Knee ligaments connect the thighbone to the bones of the lower leg. Sprains or tears to the ligaments of the knee are a common sports injury, especially in direct contact sports. The lateral collateral ligament (LCL) and medial collateral ligament (MCL) are found on the sides of the knee and control the sideways motion of the knee, protecting it from unusual movements.
The LCL connects the femur to the fibula. Injuries to the LCL mainly occur with other knee injuries and are less common than MCL injuries.
What causes it?
LCL injuries are caused by direct force from the side of the knee.
How do you know you have it?
The most common signs of an LCL injury are:
- Pain on the outside of your knee
How we fix it
The OSI orthopedic team is here to listen, discuss your concerns, and examine you for signs and symptoms of an LCL injury. Our goal is to have you enjoying the activities you love, without pain, by restoring strength and flexibility. While under our expert care, you may undergo the following:
- Physical exam: Your doctor will discuss your symptoms and general medical history and then check the structures of your injured knee. Ligament injuries can generally be diagnosed at this stage.
- X-rays: X-rays can show a fracture.
- MRI: An MRI may be ordered to confirm the diagnosis.
LCL injuries often do not require surgery. Conservative treatments include:
- Physical therapy
Your OSI physician may recommend surgery if the LCL injury is severe or associated with other ligament injuries.