If you have experienced a lateral collateral ligament (LCL) injury, then you will likely need to visit an injury rehab facility. This is often necessary to retain knee strength and movement. While the rehab will focus on strength to help you walk normally, you will need to do some things are home as well. Minimizing scar tissue around the LCL is critically important to your overall mobility, so keep reading to learn how to keep scar tissue at bay.
Move Your Knee
Scar tissue will develop as a natural part of the healing process. Basically, your body will repair your torn or injured LCL by "gluing" the broken parts back together. The glue that is used is called collagen. Collagen will form around the ligament and between it. This will often create a bulky repair that is far less smooth and flexible than the fibers that make up the ligament.
If you have scars on your body, then you may understand that collagen formation is often quite aggressive. Not only will the repair be bulky, but the collagen may create large areas of dense tissue. If this happens around the LCL, then the ligament may rub against the patella or the tissue on the outside of the knee. Also, collagen can attach the ligament to other tissues and prevent movement.
The key to reduce the overgrowth of collagen and to encourage mobility is to keep your knee moving during the healing process. Exercises like simple knee bends, leg extensions, and other exercises can be completed. Speak with your rehab specialist or physician to see when you can start with knee exercises that are not weight bearing.
Collagen is a normal component of your ligaments. So, when the tissue is laid down to "glue" your ligament back together, it easily attaches to the existing collagen fibers. However, as the collagen forms outward along the sides of the ligament, it forms scar tissue on top of scar tissue. This overgrowth does not attach as strongly to the ligament and it can be broken down, especially when it is newly formed.
To help reduce overgrowth issues, make sure to gently massage the ligament as healing progresses. Direct and strong pressure should be placed against the LCL. Make sure to move up and down along the femur and the fibula with your fingers to massage the entire LCL. Circular movements are best and massages should be completed one to two times a day with your physician's permission.
Massage your LCL before completing your exercises for the most positive outcome. To learn more, contact a rehab clinic like Hands-On Physical TherapyShare