Diagnosis Orthopedics

LCL Tear
Diagnosis

Your doctor will check for pain or tenderness along the inside of the knee. In order to determine the severity of the injury, he or she will apply pressure to the outside of your knee while your leg is both bent and straight.

In some cases, the immediate pain and swelling may make it too difficult for your doctor to accurately gauge the severity of the injury. If this occurs, you may be asked to wear a light splint and ice and elevate your knee until the swelling and pain lessen, so that an accurate diagnosis can be made.

In addition, your doctor may order the following tests:

  • X-ray These are usually ordered to evaluate the bones and alignment around the knee.
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) This test is more than 90 percent accurate in assessing the severity of LCL injuries, and it is commonly used if the physical examination does not yield a satisfactory diagnosis.

UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.

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