Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) 

Background

The MCL is a commonly injured ligament in the knee. It often is injured with a collision that forces the knee inwards. This may happen with a badly timed collision in a contact sport such as Football or Rugby. The MCL tear may be associated with an ACL tear so this possibility should always be investigated. A torn MCL causes pain and instability in the short term. 

Treatment

Most MCL injuries may be treated without the need for an operation. The use of a brace assists comfort and support while our physiotherapy team will help with range of motion. Some may wish to add an injection of platelet rich plasma in an attempt to speed up healing of the damaged ligament. Only in the most severe tears of the MCL would an operation be indicated. This would involve the placement of a graft to provide stability to the knee. 

Rehab

The rehab is under the guidance of our physiotherapy team and initially involves working on range of motion exercises within the brace. Once a full range of motion is established, muscle-strengthening work will commence. Gradually sport specific exercises are introduced into the rehabilitation with the aim to return to play once specific performance criteria are met. The final aspect of rehab is the introduction of an injury prevention programme that decreases the risk of further injury.