What is MCL/PCL/LCL Repair?
The knee ligaments attach the femur (leg bone) to the tibia (shin bone) and are very important because they stabilize the knee and help it perform movements necessary for normal day-to-day living. The ACL is the most well-known ligament because it is commonly injured during sports and physical activities. The other three knee ligaments are:
- Medial collateral ligament (MCL)
- Posterior cruciate ligament (PCL)
- Lateral collateral ligament (LCL)
A ligament tear is a serious injury that requires medical attention. Nonsurgical treatment options may treat some partial tears. A ligament repair is usually recommended for a complete tear.
A ligament repair is performed under general anesthesia administered by a board-certified anesthesiologist. For an MCL or LCL ligament repair, an open incision is made on the inner or outer part of the knee. For a PCL repair, tiny incisions are made and the procedure is performed arthroscopically.
The Procedure. After the incisions are made, the torn ligament is removed and a new one is put in its place. The new ligament may be tendons harvested from the patient or a cadaver. Special devices are used to secure the ligament to the bone and a physical examination ensures it functions properly. The incisions are closed and sterilely dressed and the patient is placed in a hinged knee brace set to a locked position. The patient returns home after there are awake and alert and their pain is under control. Physical therapy is started as soon as possible and continues throughout recovery. Total recovery time may take 3-12 months depending on the type and severity of the tear. PCL repairs take the longest to completely recover from.
At Orthopaedic Institute of Central Jersey (OIO) our Board-Certified and Fellowship-Trained knee specialists Dr. Michael Sclafani, Dr. Anthony Petrosini and Dr. Toby Husserl are experts in performing knee ligament repairs. Patients who sustain an injury are encouraged to make an appointment as soon as possible.