Lateral Release - Frisco, TX
Lateral Release refers to a surgical process performed to rectify problems with the alignment of the knee cap or Patella. In some cases, the ligament that supports the knee cap (lateral retinaculum) and keeps it positioned within the groove in front of the thigh bone (femur) becomes too tight. This causes the sideways shifting of the knee cap or patellar maltracking. This condition hinders the physical movement of the knee joint and the leg besides causing pain. Lateral Release is performed to prevent the knee cap from dislocating by releasing this particular ligament.

Who is a candidate for Lateral Release?

  • A patient who has the following symptoms is suitable for the Lateral Release surgery:
  • There has not been any improvement in the condition in spite of regular physical therapy
  • The knee cap has tilted to one side excessively resulting in visible deformity
  • Severe pain in the joint
  • Excessive patellar tilt is seen
  • The cartilage has been damaged and needs to be cleared off
  • The patient has already undergone a conservative therapy program but the problem persists

Lateral Release: The Procedure

The process addresses the problems of the knee cap in the following ways:

  • The joint is analyzed using x-ray and MRI scans before operating to assess the exact location of ligament tightness
  • It is an outpatient process that is done using arthroscopic surgery. This involves use of instruments that have a long thin tube fitted with a camera and light on its tip and is inserted into the joint to locate damaged or tight soft tissue parts. It gives the surgeon a clear view of the joint and soft tissues
  • 2 or 3 incisions need to be made on the skin above the joint that allows the surgeon to reach the lateral retinaculum. It is then cut off to suspend the sideways displacement of the patella
  • The cuts in the skin are stitched back with sutures or staples
  • The joint may be secured by pacing soft elastic bandages post-surgery

Recovery From Lateral Release

Recovery of patients undergoing Lateral Release takes about 3-6 months. However, they are able to resume some normal day to day activities within a few weeks. Use of crutches may be recommended for a few days to prevent weight bearing and to allow the soft tissues to heal. Regular physical therapy sessions are required to restore strength, mobility and balance in the legs and knee joint. Regular follow ups may be carried out until the joint functioning is fully restored. Use of proper shoes that support the foot, practising a warm up session before a sport and implementation of proper techniques before exercising are recommended to prevent any future damage to the joint.