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Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) Injury


The medial collateral ligament (MCL) is one of four ligaments that help stabilize the knee. Like ACL injury and LCL injury, MCL injuries are common among athletes. Keep reading about this painful knee condition to learn more about signs, symptoms and treatment options.

Causes & Triggers

  • Direct blow or trauma
  • Sports injury

Signs & Symptoms

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Feeling of knee “giving way”

Tips & Treatment

  • Severity of MCL injuries are graded as follows:
    • Mild-Grade 1: Light damage, slight tearing of the ligament
    • Moderate-Grade 2: Partial tear with more significant pain and instability
    • Severe-Grade 3: Complete tear with severe pain, swelling and instability
  • Treatment usually involves immobilizing the knee, resting, ice and anti-inflammatory medication.
  • Non-surgical treatment can last 2-6 weeks or longer.
  • Because this condition responds well to rest and conventional non-surgical treatment, surgery is rarely required for repair.

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