight bearing is _possible_ but not advised. Let the swelling and pain subside. Surgery is a trauma to the joint, so let it have a chance to rest.
I was driving ten days after my LR and entirely off crutches after 2wks. I took my time. It'll be three weeks tomorrow. Some swelling especially where instruments were instead, which is common. Need to get quad strength back, as others have noted. May do LR on other knee but not until 6 to 8 wks after the first one. I have grade 4 arthritis so some pain / swelling is a constant in both knees. I am not ready for knee replacements after years of being a dedicated runner, and i prefer to live with it. Here's the goal: The LR procedure reduces the patellar tilt which should reduce pain but realistically can't eliminate it. My advice: Don't run. Find other options. No one will tell you but the truth is these parts wear out!

May 23, 2011
exercise
by: anna

hi everyone i had a LT 12 months ago had pt once a month for 15 minutes they done nothing has anybody got any good exercise that would help i have a lot of pain in both legs but got the LR on my right leg thank you for your help :)

May 23, 2011
Pete
by: Anonymous

Just to let everybody know, there is hope. Last July I had a lateral release on both knees. I started training properly(cycling) again this january and I'm now at a high level of fitness and competing is road races and time trials. There is still some knee pain yes, it is something that has to be managed, and more than likely will have to be forever, but it ain't slowing me down.


Keep up those exercises and your determination - you will pull through!

May 24, 2011
hi pete
by: Anonymous

hi pete i was just woundering what exercise you do and how much. thanks for writting back

May 26, 2011
...
by: pete

I started with all the physio exercises until I got back onto the bike, then focused on that.

Being tentative with the exercises and getting back on the bike didn't seem to work for me....it was all about pushing the knee a bit, then recover, push, recover etc. Obviously didn't push them too much though

I ride anywhere up to 5 or 6 times a week at the moment, 2 of these being races and a couple of others being hard rides

Best of luck with your recovery

May 27, 2011
thank you
by: anna

thanks very much for writing back i was getting very worried because it was taking so long but i will keep at it thank you so much xxx

Jun 03, 2011
Lateral release - so far so good!
by: Flycmk

I had chondroplasty (2nd time on this knee) and lateral release exactly 8 weeks ago. I was off crutches completely in 10 days and started physical therapy at day 10. I had a great PT and worked hard at home to do all exercises. I was released from PT after 5 weeks and soon after I had no pain when standing up from seated position. I started going to the gym when PT ended and just in two weeks I am doing 175 lb leg presses and riding recumbent bike for 45-60 min a day up to a resistance level of 10 and NO PAIN! I'm going to try to keep myself from running because even after the first surgery 5 years ago doc said I shouldn't anymore. I just wanted to share what I consider a success story because there are so many negative stories out there that it might scare good candidates away from the surgery. I do believe that starting physical therapy very quickly and working your tail off to build strength makes a difference. Good luck to all of you who are considerin or recovering from lateral release!

Jun 10, 2011
Feel MUCH better after release!
by: Jon

I had a lateral release about a year and a half ago. I don't regret it at all. I wasn't able to bend my knee and moving it hurt terribly before the surgery. Since having surgery, I had PT about a week after and went 30 minutes 3 times a week. The recovery seemed very slow, but the results were well worth it. It did take me almost a year to get back 100% but I got there. The big thing I think is getting PT right away after surgery otherwise you lose more and more muscle mass that you have to regain later. Hard work of PT I think leads to a quicker recovery.

Jun 24, 2011
Lateral Release
by: jenseleg

I had a lateral release 10 weeks ago and am just now feeling back to normal. PT has been a life saver as my Dr. Seemed to think I would recover in 6 weeks with no problems...Still have significant swelling but I think the surgery was worth it to avoid patella dislocation. I just wish I would have had a clearer picture of how long recovery would take. I can't even imagine running yet.

Jul 01, 2011
Lateral Release, Medial Plication, and Arthroscopic Knee Surgery
by: Anonymous

I had these three procedures done a little over two weeks ago and I am already feeling great. I have been weight bearing and walking since the second day after surgery. I never had to use crutches. I am starting physical therapy this week and the only problem is that it is difficult to sit normally because of the locked brace, so it is hard to do some normal things such as attending baseball games, etc.

Jul 05, 2011
Lateral Release surgery
by: Anonymous

I had Lateral release surgery 2 1/2 weeks ago on my left knee. I had the Surgery on the thursday and went back to work on the Monday. I used the 2 crutches for 5 days and was told to put weight on it from day 1,(DR Started bending leg at post op appt less than 12 hrs after surgery) but it was day 3 when I could really put weight on it. I did use 1 crutch for a further 3 days just when I was walking a long distances.

I started PT a week after surgery. I already have full movement back in my knee but it does hurt to bend but I'm working though it. I did stairs for the first time 1 1/2 weeks after surgery and as long as i held on to both rails and helped pull me up, I was fine. I moved back home yesterday and was able to walk up and down 6 without holding on as long as I took my time. It ached more than hurt. I am still on NSAID's as my knee is still swollen and aches if I do to much. I was only on codeine for 6 days.

Before the surgery I was sleeping with my leg on a pillow and have slept extremely well since doing the same. Also everytime i sat down at work and home I had my leg elevated, which has helped with swelling. All my incisions are full healed I did have to put a butterfly stitch on one to help close the top as it was healing in a v shape. which i took of today.

I worked on my gait at PT last thursday and have been trying since to walk that way. Its hard but I am walking better sic the surgery than I have been for months.

Aug 31, 2011
FRUSTRATED
by: Stephanie

I injured my knee coming off a ladder at work - Injury was 11/22/10 - Went to workmans comp doctor 2/11/11 - I had xray and all was well - Had MRI and came back an area in inconclusive - WC doctor decided to go in orthoscopic and check my meniscus on 4/4/2011 - I was off 4 weeks prior to surgery because of inner knee pain - Woke up in recovery and was told I had a lateral release - No issue with meniscus - Started therapy 2 weeks after therapy - WC stopped all therapy and released me to go back to work on 5/27/11 - I have more problems now than before surgery and still have the same problems as I did before surgery - I have been going to a therapist (now past my 90 with WC & can seek my own treatment) that is doing the graston technique - This is a therapy that breaks down all the scar tissue which is a problem with the lateral releases - Very painful but has been helping - With my laterial release, the WC doctor did not move my shin bone to meet up with my knee cap - I have a 1" gap - My muscles from my hip down to ankle are fighting each other - Outer muscle is fighting to push the shin bone and knee in its original position and the inner muscle is trying to keep the knee in the new position and pull over the skin bone - Very painful - The graston technique is also helping this - Therapist said it will be about 1 year of this technique to get my shin muscle and knee to meet up - My knee had been on a tilt for 43 years - I never had knee pain before surgery - My knee cap hurts, nights are horrible, and I am limited to what I can and can not due - I went in for a meniscus repair and came out with a laterial release - How does this happen - I have seeked legal advice for malpractice but everyone is saying it is very hard to prove and expensive even though my before MRI and exray showed my knee was unremarkable and had no apparent issues - After seeking second opinion, found out therapy would have resolved original injury - FRUSTRATED!

Sep 16, 2011
Lateral Release -keys to recovery
by: Tom

I had arthroscopic surgery on 8-23-11 to remove bone debris, ie 12mm x 14mm x 5mm piece of patella, clean up some arthritis and a lateral release on left knee. I'm 58 and fairly active... knee had ballooned after running and stayed swollen for 2 months...I finally talked to a DR and the MRI revealed "bone debris" and surgery was scheduled. I went back to work the next day, on my feet some....definitely swollen and hurt but knowing the more I pushed the PT and actually walking on it helped me recover. MUST do the PT!! MUST push yourself to do the normal activities, walk, stairs, get up and down in chairs, etc. My knee still has some swelling and I can't run yet...
but have played 2 rounds of golf and walk with wife 2 miles every evening. After 3 weeks I'm happy with my recovery progress....You do lose your muscle tone quickly....I had lost quite a bit during the 60 days of limping around prior to my surgery....MUST DO THE PT after surgery!!!

Sep 24, 2011
up and walking
by: Erin

I had a lateral release done 4 days ago and started physical therapy yesterday. I am not using crutches and I only have a very slight limp when I walk. The PT gave me at home exercises to do on days I am not at therapy, and I will say they get easier each and every time I do them. After reading all of the lateral release horror stories, I was very nervous about the procedure. But obviously the outcome is different with each person. I personally have not had any trouble. Ive also only take 4 pain pills since the surgery, and an anti-inflammatory (celebrex) daily.

Sep 29, 2011
Very happy with results
by: Anonymous

I'm 34 years old and have had a LR done on my left knee 8 years ago. I was back to work in 2.5 months. The knee felt great. 3 years ago I was hurt at work. (I work as an correction officer in a maximum level 5 prison) I had to have knee surgery on that same knee 2 times now. Up until the injury the LR did me wonders. I'm looking at having to have the other knee done now. Advice: make sure you do the pt and excise it at home as well. Good luck to all of you.

Oct 11, 2011
No Change !!!
by: Anonymous

I had Lateral Release surgery in August of 2011 . I had the procedure done to correct the tracking of my kneecap . I was doing PT 2 wks after the surgery . Now I am 8 wks out of surgery and my kneecap still doesn't seem to be tracking right . The doc seems to think it is weak/atrophied muscles causing my problems now . I'm not sure if that is the problem . My knee still feels the same as it did before I had the surgery done . Did I waste my time and money getting the procedure done . I sitll have not returned to work , my job requires me being on my feet walking all day and heavy lifting and pushing ...... Does anyone have any advie for me ......

Nov 05, 2011
What's up with my knees!!
by: Anonymous

I had an LR on my right knee 16 months ago (also have the some problem with the left one)
After 6 months of physio I started playing soccer and other sports.
I continued going to the gym 3 times per week for 10 months.

Although now I can do sport(soccer 2/3 tpw) the knee is still not tracking well. I had an RX this week and it seems to a only a "bit better" than before... I'm very dissapointed and worried about what is going to happen.
Now I have to start gym again and change the shoe's templates.

Dec 03, 2011
Getting lateral release NEW
by: Anonymous

Hi I am 20 year old female and scheuled for a lateral release on my right knee after partially dislocating it last year had a MRI scan which showed no damage just a slight tilt. Have done 6 months of intense physio which didn't help at all expierence alot of pain when sitting and walking what should I expect from lateral release really nervous with reading lots of bad have good and bad days with my knee feel surgery is the next step

Dec 10, 2011
lateral release NEW
by: Anonymous

I had a lateral release on Nov. 16th and was able to bare weight the next day and started bending my knee as well. only used crutches for a day or 2. did ice it every time i was sitting and kept it elevated. 2 weeks after surgery i was in disney world walking around. I had a great surgeon and it is now i am back at work and doing great. i still will ice at night but all is good.

Dec 11, 2011
LRR Left Knee NEW
by: Charlotte

I am an athlete, so I have been pretty tough on my body. I had an ACL done in Feb 2010; Menisectomy in Sept 2010 and then after moving to a new doctor we did the release - I encouraged the release. Like my other surgerys, I used Crutches for two days and only because I needed the Post Surgery Drain. I was rehabing ASAP. I went into PT twice and now am on my own. I do SLRs Religiously, they are the key too all the recovery. When I read other Posts on here, it sounds like people had the surgery and then figured the surgery solves the problem -WRONG. You have to work had at Rehab. Period. I travel for work so I bring therabands with me. I have Wraps so I can ice in the hotel and I dont let the time waste away. I am not 7 weeks post op, and yes I still have swelling. BUT I am at full range of motion and am doing week 10 exercise now. I am pleased. Best decision for me- But of course, I didnt wait 4 months to rehab like on person did... If you do the work in rehab- this surgery will work for you... If you dont-- then YEAH this surgery will suck if you are Lazy!

Dec 27, 2011
Lateral Release knee NEW
by: suz wychules

I had a Lateral Release of my Left Knee and the removal of my bursa in Oct. 2011. It has been 2 3/4 months since my surgery. I was on crutches for 4 weeks and alot of fluid build-up with alot of swelling. I had to have my knee drained several times. I have been going to PT and that really has not been helping. This surgery is the 3rd time for this type of surgery and it has been the hardest. Still not able to go up and down the stairs. My dr. says it may take 6 months to a year for this to heal. I can start riding my bike and going to the pool starting in Jan 2012. I hope this will make my recovery alot faster. This in not a fast process I think that I am finally starting to beleive it.

Dec 31, 2011
lat rel NEW
by: Anonymous

I had lr Dec 2 2011. Walked right away. Never needed crutches until Christmas Day. Woke up and could not bear wt. Elevated iced and ace erspped it and was able to hobble around. Started quad sets on day 1 and progressed from there. Started therapy 12 days out. Have good and bad days. Recovery time is longer than expected. Time and keeping swelling down is key.

.

Dec 31, 2011
lat rel NEW
by: Anonymous

I had lr Dec 2 2011. Walked right away. Never needed crutches until Christmas Day. Woke up and could not bear wt. Elevated iced and ace erspped it and was able to hobble around. Started quad sets on day 1 and progressed from there. Started therapy 12 days out. Have good and bad days. Recovery time is longer than expected. Time and keeping swelling down is key.

.

Dec 31, 2011
lat rel NEW
by: Anonymous

I had lr Dec 2 2011. Walked right away. Never needed crutches until Christmas Day. Woke up and could not bear wt. Elevated iced and ace erspped it and was able to hobble around. Started quad sets on day 1 and progressed from there. Started therapy 12 days out. Have good and bad days. Recovery time is longer than expected. Time and keeping swelling down is key.

.

Jan 06, 2012
lateral Release done March 2010 still not right NEW
by: Anonymous

I had a lateral release done March 2010. I had battles with tendonitis since, bursitis, and have been in and out of physical therapy since surgery. It is January 2012! I wish I would have never had this surgery. Now my knee feels much better but all the muscles from my hips down are just not working right. I have done everything! I am experiencing tight muscles from my hip abductor down through the hamstring/quad and upper calf. If these could relax and strengthen I would not have any issues.. Any suggestions? I have tried SO much!! biggest thing is I can't walk too far without feeling tight leg muscles which I know is putting strain on the knee. SUGGESTIONS???? I will take anything! I am getting ready to start Bee Venom Therapy!

Feb 06, 2012
lateral release recovery NEW
by: Melissa

I had a meniscus repair and a lateral release on 1/30/12. I used an immobilizer for 2 days, the knee wrap for three and returned to work 3 days after surgery. There is still a little bit of pain and I walk with a slight limp but I don't think it will last. I'm determined and do my PT as instructed, I started PT the day after surgery. I was discouraged in my recovery until I read all the comments.

Feb 11, 2012
Bi lateral releases NEW
by: Joni

Had bi lateral releases w cartlidge removal on both. I walked out of hospital and back at the gym. I am using the rower and walking w 25 lb kettle bells on my gait. Just a bit of swelling. I am doing great. I am 50 yr old female w 6 previous knee surgeries. I am chomping at the bit to get back to my CrossFit workouts!!!!

Mar 28, 2012
IT WILL BE OKAY NEW
by: Colleen

I am 18 and had my LR exactly a week ago. The surgery was super quick, took 45 minutes tops. My doctor gave me Oxycontin to take every 5 hours. The first day I was feeling pretty lousy because of the anesthetic. The next two days I was nauseous from the medicine...i have a very low tolerance. I was able to put weight on my left leg almost immediately. I did end up getting very swollen on Sunday, but nothing that elevation and icing couldn't fix. I went back to school on Monday, and crutching around all day was extremely exhausting. I was totally sore by the end of the day, but no noticeable swilling. Today, yeah I get tired after school from lots of motion, but I am able to come home and ice almost immediately.

The thing I think is helping the most is PT. I started just two days after my surgery and I couldn't be happier. I am able to bend it and stand on it and even do heel lifts. Exercise is so beneficial. I went to my surgeon today and he couldn't be more pleased with my progress.

I hope this gives hope! I know I am young and that could be on my side...but just a week out of surgery I feel really great.

Apr 16, 2012
LR Recovery NEW
by: Anonymous

I will be having my LR this Friday. My doctor told me one day off and will have wknd to heal and able to go back to work on Monday. After reading all the horror stories im beginning to wonder about mine.

May 16, 2012
Has successful lateral release six years ago, and due for another NEW
by: Amanda

Hey guys!

Six years ago, I had a lateral release on my right knee. It continually popped out of place. The recovery was difficult, but only because- SURPRISE- I became pregnant one week after surgery. I guess my knee wasn't hurting to much. :-)

Anyway, six years later, it was the right decision. My right knee never again went out. Plus, my thigh muscles are now stronger in the leg I fixed. Amazingly stronger.

I'm a runner and recently my left kneecap started slipping and clacking. In a race, it shifted so far out I had to pop it back. After two weeks, the exterior tendon is still amazingly tight and won't let me run without a shift. I'm thinking of having the surgery on this knee now, but hate to take time off from training.

Anyway, good results do happen with lateral release. Good luck to all!

May 17, 2012
Lateral release NEW
by: Anonymous

My LR surgery was match 2010 but being a runner I out it off after the injury in June 2009 and did PT to try and not have surgery. It was a big mistake because I lost my muscle tone.. Quad went atrophy and all these years after surgery knee is awesome!! It was a painful surgery because I went so long before hurt. I am still working on gaining quad strength now. I recommend when you hurt yourself and need the knee surgery do it right away, pus hard through physical therapy, and you can and will recover. I made a lot of mistakes worrying I would never run again not thinking of all other issues like regular walking lol . Good luck it is a painful surgery but take meds and start PT ASAP you should recover. Don't forget we are all different and heal different.

May 17, 2012
reverse lateral release NEW
by: candice

I went to see another specialist for my knee in another city at the Fowler Kennedy clinic in LOndon. The doctor was surprised that the doctor did a lateral release and called a last option they do because they don't have answers.
I am goign on 2 years and no better with a knee that give out without warnign. I am waiting for my results from an MRI , but the doctor suggested a reversal to try to fix the damage.

Has anyone had this procedure??


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