MCL Medial Collateral Ligament

MCL Medial Collateral Ligament

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MCL Medial Collateral Ligament

Knee

What is MCL?

The medial collateral ligament (MCL) is one of the major ligaments in the knee. It is located on the inner side of the knee and connects to the femur (thigh bone) and tibia (shin bone). The MCL helps stabilize the knee joint when you bend or straighten your leg. The MCL can be injured when you fall or twist your knee.

Each knee has two MCLs, one on each side of your knee. The lateral collateral ligament (LCL) attaches to the fibula (the outer bone in your lower leg) and runs down to meet the MCLs. Together, these two ligaments help stabilize your knee when you bend it or straighten it out.

What’s the purpose of MCL?

The MCL connects the top of the shinbone (tibia) to the bottom of the femur bone, which is the thigh bone. The MCL helps provide stability for your knee joint. It also helps prevent excessive side-to-side motion in your knee, which can lead to an injury like a torn ACL.

The MCL helps control motion in your knee joint. If your MCL is injured, you may experience pain, swelling and instability in your knee joint.

What are the types of MCL Injuries?

There are 3 types of MCL injuries:

Distal MCL tears

It occurs at the proximal pole of the fibula, where it attaches to the tibia. This type of injury is most often caused by hyperextension injuries or forced valgus stress during cutting activities.

Proximal MCL tears

It occurs at the distal pole of the fibula, where it attaches to the tibia. This type of injury can be caused by forced valgus stress during cutting activities or direct trauma.

Incomplete tears

These are partial tears that do not involve all layers of the ligament; they may heal on their own without surgical intervention but may cause chronic instability if left untreated.

Other most common types of MCL injuries include:

  1.       Grade 1 MCL injury
  2.       Grade 2 MCL injury
  3.       Grade 3 MCL injury

Grade 1 is mild damage to the ligament that causes pain but no instability in the knee joint.

Grade 2 injuries involve partial tearing of the ligament and cause some instability in the knee joint.

Grade 3 injuries involve complete tearing of the ligament and cause severe instability in the knee joint.

What are the causes of MCL injuries?

There are many causes of medial collateral ligament injuries, including:

Traumatic injury

Overuse (such as running)

Sports-related activities such as soccer, football, or basketball

A direct blow to your knee while playing sports or doing other physical activity.

Strenuous twisting movements of your knees

Poorly fitting shoes that put too much pressure on your knees

The most common cause of medial collateral ligament injury (MCL) is hyperextension, which means that you overextend your knee beyond its normal range of motion.

MCL injuries are caused by twisting your knee while you’re running, cycling, or playing sports. They can also happen when you slip and fall on ice or snow. If you have an MCL injury, you’ll feel pain and swelling in your knee and have trouble moving it back and forth (flexing) or rotating it (bending).

What are the symptoms of MCL injuries?

The most common symptom is pain in the knee, which usually occurs during activity and gets worse with weight bearing. The knee may also feel unstable or “give out,” especially when trying to change direction or stop suddenly.

Other symptoms include:

Pain on the inside of your knee gets worse when you bend or straighten your leg. This pain may get worse when you put pressure on your leg by standing on your toes or squatting down.

Swelling of the knee joint, especially after exercise or sports activities

Instability in your knee joint as demonstrated by giving way if you try to straighten it out forcefully (such as when trying to walk).

How to prevent MCL injuries?

The MCL can be injured in several ways, including contact sports, falls, and car accidents. It can be difficult to treat an MCL injury because of its location in the knee. But there are ways to prevent these injuries in the first place!

Here are some tips for preventing MCL injuries:

  • Wear the right shoes. If you play sports that require a lot of running or jumping, wear shoes with good support and cushioning in the soles.
  • Stretch! Make sure you stretch your hamstrings and quads before any activity that involves running or jumping.
  • Warm up before activity. This will help loosen up tight muscles so they’re less likely to tear or strain during high impact movements like running or jumping.
  • Take it easy on yourself when recovering from an injury—don’t rush back into things too quickly!

Recommended Exercise

Knee

What are the treatments for MCL injuries?

MCL injuries are common in the knee and are usually caused by a sudden twisting movement. They can be treated with:

  • Rest: It is important to rest the injured area for 4-6 weeks. You should not put any weight on your leg and avoid walking or standing for long periods of time.
  • Ice: Applying ice packs can reduce inflammation and help reduce pain and swelling. You should apply an ice pack every 3-4 hours for 15 minutes at a time.
  • Compression: Compression bandages help support your knee while it heals, as well as reduce swelling and speed up recovery time. They can be purchased online or at most drug stores.

What is the RICE method for MCL injuries treatment?

For minor MCL sprains, doctors often recommend RICE.

The “R” in RICE stands for rest: you should avoid putting weight on your injured knee until it heals. If you can’t bear weight on your knee at all, then crutches will allow you to get around without putting any stress on your knee at all.

The “I” in RICE stands for ice: wrap an ice pack in a towel and hold it against the injured area for 15 minutes every hour while awake (or as often as possible).

The “C” in RICE stands for compression: wrap an elastic bandage around your knee to help stabilize it while it heals.

The “E” in RICE stands for elevation: keep your leg elevated as much as possible (especially when sleeping), which will reduce swelling and keep pressure off of any bleeding vessels inside the joint capsule.

Explanation of Recommended Orthotic Device

Knee

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