What Is the MCL?
The medial collateral ligament, or MCL, is a wide, thick band of tissue that runs down the inner part of the knee from the bottom of the thigh bone (femur) to the top of the shinbone (tibia). The MCL’s main function is to prevent the leg from extending too far inward. It also keeps the knee stable and allows it to rotate.
MCL Injury Causes and Risk Factors
When the knee takes a direct blow to the outside, the MCL is stretched possibly causing a tear. This happens commonly in contact sports. The ACL is often times damaged at the same time. The MCL can also be injured through repeated stress, as it loses its elasticity over time, like an overstretched rubber band.
Symptoms of an MCL Injury
If the MCL has been damaged or torn, the symptoms are felt in the inside area of the knee. Some of the symptoms experienced are:
- Popping sound at the time of injury
- Pain that is mild to severe
- Swelling of the knee
- Feeling like the knee could give out or buckle
- Feeling that the knee could lock up or “catch”
When Surgery Is Necessary
When experiencing chronic knee pain, or have just sustained a knee related injury, you should contact Dr. Terry Madsen for a diagnosis and treatment. Early diagnosis of an MCL tear can help speed up recovery and prevent loss of strength and motion, so you can get back to doing what you love.