The collateral ligaments - the lateral collateral ligament (LCL) and the medial collateral ligament (MCL) - provide the knee with varus/valgus stability. Injury of these ligaments usually occurs when the body rotates while the foot is fixed to the ground, which is a typical movement in some sporting activities, with the medial ligament being the one that is injured most frequently. Impacts to the outer side of the knee produce a hinged movement, resulting in the stretching of the medial ligament and injury. The injury can have varying degrees of severity. Grade 1 is a ligament tear, grade 2 is a rupture of some fibres and grade 3 is complete rupture of the ligament or avulsion from its bony insertion.
Collateral Ligament Knee Injury~Symptoms
It is common for collateral ligament injury to be associated with meniscal, LCL and internal meniscus injuries, and mediolateral instability of the knee, which can be chronic, causing a feeling of insecurity and the presence of mechanical faults (sensation of the knee “moving”). Impossibility of performing any sporting activity and limitations in movement in daily life.
MCL & LCL Injury~Orthotic Treatment
In grade 1 and 2 injuries, the use of orthopaedic devices is essential to enable complete immobilisation for a period of at least 3 weeks and a prompt return to walking and isometric exercises, pain permitting. After this period, rehabilitation, along with orthotic devices, is used to gradually improve mobility. By means of mechanical flexion-extension control joints on the orthosis, it is possible to completely immobilise or set a movement range for the joint. In the case of ligament rupture, post-surgical orthotic treatment requires the use of an orthotic device for immobilisation and early rehabilitation. After surgery and subsequent rehabilitation, the use of stabilising knee supports for protection in sporting and daily activities is recommended.