The lateral collateral ligament runs along the outside of the knee joint. It joins the femur to the fibula, and gives support to the outside of the knee joint. The LCL is much less commonly injured than the medial collateral ligament (MCL) although it may occur if an opponent falls across the inside of an athlete’s leg.
Diagnosis of LCL tear can be made by a chartered physiotherapist who will employ various tests to ensure the integrity of the joint. Positive findings indicating torn LCL include laxity with or without pain on varus stressing of the joint. You’re chartered physiotherapist should be able to advise you on the extent of your LCL tear. A grade one lateral collateral ligament tear is the least significant, with grade 2 and 3 tears representing increasing degrees of ligament fibre damage.
Treatment of LCL tear generally involves physiotherapy, which should include manual therapy and a knee strengthening programme. In worse cases with persistent and ongoing instability an orthopaedic surgery opinion will be necessary.