LCL Injury Treatment From a Board-Certified Orthopedic Surgeon & Sports Medicine Specialist in Lafayette, LA
A lateral collateral ligament (LCL) injury is a sprain or tear in the thick band of tissue on the outer (lateral) side of the knee. The LCL connects the thighbone to lower leg bone and prevents the knee from bending outward. If you’ve sustained a painful knee injury, Peter D. Vizzi, MD, can help. A board-certified orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist, Dr. Vizzi consults with patients in Lafayette, Louisiana.
LCL injuries often occur during football, basketball, soccer, skiing, and other activities that involve jumping, stop-and-go movements, or cutting (quick changes of direction). Pain, swelling, and tenderness usually develop immediately after the damage occurs, then worsen considerably several hours later. Bruising may also develop, and when weight is placed on the affected leg, the knee joint may feel as if it is about to buckle or give out.
How is an LCL injury treated?
To confirm your diagnosis, Dr. Vizzi will ask about your symptoms and assess your injury by examining your knee and leg. Specifically, he will check for swelling and tenderness, then move your knee and leg in various ways to assess your joint stability. He may also request an X-ray, which can be performed on site, or order an MRI or ultrasound.
If you have an LCL injury, your treatment will likely begin with:
- Ice applications
- A brace to protect and support your knee
- Crutches to minimize the weight burden on your knee as it heals
- Knee joint compression with an elastic bandage
- Anti-inflammatory medications
Dr. Vizzi may also recommend performing gentle stretching, strengthening, and range-of-motion exercises once your comfort allows. You will likely be able to resume your regular activities within several weeks. However, if you have a very severe LCL tear, you may need surgical treatment, especially if you have a co-existing knee injury, such as an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) or meniscal tear.
If you would like Dr. Vizzi to evaluate your LCL injury, contact us to schedule an appointment at his office in Lafayette, Louisiana.