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Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL) Injury


Though less common than a medial collateral ligament (MCL) injury, the pain of an LCL injury can be just as severe. Injuries can involve partial or full tears, most of which require surgical repair. Read on to learn more about this injury to the outer side of the knee.

Causes & Triggers

  • Direct blow or trauma
  • Sports injuries

Signs & Symptoms

  • Laxity
  • Locking or catching
  • Pain
  • Sensation of “giving way”
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness

Tips & Treatment

  • It is very common for an LCL injury to accompany another type of ligament injury.
  • Diagnosis is typically made only with a physical exam, although X-rays or an MRI may be ordered.
  • Treatment may involve immobilizing the knee, resting, ice and anti-inflammatory medication.
  • Depending on severity, surgery may be required to restore full function.

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