Collateral Ligament Injury – Do You Need Surgery?

November 12, 2012

Collateral Ligament Injury - Do You Need Surgery?

People who end up with a collateral ligament injury are usually athletes who are involved in direct contact sports, such as soccer or football. This is because they tend to use the knee ligaments much more than other athletes, in general. If you end up suffering from a collateral ligament injury, will you need to go through surgery, though?

Your Different Ligaments

Your knee joint is where three different bones meet: the kneecap, the shinbone and the thighbone. The kneecap is located at the very front to give you better protection overall. All of these bones are connected by the following ligaments to keep your actual knee stable and strong:

Cruciate Ligaments

These ligaments can be found in the joint of your knee and they control the way your knee moves back and forth.

Collateral Ligaments

These ligaments can be found on your knee’s sides and they control the way your knee moves sideways. They also brace your knee against any unusual movements.

The Causes of Ligament Injuries

Since the joint of your knee depends on these ligaments for stability, as well as its surrounding muscles, they are pretty easy to injure. In fact, you could easily injure one of these ligaments just by changing direction too quickly while running. The same goes for any hard muscle contractions or direct contact to your knee.

A collateral ligament injury could also occur if something pushes your knee to the side. Although this type of injury usually occurs in the world of sports, this isn’t always the case. A medial tear, for example, may happen if your knee was given a direct blow and was pushed into the other knee.

The Symptoms of Ligament Injuries

  • Pain on your knee’s sides

  • Swelling

  • Knee instability

The Treatments of Ligament Injuries

Fortunately, a collateral ligament injury doesn’t always require surgery. In fact, a lot of the time, this can be treated in the same way a sprain is treated. However, if your injury involves various other structures inside your knee, you might have to look into surgery in the end after all.

Nonsurgical Treatment

Putting ice on an injury is very vital in helping it heal. All you have to do is crush some ice and apply it directly onto the injured area for half an hour every hour. Sometimes, your doctor might recommend a knee brace to protect your knee and injured ligaments from more stress, as well. In some cases, physical therapy in the form of strengthening exercises for your knee and leg muscles would also be needed.

Surgical Treatment

As mentioned earlier, a collateral ligament injury hardly ever requires surgery. However, if your ligament was torn so badly that it can no longer be healed without surgery or if it is connected to other ligament injuries overall, then you might have to turn to surgery to fix it after all.

Category: Articles