An Overview to Managing an LCL Injury

December 9th, 2013

 One of the more common injuries links to professional athletes is an LCL injury. The LCL is the lateral collateral ligament, which is the connective tissue that runs along the outside of the immediate order to connect the femur to the fibula, that is, the thighbone to the smaller outside bone that the lower leg to the ankle. The purpose of this ligament is to provide support and stability to the knee as it moves through its full range of motion and controls the bones. Instance of LCL injury among athletes is particularly high because these types of tears occur most commonly as a result of direct trauma to the inside of the knee. Such a blow can stretch the ligament beyond its capabilities, causing a tear. LCL injuries are most common among athletes who participate in relatively violent activities such as hockey, wrestling and football, as well as those that may include stopping quickly or turning suddenly, which can also place incredible strain on the LCL, including basketball or soccer.

Symptoms of an LCL injury include:
  • Pain at the moment of injury
  • Chronic pain that can either be mild or severe
  • Stiffness in the joint
  • Swelling and tenderness to the touch
  • The feeling that the knee joint is blocking when it is moved
  • A sensation of instability in the knee
  • Numbness or noticeable weakness in the foot of the leg with the injury
Treatment of an LCL injury is performed by an orthopedic doctor and can include rest and physical therapy, surgery to sew the tear back together or surgery to reattach the ligament, depending on the severity of the injury.

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