How to Read an MRI of an FCL (LCL) Tear

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Complex knee specialist Dr. Robert LaPrade discusses how to read an MRI of an FCL (LCL) tear. The FCL (fibular collateral ligament) is also known as the LCL (lateral collateral ligament). In this video Dr. LaPrade identifies how a FCL injury differs from a complete posterolateral corner injury.

Most of the time an FCL tear does not appear in isolation. To begin, Dr. LaPrade will go through a coronal view of a right knee. In this case, this patient has an MCL tear also. You begin to see more edema on the lateral side of the knee as the imaging moves deeper and a little bit of disruption of the FCL on the femur. An injured FCL will look wavy.

The next will be a sagittal view can help identify a tear when the coronal view may not pick it up. In this case, you can see an ACL disruption and bone bruising.

The final perspective is the axial view. It is a little harder to see the FCL tear in the axial view, but it can give us some indications if there are other disrupted structures.

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