Patient :I had a lateral release 10 years ago, and have had pain ever since. Most of the pain comes from putting weight on a bent knee. It has gotten to the point where the knee bend doesn't have to be as deep as before to cause pain. I have become pretty good at "straight-legging it", but am now concerned about arthritis in my near future (I'm only 29). What can I do to prevent this?
Thank you for your question. Lateral release surgery involves the release of the lateral retinaculum of the knee. It is a relatively uncommon procedure that is indicated only for patients who have patellofemoral pain, a tight lateral retinaculum which causes pain. The pain you are experiencing is probably directly related to this surgery. The best approach at this point is to determine what is causing your pain when you bend your knee. To determine what this is you need to return to your orthopedic surgeon for full evaluation of your knee and an MRI of the joint to assess whether there are any torn ligaments, inflammation, or the development of arthritis. As far as preventing arthritis in in the future you will need to address the current problem in your knee first. After this is treated, you have to protect your knee from repeat injury by doing those activities you are only able to tolerate and to wear a knee brace when engaging in strenuous activity such as sports, running or heavy lifting. Lastly, maintaining the range of motion of the knee joint is of paramount importance. The more exercise the knee joint, the more you will be able to prevent stiffness and decrease range of motion. Please follow up with your doctor for further evaluation.
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