Collateral Ligament Injury
A ligament is a band of tissue that connects two bones. The knee collateral ligaments are located on the outside of the knee joint. They aid in the connection of your upper and lower leg bones around your knee joint.
The lateral collateral ligament (LCL) is a ligament that runs along the outside of your knee.
The medial collateral ligament (MCL) is a ligament that runs along the inside of your knee.
When the ligaments are stretched or torn, this results in a collateral ligament injury. When only a portion of the ligament is torn, this is referred to as a partial tear. A complete tear occurs when the entire ligament is ripped in two.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
A cruciate ligament injury does not always cause pain. Instead, as the injury occurs, the person may hear a popping sound, followed by the leg buckling when attempting to stand on it, and swelling. However, each person may experience symptoms in a unique way.
The symptoms of a cruciate ligament injury may be similar to those of other conditions or medical issues. For a diagnosis, always consult your doctor.
WHAT ARE THE CAUSES & RISK FACTORS?
If you are hit very hard on the inside or outside of your knee, or if you have a twisting injury, you may sustain a collateral ligament injury.
Skiers, basketball players, football players, and soccer players are more likely to suffer this type of injury.
WHAT IS THE DIAGNOSIS?
X-ray, MRI, Arthroscopy techniques are used to help diagnose condition.
WHAT ARE THE TREATMENT OPTIONS?
Treatment may include:
- Medication such as ibuprofen
- Muscle-strengthening exercises
- Protective knee brace (for use during exercise)
- Ice pack application (to reduce swelling)