© 2017 OA Knee Pain. All Rights Reserved.

A MCL injury is a tear or sprain to the band of tissue that connects the thigh bone to the lower leg bone and is located inside the knee. Damage to this ligament causes instability, pain and swelling. They are usually not caused by day-to-day activities because it takes a vigorous blow, twist or bend to cause a MCL injury - similar to something that might be experienced during a contact sport or during a collision in skiing, for example.

Due to the nature of the injury, it is likely that you will suffer an injury to the lateral collateral ligament also.

Measuring an MCL Injury

MCL damage is measured by three grades:

  • Grade 1 - This is where the ligament has been slightly overstretched and you are likely to feel soreness, pain and swelling.
  • Grade 2 - This is where the ligament has stretched so far it has become loose. Again pain, swelling and discomfort will be felt, but there may also be some loss of function and some instability in the joint.
  • Grade 3 - This refers to a complete tear of the ligament, which leaves the knee joint incapable of supporting your weight.
Medial Collateral Ligament - MCL Knee Injury - OA Knee Pain MCL damage is measured by three grades

Symptoms of an MCL Injury

If you’ve been in an accident and are feeling pain on the inside of your knee or fear there has been some loss of function in the joint, then you should visit your GP. They will usually be able to diagnose whether you have an MCL injury from a simple examination. However, your doctor may refer you for an X-ray or Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan if they can’t identify the injury or think there might be further complications.

Treatment

Immediately after the accident, cold packs or ice wrapped in a towel can be used to reduce swelling and inflammation. You should keep this on for 15 minutes and then take away for one hour before reapplying.

After visiting your GP, it might be recommended to get a brace to offer a layer of protection and support to the knee. A brace can mean someone with a grade 1 MCL injury can walk unaided while someone with a grade 2 or 3 injury may require crutches to help with moving about.

Your doctor will likely assign you to a physiotherapist who will recommend a programme of exercises to strengthen the knee and keep it flexible.

Occasionally, an MCL injury will require surgery. Examples of when this might be necessary include when an injury cannot heal naturally or when an injury doesn’t respond to treatment. The procedure is relatively straightforward and involves the ligament being reattached to the bone using stitches, bone staples, medical screws or a suture anchor.

How long will it take to recover?

If you’ve had a simple MCL injury, then recovery is usually pretty straightforward with grade 1 injuries taking approximately two weeks to heal and grade 2 injuries taking around a month. Grade 3 injuries usually take a little longer - up to eight weeks - while those that require surgery may take up to three months to make a full recovery.

To ensure a full recovery, it is important you follow any instruction given to you by a medical professional and do not take part in any activities that could cause a relapse.

How would you rate the information on this page? (Your feedback is greatly appreciated)

Sign up to the OA Knee Pain newsletter

OA Knee Pain Social Board

Bringing you the latest news, research and treatment breakthroughs from the world of osteoarthritis

Visit our blog

Filter
  • twitter
  • blog
#

Why is it important to focus on multiple treatment options simultaneously?


Because there is no stand-out, totally effective single treatment for osteoarthritis, people with the condition often find it best to put together a personal portfolio of treatments that will work together to help relieve pain and improve mobility. The combination that works for one person may not work for another, so it’s important to understand what’s available, how effective it is and whether it will help your personal condition.

#

What are the top 10 most common causes of osteoarthritis?


Osteoarthritis, or OA, is a degenerative joint condition that affects over 8 million people in the UK. This disease is the most common form of arthritis, and is particularly prevalent amongst the older population. Affecting the cartilage in a joint, osteoarthritis can result in pain, stiffness and reduced mobility.

#

National Arthritis Week 2017


The week commencing 9th October 2017 is National Arthritis Awareness week, a campaign run by Arthritis Research UK with the aim of raising awareness of Arthritis and the impact that is has on the UK.

Offloading knee braces have been a hot topic in the press recently but just how do they work? And can they help you… https://t.co/MqUNcwIbFK

#

Offloading knee braces in the press: How do they work? And can they help you?


Today (3rd October 2017) the Daily Express published an article in which Sharron Davies has spoken out about her knee pain and how an offloading brace has helped. “Sharron believes the brace has transformed her life and is keen for people to be more aware of their options if they are told they need a knee replacement.” With this sentiment in mind, and the fact that offloading knee braces have been the topic of discussion in a number of publications in recent weeks, OA Knee Pain has looked into the Unloader One® by Össur. This popular knee brace is worn by Sharron Davies and a number of other well known figures to help ease and manage knee pain.