About MCL & LCL Injuries

What is it and what are your treatment options?
Anchorage: (907) 562-2277
Wasilla: (907) 357-2267
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What is a MCL / LCL Injury?

Three bones meet to form your knee joint: your thigh bone (femur), shinbone (tibia), and kneecap (patella). Your kneecap sits in front of the joint to provide some protection. Bones are connected to other bones by ligaments. There are four primary ligaments in your knee. They act like strong ropes to hold the bones together and keep your knee stable. The medial collateral ligament is on the inside and the lateral collateral ligament is on the outside. They control the sideways motion of your knee and brace it against unusual movement.

Common Causes:

  • Direct trauma to the knee
  • Hard muscle contraction — such as changing direction rapidly while running
  • Falling on the knee while it’s bent

Symptoms of a Collateral Ligament Injury may include:

  • Popping sensation after injury
  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Limited range of motion
  • Trouble walking or bearing weight on the knee

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms immediately seek treatment by making an appointment with the Orthopedic Physicians Alaska (OPA) team of knee specialists.

When you arrive for your initial consultation, Orthopedic Physicians Alaska (OPA) team of knee specialists will evaluate your areas of concern, discuss your symptoms, and develop a customized and comprehensive treatment plan tailored to your unique needs. This evaluation is a necessary part of diagnosing your condition and providing the best possible care.

When diagnosing a Collateral Ligament injury, the OPA specialist will provide:

  • A medical, injury, and symptom history review
  • A physical examination
  • Multiple view x-rays or MRI

Common Treatments:

Nonsurgical treatment options are used to treat a Collateral Ligament sprain or partial tear. The following may be included in a customized OPA treatment plan:

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs)

Decrease inflammation and pain.

Physical Therapy

OPA approved physical therapist will provide exercises to strengthen the collateral ligament and surrounding muscles, ligaments and tendons.

Immobilization

A brace and crutches take the weight off the knee.

Activity Modification

Slowing down or stopping activities that caused the injury or cause symptom flare-ups.

Most isolated collateral ligament injuries can be successfully treated without surgery. If the collateral ligament is torn in such a way that it cannot heal or is associated with other ligament injuries, the OPA knee specialist may suggest surgery to repair it. Physical therapy will be an important part of recovery after surgery.

At OPA, our Board-Certified and Fellowship Trained Knee Specialists are experts in diagnosing and treating collateral ligament injuries.

If you are experiencing pain in your knee, contact our office to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists that are conveniently located in Anchorage and Wasilla.

Schedule An Appointment

To receive an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment plan, please make an appointment with one of our Orthopedic Team Specialists at our offices conveniently located in Anchorage and Wasilla, AK.
Anchorage: (907) 562-2277
Wasilla: (907) 357-2267

OPA Knee Team

(click a provider to view profile)

Deryk Anderson, DO

Orthopedic Specialist

Tucker Drury, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Adam Ellison, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Robert Hall, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Christopher Manion, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Jeff Moore, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Eli Powell, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Michael Reyes, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Greg Schweiger, MD

Orthopedic Specialist

Our Mission

To provide the finest orthopedic surgery and musculoskeletal care in North America, offering general and specialized adult care to all Alaskans and visitors.

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