LCL | Lateral Collateral Ligament Injury of the Knee

Prolotherapy Screwdriver AnalogyDanielle.Steilen.ProlotherapistDanielle R. Steilen-Matias, MMS, PA-C

The lateral collateral ligament (LCL) is one of four critical ligaments involved in stabilizing the knee joint. Stabilizing the knee on the outside, or lateral side, of the joint, it extends from the top-outside surface of the fibula, the bone on the outside of the lower leg, to the bottom-outside surface of the femur, the thigh bone. A lateral collateral ligament injury involves a stretch, partial tear or complete tear of this particular knee ligament. In some instances the injury is significant enough to cause an avulsion fracture of fibular head (out top area of the shin bone).

Look at new research examining the crucial role of the knee’s lateral collateral ligament in stabilizing or destabilizing an ACL deficient knee.

While we look at the LCL’s involvement in knee stabilization, no ligament or stabilizing structure in the knee should ever be considered an “island unto itself.” Each stabilizer interacts with other stabilizes to provide the highly active knee with support.

The effect of the LCL on Knee Instability

Doctors at Tokyo Medical and Dental University compare the relationship between knee ligaments and knee stability.

Our interpretation: ACL damage in knee, undetected lateral knee instability, whole knee not treated, chronic instability.

The greater importance of the lateral stabilizers of the knee are confirmed by Mayo Clinic surgeons who performed reconstructive surgery on completely ruptured LCLs.

Two things, the LCL stabilizers need to be fixed, reconstruction for MCL is not as successful a procedure.

The regenerative treatment for a lateral collateral ligament injury using Prolotherapy

Knee Prolotherapy DoctorsWhen the LCL is overstretched or partially torn, a preferred treatment is one that will regenerate the ligament and stimulate healing of the original ligament rather than replacing it through surgery. Prolotherapy is the treatment option that strengthens and repairs ligaments. Motion and exercise would also be encouraged along with Prolotherapy for proper healing of the knee joint.

In the Journal of Prolotherapy, Caring Medical researchers wrote:

Once again, since injury of the LCL often involves other ligaments, Prolotherapy for an injured LCL would be comprehensive.

It is possible that a totally torn or ruptured ligament may require surgery, however, since Prolotherapy has been shown to regenerate tissue, it should be tried as a first line treatment before considering surgery. Prolotherapy will also heal the other injured ligaments involved in the forceful knee injury. If necessary, the experienced Prolotherapist will know when to use a more aggressive approach such as Platelet Rich Plasma Prolotherapy for knee repair or Stem Cell Injection Prolotherapy for knee repair to help heal the injured structures of the knee.

Please see our article on Knee Instability for research on Prolotherapy.

Are you a candidate for our non-surgical treatments? Ask our specialists:

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1 Yuuki A, Muneta T, Ohara T, Sekiya I, Koga H. Associated lateral/medial knee instability and its relevant factors in anterior cruciate ligament-injured knees. J Orthop Sci. 2016 Nov 19. pii: S0949-2658(16)30217-2. doi: 10.1016/j.jos.2016.10.009. [Pubmed]
2. King AH, Krych AJ, Prince MR, Pareek A, Stuart MJ, Levy BA. Surgical Outcomes of Medial Versus Lateral Multiligament-Injured, Dislocated Knees. Arthroscopy. 2016 Sep;32(9):1814-9. [Pubmed]
3. Hauser R. Ligament Injury and Healing: An Overview of Current Clinical Concepts Journal of Prolotherapy. 2011;3(4):836-846. [JOP]


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