Lateral Collateral Knee Ligament Injury Follow-up

Updated: Mar 09, 2015
  • Author: Sherwin SW Ho, MD; Chief Editor: Sherwin SW Ho, MD  more...
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Follow-up

Return to Play

The time frame for return to play depends on the severity of the LCL injury and concomitant injuries. Early goals of therapy are to prevent stiffness of the knee while allowing healing to take place. Later, sport-specific therapy is started to transition the athlete into full participation. The athlete needs to regain strength and functional rehabilitation, including proprioception, sport-specific activity, and some type of dynamic running program.

Functional testing (eg, one-legged balance, jumping, running, cutting) should be completed to evaluate the overall condition of the knee. Athletes should be pain free with functional activities and regain full strength and range of motion before they return to sports.

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Complications

See the list below:

  • Chronic pain

  • Weakness

  • Instability

  • Peroneal nerve injury

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Prevention

Knee bracing has not been shown to be effective in preventing LCL injuries. A program directed at improving flexibility and strength of the core musculature may lessen the likelihood of lower extremity sporting injury.

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Prognosis

With proper treatment and rehabilitation, the prognosis for LCL injuries is good to excellent.

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Education

For patient education resources, see the Foot, Ankle, Knee, and Hip Center and Sports Injury Center, as well as Knee Injury.

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