Collateral ligament (CL) injury - aftercare

Medial collateral ligament injury - aftercare; MCL injury - aftercare; Lateral collateral ligament injury - aftercare; LCL injury - aftercare; Knee injury - collateral ligament

Medial collateral ligament

The medial collateral ligament connects the end of the femur (thigh) to the top of the tibia (shin bone). The medial collateral ligament provides stability against valgus stress. A valgus stress is described as a pressure applied to the leg that tries to bend the lower leg sideways at the knee, away from the other leg. Tackling in football or soccer are two common causes of this injury.

Knee pain

The location of knee pain can help identify the problem. Pain on the front of the knee can be due to bursitis, arthritis, or softening of the patella cartilage as in chrondromalacia patella. Pain on the sides of the knee is commonly related to injuries to the collateral ligaments, arthritis, or tears to the meniscuses. Pain in the back of the knee can be caused by arthritis or cysts, known as Baker's cysts. Baker's cysts are an accumulation of joint fluid (synovial fluid) that forms behind the knee. Overall knee pain can be due to bursitis, arthritis, tears in the ligaments, osteoarthritis of the joint, or infection. Instability, or giving way, is also another common knee problem. Instability is usually associated with damage or problems with the meniscuses, collateral ligaments, or patella tracking.

Medial collateral ligament pain

Initial treatment of an MCL injury includes ice to the area, elevation of the joint above the level of the heart, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and limited physical activity until the pain and swelling subside. A hinged knee immobilizer should be used to protect the ligament as it heals. The extent of this type of injury is usually excessive stretching of the ligament causing the pain and tenderness.

Medial collateral ligament injury

A second degree injury is a partial tear with no firm endpoint when the joint is stressed, and a third degree is a complete tear of the ligament. A physical examination will be done to test the extent of damage. Some other tests may include an MRI or joint X-ray.

Torn medial collateral ligament

A torn (MCL), is an injury to the medial collateral ligament. This ligament extends from the upper-inside surface of the tibia to the bottom-inside surface of the femur. The ligament prevents the knee joint from medial instability, that is, instability in the inside of the joint.

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What to Expect

Self-care at Home

Activity

When to Call the Doctor