Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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LCL Knee Injury Overview

Another name for LCL Knee Injury is Lateral Collateral Knee Injury.

What is a lateral collateral knee injury?
A person with a lateral collateral knee injury has injured a ligament on the side of the joint, along the outer aspect of the knee. Ligament injuries to the knee are called knee sprains. The lateral collateral ligament is a strong fibrous band that connects the end of the femur with the top of the tibia. This ligament prevents the joint from widening or opening up along the outer aspect of the knee. Injuries to the lateral collateral ligament usually occur alone, but may occur in combination with injuries to other knee ligaments or knee cartilage.

What are the symptoms of a lateral collateral knee injury?
Symptoms of a lateral collateral knee injury include knee pain that worsens with movement. Additional symptoms may include knee tenderness, knee bruising, knee swelling, knee instability, and a knee that may suddenly buckle or give out.

How does the doctor treat a lateral collateral knee injury?
The treatment for a lateral collateral knee injury varies with the severity of the ligament injury. Treatment for a lateral collateral knee injury may include cold compresses, rest, elevation, crutches, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain. Additional treatment may include an elastic wrap, a splint, or surgery. Most lateral collateral knee injuries heal without surgery. A grade 3 sprain, which is a complete tear of the ligament, may require surgery.

Continue to LCL Knee Injury Symptoms

Last Updated: Dec 17, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed LCL Knee Injury References
  1. Beynnon BD, Johnson RJ, Abate JA, Fleming BC, Nichols CE. Treatment of anterior cruciate ligament injuries, part I. Am J Sports Med. 2005 Oct;33(10):1579-602. [16199611]
  2. Boutin RD, Fritz RC. MRI of snow skiing and snowboarding injuries. Semin Musculoskelet Radiol. 2005 Dec;9(4):360-78. [16315118]
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