The Orthopedic Program at Northeast Georgia Medical Center has a team of experts ready to help you if you believe you have injured your medial collateral ligament (MCL). Receiving treatment from a trusted and reliable sports medicine physician is essential in making a quick and successful return to activities. At NGMC, we are dedicated to helping our patients return to a normal lifestyle in a timely manner.
The MCL is a band of major fibrous tissue on located on the inside of your knee that connects the shin and thigh bones and acts as a stabilizer for the knee joint. The MCL prevents the knee from bending inward. MCL injuries can include a sprain or tear and may require surgery. Injuries typically occur during contact sports or activities that involve, stop and go movements, bending, twisting, weaving or a quick change of direction.
Patients who have experienced trauma to their MCL may have swelling, pain and difficulty moving their knee. MCL injuries are assessed in the clinic with an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan to evaluate the damage to the ligament. Physicians may also order an x-ray to determine any possible fractures to surrounding bone.
MCL injuries are graded on three different levels, depending on the severity of the injury:
- Grade 1 MCL injuries are usually just sprains, with a common symptom being tenderness on the inside of the knee with no swelling.
- Grade 2 MCL injuries typically include minor tears and may present swellingand instability of the knee.
- Grade 3 MCL injuries are complete tears, which commonly tend to give the knee a “loose” feeling.
Pain is often present in all three grades, but the level of discomfort can vary.
Most MCL injuries can be managed with home treatments including elevating the affected knee and an ice regimen instructed by your physician. It may be recommended that you use crutches and wear a brace to support your knee during the healing process. Anti-inflammatory medications may also be advised to help reduce pain and swelling.
Surgery may be required for severe tears or if the MCL tear occurs with other ligament injuries including the ACL or Meniscus. This is an arthroscopic procedure where a small incision is made along the inner part of your knee and the ligament is reattached. Should surgery be necessary to repair the damaged MCL, patients can expect to not participate in sports or other physical activities for four to six weeks. Therapy and rehabilitation are also helpful to improve range of motion and strengthen surrounding muscles during recovery.
Why Choose NGMC?
With proper treatment for your ligament injury, it is possible to regain strength and improve mobility. Our physicians are trained in the highest quality treatment and can help you lead a better quality of life. Equipped with the most advanced technology, treatments and surgical techniques, NGMC offers experience and expertise in a complete range of orthopedic and sports medicine services.
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