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Knee Lateral Collateral Ligament Sprain Physiotherapy

Lateral collateral ligament (LCL) sprains (also less commonly known as fibular collateral ligament) happens when the ligament on the outer side of the knee is overstretched.

Collateral ligament knee injuries make up about 25% of severe knee injuries in the United States.

Most of the time, these knee injuries happen in adults aged 20-34 years and 55-65 years. LCL sprains mainly happen during sporting activities, including contact and noncontact sports, and affect women and men equally.

Our senior physical therapist treats LCL sprains to

Lateral Collateral Ligament Injuries (LCL)

Our lateral collateral ligament is a thick, strong band of tissue that connects our thigh bone (femur bone) to the shinbone (fibula bone).

It is located on the outer side of the knee and it helps to keep our knee joint stable, and is one of several collateral ligaments that support the knee (refer to original knee picture above).

The LCL can be injured

  • if the knee is hit on the inner side, which pushes the knee outward or
  • if the knee straightens too quickly or forcefully (hyperextends)

which causes stress on the outer side of the knee. The LCL may be

  • stretched
  • partially torn or
  • completely torn

How Does a Knee Lateral Collateral Ligament Sprain Feel like?

With an injured LCL, you may feel:

  • Swelling on the outside of the knee 
  • Pain on the outside of the knee 
  • Tenderness on the outside of the knee 
  • A feeling that the knee is locking, catching, buckling or giving way during movement

The pain of an LCL injury may cause you to limp.

How Is It Diagnosed?

If you see our senior physiotherapist first, we will conduct a thorough evaluation that includes taking your health history.

We will also ask you detailed questions about your injury, such as:

  • How and when did you notice the pain?
  • Did you feel pain or hear a "pop" when you injured your leg?
  • Did you turn your leg with your foot planted on the ground?
  • Did you change direction quickly while running?
  • Did your knee straighten out very quickly?
  • Did you receive a direct hit to the leg while your foot was planted on the ground? 
  • Did you see swelling around the knee in the first 2 to 3 hours following the injury? 
  • Does your knee feel like it is locking, catching, buckling, or giving way when you try to use it?

We also will perform special tests to help determine the likelihood that you have an LCL sprain.

We will gently press on the outer side of your knee to see if it is painful to the touch, and push on the inner side of the knee to see if that causes pain on the outer side. We may use additional tests to determine if other parts of your knee are injured, and will also observe how you are walking.

To provide a definitive diagnosis, we may collaborate with an orthopedic physician or other health care provider. They may order further tests, such as an x-ray to confirm the diagnosis and to rule out other damage to the knee, including fracture.

how our senior physiotherapists can help you

We will work with you to design a specific treatment program that will speed your knee pain recovery, including exercises you can do at home.

The number 1 goal of knee physical therapy is to help you return to your normal lifestyle and activities. The time it takes to heal the knee lateral collateral ligament varies, but improvement is generally noted in 4 to 8 weeks.

During the first 24 to 48 hours following your injury, we may advise you to:

  • Rest the area by using crutches or a brace, or by avoiding walking or any activity that causes pain.
  • Apply cold therapy to the area for 1520 minutes every 2 hours.
  • Consult with a doctor for further services, such as medication or diagnostic tests.

Our senior physiotherapists will work with you over time to:

Reduce Pain and Swelling

We may use different types of treatments and technologies to control and reduce your pain and swelling, including

Improve Range Of Motion

We will choose specific activities and treatments to help restore normal movement in the knee and leg. These might begin with "passive" motions that we do with and for you to gently move your leg and knee joint, and progress to active exercises and stretches that you do yourself.

Improve Flexibility

We will determine if any of your leg muscles are tight, and teach you how to stretch them.

Improve Strength

Certain exercises will aid healing at each stage of recovery. We will choose the exercises and equipment that are right for your specific condition to steadily restore your strength and agility.

These may include

  • cuff weights
  • stretch bands
  • weight-lifting equipment
  • cardio-exercise equipment, such as treadmills or stationary bicycles

Improve Balance and Agility

Regaining your sense of balance is important after an injury. For athletes, restoring agility is important, also. We will teach you exercises to improve your balance and agility skills.

Speed Recovery Time

We are trained and experienced in choosing the best treatments and exercises to help you heal, return to your normal lifestyle, and reach your goals faster than you are likely to do on your own.

Return to Activities

We will discuss your goals with you and use them to set your work, sport, and home-life recovery goals. Your physiotherapy treatment program will help you reach those goals in the safest, fastest, and most effective way possible.

We will teach you exercises, work retraining activities, and sport-specific techniques and drills to help you achieve your goals.

If Surgery Is Necessary

Surgery is really very rare in cases of knee lateral collateral ligament sprains and injury.

That being said, if other parts of the knee are injured at the same time as the LCL, you may need additional treatment for those injuries that might include surgery.

And if corrective knee surgery is needed, you will follow a knee physiotherapy recovery program over several weeks guided by our senior physiotherapist, who will help you

  • minimize pain
  • regain motion
  • regain strength
  • regain agility
  • and return to normal activities in the speediest manner possible

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book your physio appointments now

WhatsApp / SMS your name, preferred date, time and enquiries to +658800183

Email questions and your preferred physiotherapy timings to nigel@phoenixrehabgroup.com or

Clinic Locations: See how to get to us here

Phoenix Rehab physio Services

Phoenix Rehab Group works with specialist physiotherapists and rehab therapists who are highly trained, qualified, experienced and passionate to provide high level of expert care to our patients.


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You may do Pilates as matwork or with the reformer or both, and every session will be customized 100% to your fitness, injury and tolerance.



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Done regularly, it will keeps your muscles healthy and fit with body/movement-confidence. Read the benefits of regular deep tissue release therapy here.


All our allied health therapists and TCM physicians are fully insured and registered with Allied Health Professions Council (AHPC) and Traditional Chinese Medicine Board (TCMB).

See our entire team here with introductions and their specializations.

At the first session, our specialist physiotherapists will carry out a thorough assessment, helping them to select the most appropriate treatment to help you recover as well as provide treatment in the same session.

Follow up sessions are inline to provide expert treatment for your pain as well as prescribing specific exercises to reduce your risk of re-injury and giving you a long term solution.

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We appreciate you as our valued clients and want you to know that the #1 way we grow as a clinic/brand is through word of mouth referrals from valued patients like yourself.

We do not rely on advertising - instead, we prefer and appreciate the goodwill and positive reinforcement from patients. When you have the chance, please tell your family, friends and physicians about the positive results and experience you have had in our physio clinics.

book your physio appointments now

WhatsApp / SMS your name, preferred date, time and enquiries to +658800183

Email questions and your preferred physiotherapy timings to nigel@phoenixrehabgroup.com or

Clinic Locations: See how to get to us here