The knee joint connects the thigh bone (“femur”) with the two lower leg bones, the shin bone (“tibia”) and the fibula. The guidance and stability of the joint is ensured by several muscles and ligaments. However, the ligaments and cartilage in the knee joint are particularly susceptible to pressure and tension and are a common site of injury.
The outer ligaments of both knees connect the thigh with the fibula and form the counterpart to the inner ligaments. Together, the inner and outer ligaments are also called “collateral ligaments”. They give the knee lateral stability when it is stretched and partially restrict rotation in the knee joint. Together with the menisci and cruciate ligaments, the collateral ligaments are predestined for strains and tears in case of accidents of the knee.
Pain on the outside of the knee
Pain on the outside of the knee can have a variety of causes. In order to make an accurate diagnosis, one must first determine the type of pain by asking the patient specifically. Differentiations can be made here in the type, duration and time of the pain in the knee.
Often, however, there is also a recent accident involving the knee. If the patient states that he/she feels pain when under pressure or movement, this is usually due to a defect in the structures immediately below. If the patient has also recently experienced an accident in which the knee was excessively twisted or rotated, there may be strains or even tears in the ligaments. Causes of permanent pain in the outer ligament of the knee, which do not occur in connection with an accident, can indicate incorrect loading. In particular, sports that involve a high load on the legs and knees, such as jogging or most ball sports, lead to pain, malpositioning, muscular changes and damage to cartilage, bones and ligaments when the joint is subjected to excessive or incorrect load.
Strain of the outer band
Overstretching the outer ligament in the knee is a very common injury in sports. In connection with an incorrect, unintentional movement, the knee is often stretched outwards by a high force. The outer ligament, which is elastic to a certain degree, is pulled in the process and an immediate stabbing pain occurs.
If the ligament is maintained as far as possible, the knee is still stable in contrast to the rupture of the ligament. Since it is only a pulled ligament, other tissue in the knee is usually not damaged and bruising often does not occur. Immediately after the tear, cooling, elevation, compression and relief of the affected side is recommended.
This prevents swelling and reduces the pain. The leg should then be protected so that the healing process can proceed more quickly. Normally, an ordinary ligament strain should have healed after two weeks. If this is not the case, it is advisable to consult an orthopaedic surgeon, who can initiate further diagnostic procedures if necessary.