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- MCL Injury: What to Know
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- Medial Collateral Ligament Injury of the Knee (MCL Tear)
As you recover from your injury, the goal is to regain strength in your knee and prevent further injury. Treatments may include:.
Rarely, an injury to the MCL will require surgery. Before your surgery, your surgeon may use arthroscopy to thoroughly examine the extent of your injury and to look for associated injuries inside your knee. Arthroscopy involves inserting a small, thin camera through a tiny incision, or cut. After the arthroscopic exam, your surgeon will make a small incision along the inner aspect of your knee. If your ligament is torn where it attaches to either your shinbone or your thighbone, your surgeon can use one of these to reattach it:. The outlook is usually good regardless of whether or not surgery is needed.
Recovery times vary depending on the severity of your MCL injury. Since grade 1 MCL injuries are minor, they only take a few days to heal. Grade 2 injuries, however, can take up to four weeks. Grade 3 injuries are the most severe and have the longest recovery time. It typically takes eight weeks or more for these types of injuries to heal.
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MCL Injury: What to Know
Sports injuries can happen during regular exercise or while playing a sport. They're especially common in children and younger adults. Find out all…. Types Symptoms Diagnosis Treatment Outlook If you buy something through a link on this page, we may earn a small commission.
How this works. Although X-rays show bones and not soft tissues like ligaments, your doctor may be able to tell whether or not your MCL is torn with a stress X-ray. If you have a mild MCL strain, it can heal on its own with rest, ice, and other self-care. To ease pain and swelling, your doctor may have you take NSAIDs nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin , ibuprofen , or naproxen. Follow the instructions on the label.
For more severe damage, you may need physical therapy to rehab your knee when your MCL pain begins to fade. Your physical therapist will give you exercises to strengthen the leg muscles around your knee so it works properly.
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But you might need it, especially if another part of your knee is also hurt. Whether or not you need surgery, you may be able to play sports again with a few weeks or months.
Medial Collateral Ligament Injury of the Knee (MCL Tear)
Pain Management Knee Pain Reference. Causes When your outer knee is hit very hard, the MCL, which runs along your inner knee, can stretch out far enough to strain or tear. Symptoms MCL injuries hurt.
Sometimes, the knee may feel stiff, or the joint may lock or catch when you move around. Continued Your doctor may also want to do some imaging tests of your knee: MRI. Treatment If you have a mild MCL strain, it can heal on its own with rest, ice, and other self-care.