Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL) Injury– Frisco, TX
The knee surgeons at OrthoTexas, Frisco specialize in the treatment of various orthopedic conditions. They have extensive experience in treating minor to severe injuries to the ligaments, ACL, MCL, PCL and LCL, in the knee joint.  

Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL) Injury

The knee is the largest joint in the body and subjected to a lot of stress during daily activities, such as walking, running, claiming stairs etc. This makes it prone to injuries which include straining or tearing of the supportive ligaments. The LCL or the Lateral Collateral Ligament is present the base of the femur and runs straight to the upper end of the tibia. It passes through the front of the knee and helps in sideways movement while keeping the joint stable. LCL injuries are not very common and they are generally accompanied by other injuries as well.

Ligament injuries can be graded as follows:

  • Grade 1- Mild damage due to stretching of the LCL while the joint is stable
  • Grade 2- Involves stretching of the LCL to an extent that it becomes unstable and loose. It is also termed as partial ligament tear
  • Grade 3- The LCL is torn completely and the knee becomes unstable

Causes Of LCL Injury

  • Sports injury
  • Changing direction while running or walking rapidly
  • Lack of adequate warm up before an activity or exercise
  • Direct hit or trauma to the knee joint
  • Forced sideways pushing of the knee joint
  • Hitting the knee from the back which pushes it outwards thus causing damage to the LCL
  • A direct fall on the knee
  • Overuse

Symptoms Of LCL Injury

  • Pain which can be immediate and quite severe
  • The knee joint may feel unstable
  • Inability to walk, stand or bear body weight
  • Swelling, tenderness, bruising and discoloration
  • Popping sound in the knee

Diagnosis Of LCL Injury

  • Physical examination of the joint by the orthopedic doctor
  • Evaluation of the patient’s medical history, cause of injury as well as symptoms
  • X-ray imaging may be done to check for bone damage
  • MRI scans may reveal damage to soft tissues and collateral ligament

Treatment For LCL Injury

  • Apply ice packs at regular intervals for a few days to combat pain and swelling
  • Avoid any activity that may put stress on the knee
  • Use of a removable knee brace to protect the joint and prevent sideways movement
  • Crutches may be used to prevent weight bearing
  • Physical therapy may be effective to restore knee function and strength
  • Prescription of pain killers and anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Knee tapes and straps may be used for support
  • Keep the injured knee elevated at chest level
  • Surgical intervention may be required in case of Grade 3 injuries and if the adjacent joint structures have also been damaged

For treatment of LCL injury and other knee conditions, visit OrthoTexas, Frisco. To schedule an appointment with the orthopedic surgeons, you can call at (214) 618 – 5502.