The lateral collateral ligament (LCL) supports the outside of the knee, connecting the femur and tibia. This ligament is crucial for creating stability in the knee, stopping the knee components from shifting side to side when completing quick changes in direction. When the LCL is torn, it can impact mobility. Dr. Steven Struhl at Shoulders & Knees offers lateral collateral ligament (LCL) tear treatment at our facility in NYC.

The lateral collateral ligament is also called the fibular collateral ligament (FCL). This is a short but tough ligament that provides the main support to the outside of the knee joint. Injuries to the LCL occur most commonly as a sports injury. Stopping and starting quickly or part of a hyperextension injury can cause an LCL tear. A blow to the inside or outside of the knee can also tear the LCL, which can happen in a sports injury or other type of impact accident.

Symptoms of an FCL or LCL Tear

Symptoms of LCL tears are mild. There can be some pain and swelling or a feeling of the knee shifting from side-to-side. However, the main symptom alerting to a severe LCL tear is the inability to stop and turn or “cut” quickly on the side of the injured knee. The sensation of the knee shifting when a stop and cut is performed can restrict movement, especially for athletes that rely on quick changes in motion to perform at the highest level.

Treatment for LCL tears depends on the extent of the injury and the patient’s lifestyle. Athletes with a partial or complete tear will likely need surgery to repair the ligament and restore full movement and stability. For non-athletes, surgery may be considered for severe instability or if it affects their mobility.

Dr. Steven Struhl is one of the top orthopedic surgeons in the country and a knee specialist. If you have symptoms of a lateral collateral ligament (LCL) tear, treatment and diagnosis are available at our clinics in Westchester and NYC. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.