Occasionally, those suffering from patellofemoral pain syndrome end up having surgery. A Lateral Release is a surgical procedure usually done arthroscopically. It involves the cutting of the lateral retinaculum, the fibrous tissue on the outside of the kneecap. If this structure is too tight it can pull the patella towards the outside of the knee, leading to patellofemoral pain.
Those undergoing a lateral release also require a rehabilitation program with a physical therapist and often use taping or a patella knee brace.
Often in these cases, long-term support is required for the patella and a patella brace is tolerated better by the skin than repeated taping.