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COLLATER ALLIGAMES (side ligaments)

What is a collateral ligament?


The collateral ligaments (lateral ligaments) sit across the knee joint on the outside and inside knees, respectively. Its task is to stabilize the knee laterally. Clearly, injuries to the lateral ligament on the inside of the knee are most common and often occur with a combination of twisting and heavy load in the knee, by the knee folding inwards in a fall or if someone runs into the outside of the knee. External lateral ligament damage occurs by force against the inside of the knee or if the knee is overstretched under load. On the inside collateral ligament, the vast majority of injuries occur in the vicinity of its attachment to the femur. On the collateral ligament of the outside, the vast majority of injuries occur in the vicinity of its attachment to the calf bone.


Treatment of lateral ligaments in Alta Vita


Symptoms of collateral ligament injury?


Pain on the inside knee or pain on the outside knee. Initial stiffness both in stretching and bending of the knee with pain in the outer positions. Usually only mild swelling on the injured side. If the swelling is more extensive, it may be a combination injury, where the meniscus and / or cruciate ligament are also damaged. The pain is more extensive if the ligament has partially gone off, compared to if it has gone off completely. Depending on the degree of injury, on examination we can see an increased lateral mobility (wobbling) in the knee that correlates with how much damage is to the ligament. You are also pressure sore on the damaged side.

Treatment in case of injury to the lateral ligament in the knee?


Immediately at the time of injury, it is good to apply compression with a solid elastic wrap around the knee for about 30 minutes, with the knee above heart level. Then continue a little lighter pressure around the knee. Rest and relief of the knee the first day. Then gradually increased load. What that load increase looks like depends a lot on how extensive the damage is. Here, our experienced physiotherapists can make an assessment of the extent of the injury. One  rehabilitation training  started which aims to optimize coordination, mobility and load tolerance in the knee. Scar tissue is often found in the area that needs to be treated. If necessary, can  ultrasound diagnostics  carried out as part of determining the degree of damage. The collateral ligament of the inside is generally not operated on. The collateral ligament of the outside is operated on to a greater extent.


Prognosis for a collateral ligament injury?

Ligament injury on the inside of the knee has a good prognosis with non-surgical treatment, regardless of the degree of damage to the ligament.

Ligament injury on the outside of the knee has a good prognosis with non-operative treatment and rehabilitation, as long as the ligament has not gone off completely. In the event of a total rupture, the knee is usually operated on and the ligament is sewn on or together. The prognosis after surgery is good, but the rehabilitation time will be longer.

Differential diagnoses for a collateral ligament injury?

On the inside of the knee, there may also be an injury to the inside of the meniscus, anterior cruciate ligament or pes hellerinus.

On the outside knee, there may also be an injury to the outside meniscus, iliotibial tract, biceps femoris or injury to the ligament that holds the fibula head in place.

Physiotherapy at Alta Vita Physiotherapy

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