The pain from a torn LCL ligament or lateral collateral ligament usually occurs on the exterior part of the knee. Take note that the LCL traverses from the upper part of the tibia which is the bone on the exterior of the inferior leg up to the exterior lower thighbone. This ligament is specifically structured to maintain the stability of the knee. There are various causes why an individual can experience pain in the knee while walking, yet it usually occurs right after an injury.
What are the symptoms?
An indication that an individual has a torn LCL ligament is the unsteadiness of the feet in which the individual feels that he/she is going to fall while walking. At the same time, the knee tends to lock while walking which makes it difficult to bend the knee. There is also swelling that worsens every time the individual moves. As for the pain, it can be severe or minimally irritating. The swelling often traps the nerves in the legs in which the individual feels the loss of sensation while he/she walks.
In most cases, it is usually triggered by a direct blow on the exterior part of the knee. A torn LCL ligament can also occur after a vehicular accident or bicycle accident where the individual bumps his/her knee on a hard surface forcefully. Those who participate in sports that involve several starts and stops such as soccer, basketball and skiing can result to torn LCL ligaments. Even hockey and football players can suffer from this injury once pounded on the knee. Additionally, constant stress can later on lead to tears.
Treatment for a torn LCL ligament
When it comes to a torn LCL ligament that is mild, it typically heals as long as the individual rests but it can take a longer time to fully repair than the other ligaments, usually up to six months. The individual should wear a brace in order to continue walking and use over-the-counter anti-inflammatory pain medications such as ibuprofen. By enrolling in a first aid class, you can learn how to effectively manage this condition.
In some cases, a special cast can also be used to allow the individual to continue walking since it is built with a hole in the knee region but limits the knee from moving sideways. Surgery might be last option if the ligament was torn from the bones where they were attached.
A sure way in order to prevent a torn LCL ligament is to utilize proper techniques when walking or playing certain sports. The individual should strengthen the leg and thigh muscles in order to provide additional support to the knee ligaments so that injuries can be prevented. Additionally, the muscles should sustain the force of the movements of the individual in order to allow the ligaments to keep the knees in place.