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LCL Injury

Knee ligaments connect the thigh bone to the bones of the lower leg. Sprains or tears to these ligaments 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, stabilizing the knee and protecting it from unpredictable and unnatural 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 LCL Injuries?

LCL injuries are caused when there is direct force to the side of the knee.

How do you know you have an LCL Injury?

The most common signs of an LCL knee injury are:

  • Pain on the outside of your knee
  • Swelling
  • Instability

How does OSI fix an LCL Injury?

A board-certified knee specialist will listen to your recollection of when the knee injury was sustained and examine you for signs and symptoms of an LCL injury. Your OSI knee expert may do one or all of the following to determine the severity of your LCL injury:

  • Physical exam: Your OSI 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.

Nonsurgical Treatment

LCL injuries often do not require surgery. Conservative treatments include:

  • Icing
  • Bracing
  • Physical therapy

Surgical Treatment

Your OSI physician may recommend surgery if the LCL injury is severe or associated with other ligament injuries.