What You Need to Know about LCL Injuries

knee painThe knee joint is made up of four ligaments: the ACL, MCL, PCL, and LCL. The LCL (lateral collateral ligament) connects the femur to the fibula and prevents excessive side-to-side movement of the joint. It is located on the outside of the knee joint.

LCL Injuries

Your LCL can become injured when your knee bends too far inwards. An LCL tear is most commonly the result of a sports injury or other traumatic injury like a fall. LCL injuries, and all other ligament injuries are diagnosed according to a graded scale. Grade I is the least severe, and Grade III is the most severe.

  • Grade I LCL Tear – You will feel some pain and pressure on the outside of the knee with a grade I LCL tear. The ligament is only slightly torn, so you may be able to walk on it.
  • Grade II LCL Tear – A grade II LCL injury is an incomplete tear and may cause some instability in the joint when you pivot. Pain and swelling of the knee are common with a grade II tear.
  • Grade III LCL Tear – A grade III LCL injury is a complete tear of the ligament, which may be combined with injuries to the cruciate ligaments (the ACL and MCL). A grade III LCL tear causes pain, swelling, and difficulty bending the knee. This type of injury typically requires surgery.

Diagnosing LCL Injuries

When you injure your knee, your doctor will perform a thorough physical examination to determine if you have a ligament tear. An MRI is then needed to determine the grade of the injury and to see if any other ligaments have been torn in conjunction with the LCL.

When you need an open MRI on your knee, visit Middletown Medical Imaging. Call us to schedule an appointment at 732-275-0999 or book online.

Bulging and Herniated Discs – What You Need to Know

radiologist showing patient MRI of her spineSpinal discs are cartilaginous cushions located between the vertebrae in your spine. These discs are designed to absorb shock and allow your spine to bend and rotate. Everyday wear in tear or injuries can cause these discs to become damaged, resulting in pain in your back and legs.

Disc Bulges

A disc bulge is precisely what it sounds like. It occurs when the disc is bulging outward from the spine, but it doesn’t protrude outward enough to qualify as a herniated disc. You may not feel pain from a bulging disc, but it can cause pain when the bulging is significant enough to press on the nerves in your spine.

Disc bulges are an extremely common occurrence, even in healthy young people. Most radiologists will note this as an incidental finding, but it is usually not a cause for concern. You can have bulging discs and not have any back pain symptoms at all. When you get an MRI on your spine, the radiologist will be able to determine if the bulging disc is a problem or if it is normal.

Herniated Discs

Also referred to as ruptured discs, herniated discs occur when the disc bursts open. Pressure on the disc, over time or as the result of a trauma, can cause it to rupture, which can be extremely painful. Treatment options for herniated discs range from physical therapy and medication to spinal surgery, depending on the severity of the injury.

When you need a spinal MRI, visit Middletown Medical Imaging. We offer an open MRI machine for your comfort. Schedule an appointment at 732-275-0999 or book online today.