The lateral collateral ligament, also known as the LCL, is a small band of fibrous tissue running along the outside of the knee. The LCL can be compared to the size width of a # 2 pencil. It connects the top thigh bone to the outside of the lower leg bone. It's like a tough piece of gristle.
The LCL helps to control the side to side motion of your knee and also acts as a natural brace against unusual movements at the knee. The knee sprain recovery time will vary depending on if other structures of the knee have injuries.
Typically, but not always, the LCL injury occurs more with sports activity. Examples such as football and hockey with direct contact or basketball /soccer where there are quick turning movements.
The LCL is usually injured by:
These type of LCL injuries are classified as sprains and graded on a severity scale.
The good news is that even with a grade 3 LCL sprain, surgery is usually not required unless another major knee ligament has been injured as well, such as a torn ACL.
With proper recovery time and rehabilitation, most people can fully recover from and LCL tear and return to sport and activity. It takes time, patience, hard work, and dedication with Rehab.
If you have a knee injury or are concerned about and LCL Tear, the Jacksonville Orthopaedic Institute can help. To schedule an appointment with a JOI Orthopedic Knee Doctor, call (904)JOI-2000, schedule online, or click the link below. To see a JOI Rehab Therapist in 1 of our 12 locations, call (904)858-7045.