Everything You Should Know About MCL Tears

Knee surgery is the solution for many types of knee injuries, one of which is an MCL tear. If you are an athlete or active person, you’ll want to understand this injury and what you can do to prevent it.

What is the MCL?

Your knee contains four major ligaments that cooperate to move your knee in various directions. The Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) is the tissue that connects your thighbone to your shinbone, and it runs through the middle of your knee. The thick, wide band prevents your knee from bending too far inward.

What Causes a Torn MCL?

Usually when an orthopedic surgeon sees a patient with an MCL tear, it’s due to a sports-related injury. Hockey, soccer, and football are three sports that produce the highest volume of MCL injuries, though any contact sport can be the culprit. Typically, a hit from the side or a sudden change in direction does the damage. The knee bends inward dramatically, overstretching the ligament and tearing the tissue.

Symptoms of a Torn MCL

Signs that you may have torn your MCL vary by the extent of the damage. Swelling of the knee, bruising, stiffness, and a locking or “catching” sensation when trying to walk should signal a potential tear. You may not be able to move the knee very well, or suffer serious pain in trying to do so.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Your orthopedic surgeon will perform an exam and ask you questions about the incident causing the injury. He or she will likely

knee_surgeryMCL tears are often preventable with proper conditioning, training, and the right footwear. If you’ve injured your MCL and knee surgery is your next option,  methods today are minimally invasive and quick. Talk to your orthopedic surgeon for more details on MCL tears.  order an MRI to get a scan of the knee tissues. If the result is positive, the treatment will depend upon how bad the tear is. Splinting, elevation, ice, and rest may be used for mild cases, and knee surgery for more extreme problems. You’ll most likely also need some physical therapy

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