Isolated Fibular Collateral Ligament Injuries in Athletes


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Abstract

Isolated injuries to the fibular collateral ligament (FCL) are rare. Although recent data suggest that operative and nonoperative treatment can both result in good functional outcomes, limited data exist on return to play for nonoperative treatment of FCL injuries and the value of magnetic resonance imaging in predicting prognosis. In this article, we present a review of the current literature and present a focused review regarding the diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis of FCL injuries, as well as the senior authors experience and a cohort of National Football League players. Magnetic resonance imaging can be useful to predict the length of disability in isolated FCL injuries, and both operative and nonoperative management of isolated FCL injuries successfully resulted in return to play in all players in several series of elite athletes; however, nonoperative management may result in faster return to play. Evaluation of potential concomitant injury is imperative in treatment of FCL injuries.

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