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Lateral Collateral Ligament

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Lateral knee anatomy including the LCL[1]

Other Names

  • Long external lateral ligament
  • Fibular collateral ligament

Anatomic Description

  • Origin: 1.4 mm proximal, 3.1 mm posterior to the lateral epicondyle of the femur[2]
  • Insertion: 28.4 mm distal to the fibular styloid tip, attaches to 38% of the fibular head[3]
  • Course: LCL runs approximately 0.69 mm along the lateral portion of the knee
  • Width 4-5 mm
  • Thickness 2.6 mm



  • Primary resistor of varus stress in all degrees of knee flexion
  • Significant role in providing posterolateral stability to the knee, resisting medial translation of the tibia
  • Primary resistor of external tibial rotation of the knee in 0-30° degrees of knee flexion[4]


  • Plays a minor role in stabilizing anterior and posterior tibial translation when the cruciate ligaments are torn

Vascular Supply

  • Popliteal Artery
    • Branches of the superior and inferior lateral genicular arteries
  • Anterior tibial recurrent arteries


Clinical Significance

See Also


  1. LaPrade RF, Spiridonov SI, Coobs BR, Ruckert PR, Griffith CJ (2010) Fibular collateral ligament anatomical reconstructions: a prospective outcomes study. Am J Sports Med 38(10):2005–2011
  2. LaPrade RF, Ly TV, Wentorf FA, Engebretsen L. The posterolateral attachments of the knee: a qualitative and quantitative morphologic analysis of the fibular collateral ligament, popliteus tendon, popliteofibular ligament, and lateral gastrocnemius tendon. Am J Sports Med. 2003 Nov-Dec;31(6):854-60
  3. Moorman CT III, LaPrade RF: Anatomy and biomechanics of the posterolateral corner of the knee. J Knee Surg 2005;18(2):137-145.15915835
  4. Song, Young‐Bin, et al. "The fibular collateral ligament of the knee: a detailed review." Clinical Anatomy 27.5 (2014): 789-797.
Created by:
John Kiel on 1 December 2020 16:17:20
Last edited:
15 March 2023 16:56:21