Posterior Lateral Corner (PLC) Injury

Typical Symptoms

Injury to the Posterior Lateral Corner (PLC) of the knee, causes pain in the lateral (outer) and posterior (back) aspect of the knee, swelling and stability issues. It can limit mobility and function of the knee as well.

What causes it?

There can be various ways in which the PLC can be damaged but usually it is from a twisting force coupled with a anterior (forward) force to the medial (inner) aspect of the knee. Structures injured include the lateral collateral ligament (LCL), the lateral meniscus (LM), the knee joint itself, the biceps femoris tendon and the popliteus tendon.

How can I help myself?

It important to think back to when you sustained the injury as it will be helpful to understand the mechanism. If there is considerable pain and swelling, offloading with crutches and a brace can help and also measures such as PRICE can help to reduce swelling. Pain killers can make the symptoms more tolerable.

When to seek help?

Being a significant injury to the knee, it is important that you are assessed as soon as possible, particularly if there is limited movement and instability.

What are the treatment options?

Once your clinician assesses you with a thorough history and examination, they may undertake an ultrasound examination as a preliminary investigation to determine if any changes to immediate management is needed and an X-ray to look for a fracture. In conjunction with a referral to physiotherapy for early rehabilitation, they may organise an MRI to define the injury further before requesting for a surgical opinion.