Collateral Ligament (MCL/ LCL) Injury Treatment in Chillicothe, OH

What are the Knee Ligaments?

Four main ligaments within the knee connect the femur (thighbone) to the tibia (shinbone). These are the medial collateral (MCL), lateral collateral (LCL), anterior cruciate (ACL) and posterior cruciate (PCL) ligaments. Your collateral ligaments are on the sides of your knee. They control sideways motion and brace your knee against unusual movement. Your cruciate ligaments are inside your knee. They control the back and forth motion of your knee.

Your medial collateral ligaments are on the inside of your knees and connect the femur to the tibia. Your lateral collateral ligaments are on the outer side of your knees and connect the femur to the fibula (the smaller bone in the lower leg). MCL injuries are more common than LCL injuries. Collateral ligaments are sometimes injured at the same time as other structures of the knee. A common combination is a tear of the MCL and a tear of the ACL.

Diagnosing Collateral Ligament Injury 

Collateral Ligament (MCL/ LCL) Injury Infographic A collateral ligament injury can generally be diagnosed through physical examination. However, Dr. Cohen or one of his sports medicine colleagues will obtain a complete “history of present illness” from you and conduct a focused, comprehensive physical exam to evaluate your knee for areas of tenderness, assess stability and range of motion and establish if you have normal or decreased strength. Depending on the findings they may order an X-ray and/or an MRI to rule out other injuries and show the full extent of the collateral ligament injury.

MCL/ LCL Injury Causes and Risk Factors

Collateral Ligament Injury Treatment for Columbus & Grove City, OH patientsCollateral ligament injuries are generally caused when a force pushes the knee sideways. A blow to the outside of the knee can injure the MCL. The LCL is often injured when the knee is forced outward away from the body. Injuries to the collateral ligaments can also occur when repeated stress causes a ligament to lose its normal elasticity.

The collateral ligaments are often injured while participating in sports, such as skiing, basketball, soccer, hockey or football.

ACL Reconstruction

ACL Primary Repair Using the TightRope® RT Implant With InternalBrace™ Ligament Augmentation

Why Choose Dr. Cohen?


One of the first orthopedic surgeons employed by a large hospital. Dr. Cohen spent 20 years.


Over his distinguished career, Dr. Cohen has cultivated a reputation of excellence and trust among his patients and his peers.


To achieve the best surgical outcomes, Dr. Cohen utilizes the most advanced technologies and techniques, keeping his practice state of the art.


An individualized, patient-focused process coupled with decades of training and experience help ensure maximum safety for all of Dr. Cohen’s patients.

MCL/ LCL Injury Symptoms

Symptoms of a collateral ligament injury include:

  • Pain and swelling on the sides of the knee
  • Tenderness
  • Decreased range of motion
  • Instability
  • Knee catching or locking
  • Bruising
  • Problems bearing weight
  • Foot numbness

MCL/ LCL Treatment Options

When a collateral ligament is injured by itself, it is often treated nonsurgically. Nonsurgical treatment for a collateral ligament injury includes rest, ice, bracing, crutches, anti-inflammatory medications and physical therapy.

MCL/ LCL Injury Surgery and Rehabilitation

Surgery is usually advisable when a ligament is torn in such a way that it cannot heal or it is damaged along with another structure of the knee. Recommended surgery for an injured collateral ligament includes ligament repair, ligament reconstruction and ligament tightening.

Active patient participation in rehabilitation after surgery is an important part of a surgery’s success. Dr. Cohen and his team are careful to monitor a patient’s health and activity levels both before and after the surgery to reduce the risk of complications. Dr. Cohen utilizes the latest in technology to do this. He has partnered with Prescribe FIT to optimize his patients preoperatively and empower his patients with a simple and effective way to lower their risk of complications from surgery. In addition, he utilizes the Recupe sensor from Plethy to monitor compliance with home exercise programs and range of motion recovery.

Schedule Your Consultation

If you think you may have a collateral ligament injury, schedule your personal consultation with orthopedic surgeon Dr. Brian Cohen. Dr. Cohen is a well-trained surgeon who has treated over 100,000 patients worldwide and offers a customized approach to your orthopedic care. He has extensive experience with collateral ligament injuries. Call or email his office today.



Cohen Orthopedic

Lets get moving


Phone  (614) 788-0375

Outpatient Clinic:

4850 E. Main St Suite 110 Columbus, OH 43213

Outpatient Clinic:

2030 Stringtown Rd Suite 210
Grove City, OH 43123

Outpatient Clinic:

869 N. Bridge Street
Chillicothe, OH 45601

Surgical Center:

323 E Town St.
Columbus, OH 43215

Surgical Center:

1375 Stringtown Rd
Grove City, OH 43123