Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL) Injury: Orthopedic Plano

by Administrator 25. October 2016 08:01

The knee joint is a major part of the body, vital for its movement and balance. The femur, tibia and the knee cap meet at this joint and these bones are connected to each other through ligaments. Lateral Collateral Ligament is a band of thick tissue that lies on the outer side of the knee joint. It connects the femur or the thigh bone to the fibula which is a small sized bone in the lower leg. This ligament along with the medial collateral ligament manages the sideways motion of the joint and prevents it from any stress. Injury to the LCL is most common among sportspersons. Ligament injuries are also referred to as sprains.

Causes

  • Direct fall onto the knee joint or the muscles during contraction can stress or tear the ligaments
  • Sudden change in directions or twisting of the knee may place undue pressure on the LCL
  • Hitting the knee from the back or sides can damage the LCL
  • Weakness in ligament structures due to internal problems
  • Sports that involve tackling or collisions
  • Improper use of technique during sports or exercise may stress the ligaments
  • Weakness of supporting thigh and leg muscles

Symptoms

  • Pain may be felt on the outer side of the joint
  • Unstable knees
  • Inability to bear body weight
  • Limited range of motion
  • Tenderness, swelling and bruising may also be seen
  • Stiffness

Diagnosis

  • A thorough clinical check may be conducted by the orthopedic doctor to assess the extent of damage
  • The patient may be questioned about his/her medical history, symptoms, mode and time of injury 
  • The range of motion intact may be tested through some physical tests
  • X-ray imaging may be required in most cases to check the exact location of ligament and severity of damage
  • MRI or CT scan may be helpful in diagnosing damage to the surrounding soft tissue structures, grade of sprain and nerve injuries if any

Treatment

  • Immobilization of the knee- a removable brace may be fixed to the joint to support it and prevent stress which aids in healing of the ligament
  • Medicines- pain relief drugs and anti inflammatory medicines may be prescribed by the doctor
  • Splinting of the injured knee may aid in recovery of low grade or minor sprains
  • Rest is important and any physical activity should be kept to the minimum
  • Ice packs may be applied for the first few days to reduce swelling
  • Physical therapy may be recommended in most cases to regain stability and movement
  • Surgery may be required in high grade or major injuries for the reconstruction of damaged ligament or the torn tissue may be stitched back and allowed to heal with time

Dr. Kouyoumjian in Plano, TX offers diagnosis and treatment for a wide range of knee injuries. To schedule an appointment with the orthopedic surgeon, you can call at (972) 985 – 1072.

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