lcl injury Trenton

The Recovery Process Following an LCL Injury Trenton Patients Want to Know

Arjun Saxena, M.D., M.B.A. February 1st, 2018

LCL injuries greatly vary in terms of severity and the respective treatments that can effectively address and repair damage that has been accrued. Learn more about these injuries and the road to LCL injury recovery.

Patients who have suffered an injury to the lateral collateral ligament (or LCL) want two things above all else: effective treatment and a fast return to normal, healthy life and activity.

This is especially the case for LCL injury Trenton patients who are athletes; athletes represent the majority of LCL injuries and typically have the most to lose in terms of lifestyle from injuries of this type. They are certainly not alone in wanting a rapid recovery, though - this is, after all, the ultimate goal of every patient.

With that in mind, patients tend to have many questions as they look forward to recovery following an injury. What exactly does an LCL injury affect? How serious or long-term is the associated symptoms and damage? When can patients anticipate resuming their normal activities?

The doctors of Trenton Orthopaedic Group at Rothman Orthopaedic Institute will help you to answer these questions as you look into treatment for your LCL injury.

Questions About LCL Injuries

At Rothman Orthopaedic Institute, we have extensive experience treating an LCL injury Trenton residents suffer from. Our experience has given us great familiarity with the types of questions and concerns that LCL injury patients have. Here are some of the most common questions about LCL injuries:

What exactly is the LCL?

The knee contains four major ligaments. The lateral collateral ligament is one of these four ligaments; it runs along the exterior of the knee, connecting the femur to the fibula. The LCL functions to stabilize and prevent outward movement of the knee.

How does an LCL injury occur?

An LCL injury typically results from a forceful impact to the inside or outside of the knee. This type of impact most typically occurs during athletic activity that induces buckling of the knee, such as soccer or skiing. The severity of injury may range from a small sprain to a true tear of the LCL.

What are common LCL injury symptoms?

Symptoms of LCL injuries include:

  • Mild or severe pain

  • Instability or buckling of the knee

  • Swelling along the exterior of the knee

  • Tenderness along the exterior of the knee

  • Numbness or weakness in the foot

  • Locking and catching sensations within the knee joint

Looking Forward: Questions about LCL Injury Recovery

LCL injury patients aren’t only interested in the basic facts regarding their injuries, of course. They want to know what treatments are available to them and what their recovery process will entail. Below are common LCL treatment and recovery questions:

Are non-operative treatments available?

The good news for LCL injury patients is that the majority of LCL injuries can be treated without surgery. There are numerous effective non-operative treatments that can address the issues and symptoms of LCL injuries. These include:

  • RICE: Rest, icing, compression, and elevation

  • Bracing to stabilize the knee

  • Crutches to relieve pressure and weight on the knee

  • Physical therapy to strengthen the knee and associated leg muscles

When is LCL surgery necessary?

While low-grade LCL injuries typically do not require surgery, more severe tears may require a surgical treatment. This may be necessary if the injury cannot heal or reattach without surgical intervention or if there are other, co-occurring, ligament injuries. LCL surgery involves reattaching the ligament to the femur or fibula.

When can I resume normal activity?

The length of the recovery period will be directly dependent upon the severity of your injury and the type of treatment you undergo. Once your range of motion has returned and you can walk without a limp, your doctor will advise you in gradually resuming normal and athletic activity.

We hope this overview of LCL injury Trenton basics and what to expect from LCL injury recovery has helped to answer some of your questions. If you have further questions, the orthopaedic experts of Trenton Orthopaedic Group at Rothman Orthopaedic Institute will be glad to help. For more information, visit us here or contact us at 1-800-321-9999.

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