LCL injuries

Injury to the ligament on the outside of the knee, the lateral collateral ligament (LCL) occurs as a result of a blow to the inside of the knee or a high energy injury.

The LCL is rarely injured in isolation and is often combined with a PCL or ACL injury.

Drive through sign indicating LCL injury

LCL injuries do not respond well to non operative treatment and most will require an operation to either repair the ligament and associated structures if done early (within 2 weeks of injury) or to reconstruct the ligament using your hamstring tendons if done at a later stage (over 2 weeks from injury)

Both these procedures require a full open operation with a large scar on the outside of the knee. The knee must be braced postoperatively for 12 weeks and your mobility is restricted for the first 6 weeks on crutches partial weight bearing.

The main nerve to the top of your foot runs through the operative field, it may have been injured with the LCL and is in danger during surgery, measures are taken to identify and protect the nerve but it can be inadvertently injured.