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I am scheduled to have this procedure within the next 3 months. I have read alot of horror stories regarding this and now I'm scared to death !!! I have had 5 operations on each knee but only my right knee will have the lateral release. I'm a competitive ten pin bowler and enjoy several other sports. Will I be able to continue doing those kinds of things after I have this surgery ? How long does it take to recover ? Please explain how they do this procedure to me in layman's terms, if you can. If you were faced with this kind of surgery, knowing what you know, would you do it ?
I'm looking for any and all info I can get !
Thank you,
Tammy

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Hi Tammy I had the same thing done it's not so bad . I live in what you guys call a third world country and the procedure was long but not as painfull, I was given pain killers and sent home after a week . I started working two months after the surgery There is very little swelling but there is stiffness thats the only thing I'm still worried about
but trust in god and eveything will be ok
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I had the lateral release done on Jan. 8th 2007. I'm still in pain. There was A LOT of swelling, stiffness and pain. I'm still in physical therapy, 5 months after having had the surgery. The doctor that performed the procedure says he doesn't understand why I'm still in pain. I got a 2nd opinion in another city. That doctor suggested another MRI and meds for nerve damage. If it was nerve damage I'd have numbness and tingling, which I don't have. so Im not taking pills. The doc. that performed it, will not do a 2nd MRI to see what's going on. So I'm taking injections in my knee. They are very painful also. I walk with a limp most of the time, especially when I'm tired. It gives out on me when I'm walking or it locks up on me. Talk about needing help!!
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I just had my surgery on May 15th but so far recovery seems to be going very well. I am walking around with one cruch and am able to walk around on my own at my house (I can even go up and down the stairs). I give it another week before I am completely off the cruches. I had a post-op appointment yesterday and my doctor said I am having a very speedy recovery. I know there are some horror stories out there about this type of surgery but there are also good one's too! I'm not quite back to my normal self but in the last few days, I have felt more normal walking around since the surgery. Stay positive.
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I am due to have this surgery on June 19th, ten days from now. I live on an island in the state of Alaska, so I am flying in to Anchorage to have this procedure done. After researching much on this subject and talking with my doctor, I have concluded that the surgery is small part of the solution, the largest part is the rehabilitation and the strengthening of the muscles around the knee to help align the patella. If you do not go through with the physical therapy (which I am doing at home), the problem may become worse than before. Good luck to you and hang in there. The way my knee feels right now, I'd do the surgery this second if I could.
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I had surgery on May 2 and I am still recovering. I have a lot of pain and have a pocket of fluid on the side of my left knee where the surgery was performed. I was doing physical therapy at the hospital and home but has not worked. If I knew it would be like this I would not of had the surgery. My knee buckles when I walk and I almost fell a couple of times. The second day after surgery I had to go to the emergency room because my knee swelled, went numb and was tingling. They thought I had a blood clot. If and when you have your surgery make sure you pay attention to the swelling and pain. Make sure you ask a lot of questions. Good Luck and God Bless.
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Hi Tammy.....I had lateral releases done on Feb. 27th on both knees....I realize your frustration on getting information on recovery etc. I would be happy to answer any questions if you want to e-mail me at _[removed]_......I am 9 days out and feeling pretty good. I came home after the surgery using crutches, which i used for about 3 days. I went up and down stairs after 4 days but I over did it and was sore the next day . I've had swelling but the Dr. told me to keep my knees wrapped with anAce bandage to help with the pressure. I take the bandages off at night and it seems to help me get a better nights' sleep. Today I drove 30 miles and did a bit of shopping....it was slow moving as the wrapped knees don't bend. I came home and put ice packs on and put my legs up and i feel pretty good. I would be happy to keep you up to date on my recovery or answer any questions so please feel free to contact me. I did get a rail for the bathroom as that has been the hardest thing, getting up out of a sitting position.......Kathy
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I am 45, male and had a lateral release performed on Feb 28. I had the procedure done to improve knee cap tracking with the hope of alleviating pain associated with running, alpine and telemark skiing and Biking. I am a former, maybe some day again, competitive runner and cyclist. I used crutches for two days after the procedure and experienced very little discomfort in the days that followed. I am a bit of a wimp when it comes to pain and felt no need to use the pain meds (oxycodone) prescribed for me.
I did experience a fair bit of swelling during the first two weeks but was able to control it with ice, elevation and mild compression of the joint. My rehab to date has included 400 or so straight leg raises a day, plus starting at two weeks out 30 - 45 min of cycling on a stationary bike and some stretches for the muscles on the back of my legs. My next doctor's appointment is in early May. The I expect to get additional rehab exercises and hopefully will get the go ahead to do some more cycling and maybe a bit of running.
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Last week I had a medial meniscectomy following two impaction injuries in accidents over the years and a twisting pivot injury on my knee last year that gave me a meniscal tear. I knew the doc was gonna repair the meniscus and do debridement of loose bodies from the kneecap, etc. I did not know, however, that he was going to do the lateral release. My pain following surgery was much better than expected, however a week later as I began therapy and started moving more, it increased. I had a lhuge amount of swelling, to the point of being scheduled for Kinesio taping of the knee tomorrow at therapy, to draw swelling through the lymph nodes from the knee joint. I don't know how this is going to affect it but by what I have read it eases pain as well. Anything that clears edema from an area is bound to help the pain. I think a lot of the time, the standard for getting well is set but when you have to have extra stuff done while they're doing surgery, it can be frustrating when things don't seem to go on that same time frame. A week after surgery, I am walking with no crutches but in the early morning, I use it for stability as the knee does give, but it has only been a week. They say I am doing great and am on track.
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I'm a runner and I've been injured since Nov. 2007 with horrible knee pain. I did intensive PT for 2 months and I had zero improvement. I finally found a great orthopedic surgeon at the Hospital for Special Surgery in NYC. (I saw other Dr's previously who were unhelpful and just told me I had IT band syndrome that I knew i didn't have) He suggested a bunch of non-surgical options, such as wearing a brace, but nothing worked. We finally decided on a lateral release and he explained that it only had a 60% chance of fixing the alignment and tracking of the knee cap that was causing me the pain. I just had the lateral release performed 4/16/08. I didn't expereince the pain I was expecting and Advil was sufficinent for the pain, didn't need the vicodin. For the first couple of days I iced religiously; 30 minutes on 30 minutes off all day. I was able to walk around the house and on stairs (one stair at a time though). I saw the Dr. a week after the surgery and he said I was healing great. He also told me that after he cut the ligamnet my knee cap moved right into place and should track normally again. My knee is still a bit swollen but nothing too bad and I had no bleeding. Starting PT in a few days. Can't wait to get out to central park for a run!
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I had a latteral release on my left knee one week ago today. Id had 6 years of problems and decided that at 23 yrs of age i wasnt putting up with so much pain. Id had enough of physio because all it did was make me ache for hrs afterwards and waste money in taxi fares.
Docs did and mri scan 3 months ago and said they found nothing and that they didnt know what else to do with me, said that the scan was 90% affective and that the last option was for them to just go in there and have a look but it was highly unlikley that they would find anything. I took my last option.
After having the op i was told that they found both damage to my cartilage and damage to the anterior ligament.
I am healing slowly, still unable to walk properly without crutches but making progress. Just wanted to leave this note to say doctors dont know everything... if you feel something is wrong then trust yourself. Its your body..
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I had a lateral release Nov 07 after suffering chondromalacia for about 7 years. I was told that it would not fix my problems but possibly help it. So after having a cortizone shot (which worsened the symptoms in both knees) the doc decided to continue surgery on the worse of both knees. After surgery, my whole leg was black and blue and had therapy after two weeks.
Therapy wasn't seeming to help with the pain and swelling. I had addressed that redness and warmth, but that was due to the swelling I was told. After 3 months and new VMO's, the doc decided to give me synvisc injections. With each injection, especially the last, my symptoms worsened as well as the pain. I was popping pain killers and muscle relaxers more than I should have.

On my 6 week follow up apptointment, I was told to get a second opinion on a knee cap replacement. I drove 2 hours to find out that I was suffering Complex Regional Pain Syndrome http://www.munley.com/rsd.html).

I am now undergoing more therapy and laser treatment to break up all the scar tissue. I am to seek a pain clinic to take care of the pain, but the specialist prescribed LYRICA (med for fibromyalgia) for the sensitivity, pain, lack of mobility. So far, so good, but the swelling will not go away.

I more or less have muscle and nerve damage from the surgery.

contact me if you have more info (mrsdtp7@hotmail)
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I had one the end of August, recovering slowly but I'm optimistic. Physio just started and it's quite painful but I'm sticking to it. I'm a ski instructor in the winter and hike all summer so not having this surgery wasn't an option for me. I was on crutches for two weeks, cane sometimes still when I'm walking for long periods. I still don't have all my stability but I'm told that'll come in time. I'm hoping to be ready for ski season in November and will work hard to get there. I stilll have heat spots on my knee but icing helps with that. My massage therapist along with physio is helping with my recovery. I say, hang in there for anyone else thinking or all ready had the surgery.....I know I am. :-)
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I had surgery 6 days ago. I was told I had a medial meniscal tear that they were going to repair and some runner's knee that they were going to clean up. Post op, I was told nothing different, and told that I had "no restrictions" on my activity. I'd been told to force my knee to bend if it wouldn't bend on its own. I'd tried to go to work on Monday (2 days ago) and couldn't. I tried to stop taking the pain meds, and couldn't. Today I went in for my follow up visit and was shown pictures of my knee. I was told that I'd had a "major abnormality" and that the cartilege was completely gone in the medial part of my knee and that bone had been rubbing on bone and chipping off in my knee. They found "plica banding" which they removed, and did a lateral release. They also mentioned (as a 'by the way' kind of thing) that I should wear a brace for a month because of the release. I was told no physical therapy was needed and that I can start running again in a month. Needless to say, after getting home and looking this up..I'm concerned. I can't believe they would do something this controversial without talking to me first, and ESPECIALLY without letting me know post op.
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hi sam,
may i ask which ortho surgeon you used at the hosp for special surgery? how are you doing? are you back to running? thanks!
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