What is an MCL Tear/Injury?
The MCL (medial collateral ligament) is an important knee ligament. It is located on the inside part of the knee—connecting the tibia (shin bone) to the femur (thigh bone). A direct blow to the knee may cause an MCL tear/injury. Football, soccer, and hockey are sports in which MCL tears/injuries are common. Symptoms include:
- Immediate pain and swelling
- Knee instability
- Difficulty bear weight/walking
Patients who sustain an MCL tear/injury should make an appointment with an Orthopaedic Institute of Central Jersey (OIOCJ) specialist as soon as possible. A physical examination determines the severity of the tear/injury. In some cases, X-rays and an MRI are ordered after swelling goes down. An accurate diagnosis is made so the tear/injury can be effectively treated. OIOCJ specialists are fellowship trained and board-certified. They prescribe customize treatment plans that decrease symptoms and heal the tear/injury.
How is an MCL Tear/Injury Treated?
The overwhelming majority of MCL tears/injuries heal on their own after several weeks of nonsurgical treatment. All of the following are usually included in a customized OIOCJ treatment plan:
- Rest, ice and medications help with initial pain and swelling.
- Immobilization (a brace and crutches) is necessary as it is usually very difficult for patients to bear weight without knee instability.
- Physical therapy strengthens the knee and improves instability. OIOCJ approved physical therapists prescribe and monitor customized exercise plans.
Complete MCL tears may require surgical intervention. During an MCL repair, an OIOCJ specialist uses sutures to reattach torn ends of the MCL. Physical therapy is prescribed after surgery to help patients regain strength and flexibility. To schedule your appointment with an OIOCJ specialist, call 732-201-6990 or visit our contact page.