LCL Lateral Collateral Ligament

LCL Lateral Collateral Ligament

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LCL Lateral Collateral Ligament

Knee

What is LCL?

The lateral collateral ligament (also known as the fibular collateral ligament) is one of the main stabilizing structures of the knee. It is located on the outer side of your knee and connects your femur (Thigh Bone) to your fibula. The LCL is responsible for keeping the knee from bending too far outward, which can cause it to dislocate or tear.

What is the purpose of LCL?

The Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL) is located on the outermost part of your knee, just above the outer edge of your kneecap. The LCL works in conjunction with other structures to stabilize your knee joint. It also helps prevent hyperextension of your knee; if you hyperextend your knee too far, you can tear this ligament as well as any other structures in your knee.

What is the LCL tear?

Lateral collateral ligament tear is a common knee injury that’s usually the result of a sudden twisting motion.

An LCL tear may cause pain, swelling, and instability in your knee. You may also feel like something is “catching” or catching on something when you move your knee.

What are the types of LCL injuries?

There are three main types of injuries that can occur to the LCL:

  • Anterior LCL injury
  • Posterior LCL injury
  • Medial LCL injury

Anterior LCL injury:

This is the most common type of LCL injury, and it’s caused by sudden rotation or hyperflexion of the knee. Anterior LCL injuries occur when the knee is bent and twisted inward, causing the ligament to tear away from its attachment point on the leg bone.

Posterior LCL injury:

This type of injury can occur when you fall on your side or back, or if you hyperextend your knee. Posterior LCL injuries also occur when the knee is bent and twisted outward, causing the ligament to tear away from its attachment point on the thigh bone.

Medial LCL injury:

The medial ligament can be injured by a direct blow to the knee, or it can be torn when the leg is compressed against another object.

Medial LCL injuries also occur when there is a sudden change in direction while running or jumping; this causes the knee to be pushed too far inward, which can cause a tear at the rear of your ligament attachment site.

What are the causes of LCL injuries?

Lateral collateral ligament (LCL) injuries are quite common in sports. Lateral collateral ligament injuries can happen in a variety of ways. The most common way is by hyperextension or hyperflexion of the knee. This can occur during sports that require quick changes in direction and sudden stops and starts, such as soccer or football.

Other causes include:

  • Fall on an outstretched leg
  • Twisting injury
  • Direct blow to the side of the knee
  • Playing sports involving sudden stops and starts, such as football or soccer
  • A direct blow to the outside of your knee
  • Unstable joint alignment
  • A sudden twisting motion
  • A direct blow to the knee area while it’s bent

What are the symptoms of LCL injuries?

Injuries to the LCL are common in sports that involve sudden stops and quick changes in direction, like soccer, basketball, and football.

The symptoms of an LCL injury include pain in your knee when you bend or straighten your leg, swelling around your knee, and being able to feel or hear a “snap” when you move your leg (which may happen when you extend your leg).

Other symptoms include:

Symptoms of a torn LCL include:

  • Pain over the outside of your knee joint, especially when you bend your knee or try to straighten it
  • A popping sound during injury
  • Swelling around the area where the LCL connects to the bone (tibia)
  • Pain, tenderness, and swelling around the knee joint.
  • Pain when squatting, kneeling, or going up and down stairs.
  • Instability in the knee joint during activities such as running, jumping and landing from a jump.

How to prevent LCL injuries?

A LCL injury can be painful and debilitating, but there are ways you can prevent them!

The best way to avoid an LCL injury is to strengthen your hips and quadriceps muscles. You should also stretch regularly to keep your muscles flexible and strong. If you’re suffering from an LCL injury, it’s important not to rush back into activity too quickly—that could cause more damage!

  • Use proper form when lifting weights or doing exercises that require you to bend your knees. Lift with your legs and keep your back straight.
  • Don’t run with your knees locked, which causes the LCL to overstretch and become injured.
  • When playing sports or participating in activities where you might fall, wear knee pads or other protective gear that covers the upper part of your leg.

Recommended Exercise

Knee

What are the treatments for LCL injuries?

Treatment for an LCL injury will depend on how severe it is and how long you have been dealing with the problem. In most cases there are two options: physical therapy and surgery.

Rest: You should rest, ice your knee, take over-the-counter pain medications like ibuprofen, and elevate your leg above heart level as much as possible to reduce swelling.

Physical therapy: Physical therapy may help you strengthen muscles around your knee joint and improve movement in your knee joint after surgery or when you have an LCL tear that doesn’t heal well on its own (chronic).

Elevate: Elevating the injured leg above heart level will help reduce swelling and pain (this is called “ice therapy”). You can do this by propping your leg up on pillows when sitting up or lying down. You can also use an ice pack if available but be sure not to apply ice directly onto skin—instead wrap it in cloth first so as not to cause frostbite!

Compression: Wrapping an elastic bandage around the injured area will help support any damaged ligaments while they heal. The wrap should be firm but not too tight.

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Knee

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