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Medial Collateral and Lateral Collateral Ligament Injury Follow-up

  • Author: Adam B Agranoff, MD; Chief Editor: Consuelo T Lorenzo, MD  more...
Updated: Jul 20, 2015

Further Outpatient Care

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  • Patients who undergo surgery for grade III lateral collateral ligament (LCL) injuries are later referred to outpatient PT for rehabilitation. The process of recovery and rehabilitation may take up to 3 months. Less severe injuries of the medial collateral ligament (MCL) and LCL also are commonly referred for outpatient PT treatment (see Physical Therapy).[14]

Further Inpatient Care

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  • Depending on each individual case and on the complexity of a lateral collateral ligament (LCL) injury that requires surgery, patients may or may not need inpatient care. If the patient requires hospitalization, education should be completed prior to dismissal. Physical therapy may be ordered to complete crutch and stair training, thus ensuring the patient's safety upon his/her return home.


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  • Peroneal nerve injuries can occur with lateral collateral ligament (LCL) injuries.


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  • Most patients have an excellent outcome.[7]

Patient Education

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  • Depending on their age and activity level, patients may need education and training in the use of the most appropriate assistive device (eg, crutches, walker). Education is important throughout the patient's recovery. Proper treatment strategies and a home exercise program to increase knee joint stability further and avoid recurrence are essential elements of patient education.
  • For patient education resources, see the Foot, Ankle, Knee, and Hip Center, as well as Knee Injury and Knee Pain.
Contributor Information and Disclosures

Adam B Agranoff, MD Physiatrist and Partner, Chelsea Back Care, Chelsea Community Hospital

Adam B Agranoff, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, North American Spine Society, International Spine Intervention Society

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Specialty Editor Board

Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy; Editor-in-Chief, Medscape Drug Reference

Disclosure: Received salary from Medscape for employment. for: Medscape.

Michael T Andary, MD, MS Professor, Residency Program Director, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine

Michael T Andary, MD, MS is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, American Association of Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine, American Medical Association, Association of Academic Physiatrists

Disclosure: Received honoraria from Allergan for speaking and teaching.

Chief Editor

Consuelo T Lorenzo, MD Medical Director, Senior Products, Central North Region, Humana, Inc

Consuelo T Lorenzo, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Additional Contributors

Robert E Windsor, MD, FAAPMR, FAAEM, FAAPM President and Director, Georgia Pain Physicians, PC; Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Emory University School of Medicine

Robert E Windsor, MD, FAAPMR, FAAEM, FAAPM is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Pain Medicine, American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, American College of Sports Medicine, American Medical Association, International Association for the Study of Pain, Texas Medical Association

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.


Robert J Kaplan, MD Staff Physician, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, James E Van Zandt VA Medical Center

Robert J Kaplan, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

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The medial and lateral collateral ligaments of the knee. Courtesy of Randale Sechrest, MD, CEO, Medical Multimedia Group.
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