ACL injuries are frequent newsmakers, affecting popular athletes like Celtics’ star Rajon Rondo and Yankees’ player Mariano Rivera. While anterior crucial ligament tears are serious injuries that can kill a sports career without proper treatment, another ligament injury may be just as detrimental to athletic performance. Athletes who engage in contact sports such as football or soccer may be in danger of suffering from a lesser-known injury to the LCL, or lateral collateral ligament. Getting educated about this part of the body may help you avoid injury and stay on your feet!

Identifying an LCL Injury

Located on the sides of the knee, collateral ligaments affect your ability to move the knee from side to side and prevent it from moving in improper ways. An injury to the LCL can cause a great deal of pain while impacting your ability to walk and participate in sports and other activities.

Typically, doctors divide LCL injuries into three categories: Grade I, Grade II and Grade III. While it may be possible to treat the first two types of LCL tear with rest, bracing and anti-inflammatories, the more severe Grade III type of the injury generally requires surgical intervention.

It’s important to remember that seeking treatment for an LCL tear early may help prevent it from progressing to a more serious injury requiring surgery. For example, Redskins’ star Robert Griffin III suffered a Grade I LCL sprain and then returned to play only to later re-injured that knee ligament as well as his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). This is a serious knee injury that required reconstructive surgery.

If you are experiencing pain and swelling on the sides of your knee, don’t hesitate to contact the Knee Surgery Center of Excellence. Located in Beverly Hills, we offer highly trained board-certified orthopedic surgeons with unique expertise in innovative knee surgery procedures.

Your LCL Injury Appointment

During your LCL injury appointment, our knee specialists perform a physical exam on your affected knee. They may order X-rays or other imaging tests to determine the grade of your injury. Depending on the severity of the injury, our experts may recommend that you wear a knee brace when exercising or participating in sports. They may also prescribe physical therapy, rest, icing or anti-inflammatories. If the x-rays reveal that you are suffering from a Grade III LCL injury, you will likely require surgery to repair the ligament. Fortunately, our surgeons possess expert training in procedures involving minimally invasive surgery techniques. Our goal is to get you back to living an active life.

Our knee surgeons will also provide you with valuable tips to prevent future LCL tears and injuries.

Preventing LCL Injuries

You can take steps to prevent LCL injuries and to avoid re-injuring the collateral ligaments in the future. It’s important to stretch thoroughly before participating in sports or other physical activity. Our orthopedic experts may also advise you to wear a brace to help stabilize the knee. When performing any athletic activity, it’s essential to make sure you are in good health. You may want to consult with a doctor before starting a new sport or exercise program. Finally, if you think you may already have suffered an LCL injury, don’t hesitate to seek medical attention, which could prevent the injury from progressing.

Contact Beverly Hills Knee Surgeons

If you have additional questions about LCL injuries, or if you’re experiencing knee pain or weakness, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment at the Knee Surgery Center of Excellence online or by calling 310.360.9119. Located in Beverly Hills, our newly remodeled facility features doctors and surgeons who are leaders in their field. Contact our Beverly Hills knee surgeons today for information about this less well-known ligament.