The knee joint comprises of two collateral ligaments either side of the knee that provide support and stability to inward and outward directed forces to the knee joint. Such ligaments are called the medial collateral ligament (MCL) and the lateral collateral ligament (LCL), respectively. Sprains or ruptures/tears of these ligaments are common in contact sports such as football and rugby.
Causes: Inward directed forces to the outside of the knee can lead to MCL injuries and outward directed forces to the inside of the knee can lead to LCL injuries. Excessive rotational forces of the knee and direct blows to the ligaments can also injure the ligaments. Such injuries may occur in activities such as twisting the knee when walking, slipping on ice or whilst playing football.
Symptoms & Diagnosis: Collateral ligament injuries are normally associated with localised pain and swelling. Knee instability, clicking or giving way of the knee may also be reported. Restricted range of movement normally takes place coinciding with the severity of pain involved.
Management: An accurate diagnosis by a skilled physiotherapist is recommended at the earliest opportunity to allow an efficient recovery and return to full function. An MRI scan may be indicated to investigate the extent of any other internal damage in the knee joint.
Please feel free to contact the G4 Clinic to speak to a member of the team for any questions that you may have.