Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL) Tears Treatment
The lateral collateral ligament is one of the four major ligaments in the knee joint. It connects the femur and fibula on the outside of the knee, providing stability to the joint. When the knee twists, turns or is pushed out of alignment, the lateral collateral ligament can stretch and tear, resulting in pain and knee instability. Our sports injury orthopedic specialists at DOCS Health can perform lateral collateral ligament (LCL) tears treatment at our Los Angeles medical center.
Injuries to the lateral collateral ligament (LCL) most commonly occur in high impact sports. Since the LCL supports the outside of the knee, injuries that cause the knee to twist severely or a direct blow to the inside of the knee that pushes the knee outward are the most likely to cause LCL sprains or tears. Sports that require sudden stops and changes in direction, like skiing, soccer, basketball and football, as well as contact sports, can result in tears to the LCL.
Symptoms of LCL Tears
When the knee joint shifts or twists to the outside, it can stretch and tear the lateral collateral ligament. The symptoms of an LCL partial or complete tear include:
- Locking or catching in the knee joint during movement
- Instability in the knee, feeling like it may “give out”
- Pain on the outside of the knee
- Swelling and tenderness on the outside of the knee
- Knee stiffness
- Weakness or numbness in the foot – the peroneal nerve is near the LCL and may be affected
Partial or mild LCL tears can be treated with conservative methods. Wearing a brace, using NSAIDs for pain and physical therapy are often used to rehabilitate patients with partial LCL tears. For complete or severe LCL tears, treatment may require surgery to repair the ligament.
If you have symptoms of a lateral collateral ligament (LCL) tear, treatment is available at DOCS Health. Contact our orthopedic clinic in Los Angeles to schedule an appointment for an LCL injury consultation.