LCL Injury

Overview

LCL or Lateral Collateral Ligament is one of the 4 main ligaments in the knee joint holding the thigh bone and leg bone together. Ligaments are rubbery ropes with connect the 2 bones. LCL along with its fellow ligament MCL on the sides of the knee joint protects and stabilizes the knee against sideward bending forces. 

Why & how does it happen?

LCL tear are one of less common injuries of the knee joint. It occurs when the knee gets pushes outwards with the impact from the inner side, when the foot is planted. Often it is twisting injury with stress on the inner side. 

Who gets this injury?

This injury occurs more often in contact sports such as football, kabaddi, rugby and also in skiing. . Fall from the two wheelers, bikes and cycles are another common reason for this injury. It is commonly seen in age group between 20 to 45 years.

Symptoms

  • Pain

  • Swelling

  • Feeling that knee will give away and not supporting

  • Within a week most patients with LCL tear will be able to walk with a slight limp

  • Persistence of instability sensation and pain in certain movements and activities

When to seek medical help?

 

Initial assessment, an x-ray and pain relieving medicines is what is needed as an immediate remedy. Further assessment by an expert Arthroscopy Surgeon and MRI scan are necessary to analyze the extent of injury.

What happens to LCL if no treatment is undertaken?

LCL ligament resides outside the knee joint and hence may heal naturally. However, if the knee is not supported well in the first 6 weeks, the chances of natural healing dwindle. A poorly healed LCL ligament will keep causing pain and feeling of giving away whenever there is stress on the knee pushing it outwards while the leg is taking the load. 

What happens when I visit the Consultant?

You will be asked about the nature of injury, symptoms further to that so far. Consultant will examine you and discuss the treatment modalities.