Your medial collateral ligament (MCL) is a large, flat ligament band on the inner side of the knee joint. It attaches to the top of the shin bone (tibia) to the bottom of the thigh bone (femur), working to support and stabilise the knee. It is one of four strong stabilising ligaments of the knee.
When a ligament is excessively strained, it develops microtears and is damaged. Often this results from excessive force to the outside of the knee and from various twisting motions at the legs and knees. Because the outside of the knee is often hit during sports, this is one of the more common knee ligament injuries. Causes include:
Those with muscle weakness, ligament laxity or previous knee injuries are have an increased likelihood of sustaining an MCL injury.
The different levels of severity of injury include a ligament sprain, a partial tear, or a complete rupture. Symptoms can include:
When the injury first occurs, it’s important to stop physical activity and avoid walking on the affected knee where possible. Resting, elevating and icing the knee can help reduce the initial pain and swelling. You may be referred for an ultrasound, x-ray or MRI imaging if it is suspected that you’ve ruptured your MCL. This may require surgery.
Under the care of our knowledgeable podiatrists, we’ll work to:
To achieve this, we may:
Every treatment plan is tailored specifically to you, your symptoms, circumstances and assessment findings. Our goal is always to deliver the best outcomes for you, so you stay active and mobile, and can keep doing the things you love.