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Medial collateral ligament pain
Medial collateral ligament pain


Medial collateral ligament injury
Medial collateral ligament injury


Medial collateral ligament
Medial collateral ligament


Torn medial collateral ligament
Torn medial collateral ligament


Definition:

Medial collateral ligament (MCL) injury is a stretch, partial tear, or complete tear of the ligament on the inside of the knee.



Alternative Names:

Knee injury - medial collateral ligament (MCL); MCL injury



Considerations:

The medial collateral ligament (MCL) extends from the upper-inside surface of the shin bone to the bottom-inside surface of the thigh bone. The ligament stabilizes the joint on the inside of the knee.



Causes:

The MCL is usually injured by pressure placed on the knee joint from the outside.

It is often injured at the same time as an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury .



Symptoms:

First Aid:

The health care provider will examine your knee. An MCL test will be done to detect looseness of the ligament. This test involves bending the knee to 25 degrees and putting pressure on the outside surface of the knee.

Other tests may include:

Treatment includes applying ice to the area, raising the knee above heart level, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS). You should limit physical activity until the pain and swelling go away.

After an initial period of keeping the knee still (usually with a knee brace), knee strengthening and stretching exercises should be done. Physical therapy may be helpful to help regain knee and leg strength.

Surgery is not usually used for isolated tears of the MCL.



Do Not:



Call immediately for emergency medical assistance if:

Call your health care provider if symptoms of MCL injury occur.

Call your health care provider if you are being treated for MCL injury and you notice increased instability in your knee, if pain or swelling return after they initially subsided, or if your injury does not resolve with time.

Also call if you reinjure your knee.



Prevention:

Use proper techniques when playing sports or exercising. Many cases are not preventable.




Review Date: 5/12/2008
Reviewed By: Thomas N. Joseph, MD, Private Practice specializing in Orthopaedics, subspecialty Foot and Ankle, Camden Bone & Joint, Camden, SC. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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789 Central Avenue, Dover, NH 03820
Phone: (603) 742-5252
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