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Medial & Lateral Cruciate Ligament Injuries

crucial ligamentThe medial collateral ligament is more easily injured than the lateral collateral ligament. The cause of collateral ligament injuries is most often a blow to the outer side of the knee that stretches and tears the ligament on the inner side of the knee. Such blows frequently occur in contact sports such as football or hockey.

Symptoms
When injury to the medial collateral ligament occurs, you may feel a pop and the knee may buckle sideways. Pain and swelling are common.

Diagnosis
A thorough examination is needed to determine the type and extent of the injury. In diagnosing a collateral ligament injury, the doctor exerts pressure on the side of the knee to determine the degree of pain and the looseness of the joint. An MRI is helpful in diagnosing injuries to these ligaments.

Treatment
Most sprains of the collateral ligaments will heal if you follow a prescribed exercise program. In addition to exercise, the practitioner may recommend ice packs to reduce pain and swelling, and a small sleeve-type brace to protect and stabilize the knee. A sprain may take 2 to 4 weeks to heal. A severely sprained or torn collateral ligament may be accompanied by a torn anterior cruciate ligament, which usually requires surgical repair. Dr. Luciano Di Loreto and team will work with you to establish a customized treatment plan.

http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Knee_Problems/default.asp#8