The medial co-lateral ligament or MCL is one of 4 stabilising ligaments of the knee, sitting on the inside of the knee. It acts to restrict excessive motion of the knee joint, particularly the knee buckling inwards. An MCL injury most commonly occurs with impact to the outside of the knee while the foot is planted. Injury to the MCL can be associate with ACL and meniscal tears as well.
- Pain over the middle part of the knee, usually in combination with swelling.
- Pain with stretching the middle of the knee and often with completely straightening the knee.
- A significant tear to the MCL often results in a feeling of instability of the knee and a feeling that the knee may give way.
- Diagnosis of the injury in the clinic is generally quite easy.
- Imaging to ascertain the degree of damage to the MCL may be required in more severe injuries.
- Management of MCL injuries will be dependent on the degree of damage to the ligament.
- Most can be managed well conservatively and will generally involve a period of rest from aggravating activities.
- This may involve a period of immobilisation in a brace to support the ligament and allow it to heal.
- In the more severe injuries, advice from a knee specialist on management may be necessary.
- When the ligament is ready, your physio will start you on a program of progressive strength and control exercises as well as working to restore full range of motion.
- Eventually, rehab will progress to change of direction, plyometric work, and return to sport exercises, to allow you to return safely to sport.
If you have recently injured your MCL, book an assessment with one of our highly experienced physios today to get a plan to get your knee back In Balance, getting you safely back to doing the things that you love!