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Old 09-18-2008, 01:35 PM   #1
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Patellar Tracking or Lateral release surgery???

I got my results from the doctor. I have a problem with my knee cap not tracking right. He said my knee is very very swollen & I have some rough spots on the back of my knee. He gave me a cortisone shot (thank god) and said to come back on Oct 21. He said if the cortisone shot doesnt help then he is going to do an arthoscopic lateral release surgery. I am just curious if any of you have had this problem. Have you had the surgery? Has anyone had a cortisone shot fix the problem? How long were you off work? How bad was the pain from the surgery? I appreciate any information you have.. Thanks.

Last edited by reyez; 09-18-2008 at 01:38 PM.

 
Old 09-18-2008, 02:39 PM   #2
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Re: Patellar Tracking or Lateral release surgery???

I had my lateral release on may 24th to correct my tracking problem. I never had a cortisone shot, so i can't relate to that factor! I was put into surgery fast enough that i could go on without anything. Anyways, I was down for a good two weeks. It was my 2ed last year of high school, which happened to be around exam time so i wasn't really making myself go in pain if i didn't have to. The first few days were the worst because the muscle they cut hurt all up my leg for the first two days. I was walking with crutches for the first two weeks, but i would challenge myself by trying to walk on it with just one crutch around the house! After 3 weeks i was able to walk again. I was in physio from the beginning of june and just got discharged last night!

The surgery isn't all that bad the pain i had was mostly from the muscle they cut. I would suggest to keep up with painkillers because they make all the difference! Its good to have someone around to help you with getting meals or such for the first little while!
i found once the swelling had pretty much gone, things got a lot brighter! I found my knee to be much better just within the first few weeks after surgery! I also have this problem in my right so i have been able to compare the differences!

I'm about 4 months post-op and I'm back to being pain free, and able to do the things i once could! I no longer walk with my lovely limp i had and i can go upstairs normally!!
I'm planning on getting it done to my right because of how well my results our for my left and how much better that knee actually feels! Any other questions I'm willing to answer them if you have any others! When i had my surgery i didn't get to hear many peoples stories and a lot about it at that time so anything to help just ask!

 
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Old 09-19-2008, 05:19 AM   #3
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Re: Patellar Tracking or Lateral release surgery???

The surgery is very simplistic and you are in and out within a few hours, home resting. Like the above poster, most of the pain was from the scope and incisions. I had swelling for a few days but rest and ice helped. I then did several weeks of therapy just to strengthen the muscles. Mine was done 15 years ago, haven't had a problem with my knee cap tracking incorrectly since. I have no weakness as a result in terms of the ligaments.

Healing time varies by person but as a whole, it is really a minor surgery compared to a complete reconstruction which can take months to heal from.
Good luck
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Old 09-19-2008, 09:20 AM   #4
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Re: Patellar Tracking or Lateral release surgery???

I think the doc will choose to do the surgery.. he just wants to see if the shot will help.. I have heard from a couple people that they said they had a tracking problem and then when they went in they found that they had a torn ACL too. Its just wierd. I have had this problem with my knee cap for 3 years.. and it just now started hurting 24-7.. Kinda makes me wonder if maybe the MRI isnt showing something.. Did yours hurt 24-7? Mine used to only hurt when it would pop out & hurt for a week then be fine.. I dunno... It just has hurt for 1-2 months straight.. who knows.

 
Old 09-19-2008, 04:36 PM   #5
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Re: Patellar Tracking or Lateral release surgery???

It really is a minimalistic surgery as far as they go. You should be up and around by the end of the first week and done with the crutches by the end of the second. It is important to take the pain meds as ordered so that the pain stays under control. I had this done 20 yrs. ago and both knees. Also you will be sent home with a cryro cuff, which is an icing machine that you will keep on your knee 24/7, this helps alot with the swelling.

I am a chronic pain patient for my knees and have been since I was 17. I've had 10 surgeries on both knees, and just had a total knee reconstruction 3 weeks ago and the recovery time is several months. My pain is 24/7 and I am on Fentanyl which is the strongest narcotic there is, 24/7, I also take additional narcotics as needed for breakthrough pain. Once your knees start getting really bad, it's best to find a doctor that will help you get them under control. My problems are from a disease, so there is nothing I can do. But I wish you the best.

 
Old 09-19-2008, 08:18 PM   #6
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Re: Patellar Tracking or Lateral release surgery???

Thanks.. I am sorry you have had to go through so much. my mom has had alot of problems with her knees.. not good.. Thank you for the info about the surgery. Do they always send you home with the cryro cuff? How long do you think you would be off work? I have a desk job where I am sitting 90% of the time.. wondering how long I will be off?

 
Old 09-20-2008, 07:20 AM   #7
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Re: Patellar Tracking or Lateral release surgery???

I've had 4 knee surgeries and never once was given a cryo cuff I wish they had. After my last surgery my physical therapist actually gave me one due to constant swelling, it was a god send.

If you only have the lateral release and there's no other problems then figure one week to get over the surgery and anethesia and potentially one more week. It shouldn't be longer than that unless your doctor is ultra conservative.
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Old 09-20-2008, 10:21 AM   #8
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Re: Patellar Tracking or Lateral release surgery???

I have always been given a cryro cuff after surgery, I have a collection of various different models *L*. I was off work about a week for the left leg and a week and a half for the right, only because I coudn't drive for that one. I also had a desk job and took my ice cuff with me and just iced away while worked which helped with the pain. I also used a TENS unit and still do with surgeries and that helps with the pain.

Good luck and let us know how it goes.

 
Old 09-20-2008, 10:29 AM   #9
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Re: Patellar Tracking or Lateral release surgery???

It is my driving leg so I definitly wont be able to drive.. If I get someone to drive me to work then I am hoping I wont have to take a whole lot of time off. Even if I only went in 1/2 day or something. I am going to ask for a cryro cuff if they do surgery. The cortisone shot has been good.. last nite I had some knee pain but not 1/2 as bad as it was before.. It is still unstable so I will have to see what he says about that.. Is it possible for a cortisone shot to fix a tracking issue?

 
Old 09-20-2008, 12:31 PM   #10
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Re: Patellar Tracking or Lateral release surgery???

After one of my surgeries, I've had 10 so it's hard to remember which one, I actually put my right leg up on the seat, because it was the one that had been operated on and drove with my left leg. I needed to be back at work and felt okay, so I couldn't see missing days just because of the driving issue. *lol*

 
Old 09-20-2008, 09:49 PM   #11
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Re: Patellar Tracking or Lateral release surgery???

Thank you for all of your help.. I know I wont find out for another month whether he will want to do surgery or not.. I just kind of want to know what to expect in case I do.. My knee has still been hurting.. but not as bad as it was before the shot.. It also is still very unstable feeling like it is wanting to go out of place so I am not sure what he will do.. hopefully it will get better. Thanks though for all of your advice & help.. I really appreciate it.

 
Old 09-21-2008, 07:50 AM   #12
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Re: Patellar Tracking or Lateral release surgery???

Cortizone injections have one purpose, to reduce inflamation. It does not heal tendon or ligament issues nor tracking issues. The lessened pain you are feeling is most likely that it has helped to reduce swelling.

Is it your physical knee that seems unstable? If so that often indicates an ACL issue. Because your kneecap is not tracking right wondering if it's just too taught and your ACL is the primary problem. If you read some of my older posts you'll see how those with ACL reconstructs end up with PCL releases because it becomes too tight and causes the kneecap to track incorrectly. Food for thought at least. Sometimes the obvious problem is the obvious afterall.

Good luck.
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Old 09-21-2008, 09:48 AM   #13
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Re: Patellar Tracking or Lateral release surgery???

thanks for the info.. my doc made it seem like a cortisone shot could be the "cure" for my tracking issue. I guess we will see. so far, it has only helped the pain.. and not all the way but a good part of it.. enough to get back to normal activities like grocery shopping and scrapbooking. I have heard somewhere ( couldve been one of your older post.. I dont remember) that they were talking about people finding out after surgery that their ACL was torn also.. Its just wierd.. My knee would ache occasionally but I was working out for 45mins to 1 hour 4-5 times a week.. so occasionally being sore was ok.. then one day I heard a snap & been horrible pain ever since.. I mean I have had a tracking issue for about 3 years.. but its not like the whole knee.. just the knee cap.. I dunno.. All I did yesterday was go to a birthday party where I was sitting down most of the time & came home with my knee hurting & my knee hurts again this morning. I am hoping that doesnt mean the cortisone shot is going away..egk.. I appreciate all of your help.. I dont know a whole lot about tracking issues or lateral release except for what I have learned here & read a few sites online.. so I appreciate all of your help & advice.

 
Old 09-21-2008, 12:21 PM   #14
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Re: Patellar Tracking or Lateral release surgery???

Cortisone injections only last for a few weeks at the most and for some people far less than that. Also there is a limit to how many cortisone injections you can get. They are definitely not a "cure" for anything.

 
Old 09-21-2008, 04:04 PM   #15
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Re: Patellar Tracking or Lateral release surgery???

I'm right there with you on the thinking of cortisone. If the problem is minimal it can help get over that initial swelling so it seems to last a long time. There is a vast amount of information regarding them that a doctor does not tell you. If you check on the Pain Management boards, do a search there on them you'll understand where I am coming from.

You are not supposed to have more than 3 in a 12 month period of time.

Without starting a controversy, lets just say some doctors, particularly spine doctors are big on these due to the compensation when studies have proven that if you physical damage they do not good.

The same is to be said of the Synovisc/Hylan (spelling I know) injections. If you have advanced OA and damage they are not a good idea to have. That study was published last year I think.

For every post you read about a bad ACL found after a scoping there are probably dozens found to be fine and not posted about. But it can be said without a doubt, tears in any ligament do not always show up on MRI's (refer to my other posts here) so this is why doctors do find them during a scope.

A snap and horrible pain? Not a good thing. Snapping sounds, not pops, not clicks, not clunks, usually mean something snapped back into place, scar tissue has broken up or something has been torn or stretched far then snapped back. Think of a rubber band snap sound.

Did you have an MRI with contrast at any time?
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