A lateral collateral ligament injury refers to a tear in the ligament which runs down and supports the outer aspect of the knee joint. The lateral collateral ligament is injured when it is overstretched.
Importance of the lateral collateral ligament is the maintenance of the knee stability. The LCL is biomechanically and anatomically considered as a component of the posterolateral complex of the knee and restrains posterior tibial translation (backward gliding) and external and varus tibial rotations (Park et al., 2006).
The lateral collateral ligament is injured when it is overstretched. This commonly occurs when an opponent or team-mate falls across the inside of your knee when your foot is fixed on the ground. This causes the knee to bend outwards, overstretching and injuring the lateral collateral ligament.
Management of this condition involves immobilising the ligament, avoiding activities that stretch the ligament (changing direction quickly), following the PRICE regime acutely and a graduated strengthening and balance programme.
Park S. E. et al., 2006, Erratum to “ The change in length of the medial and lateral collateral ligaments during in vivo knee flexion”, The Knee Journal, 13(1), pp: 77-82