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The medial collateral ligament, or MCL, connects the femur and tibia on the inside of the knee. The MCL provides support for the inner knee and is important for stability and knee rotation. When the knee is twisted or pushed inward, the MCL can stretch or tear in a knee sprain injury. DOCS Health has a team of sports injury and orthopedic specialists that offer treatment for MCL injuries at our state-of-the-art medical facility in Los Angeles.

Causes and Symptoms of MCL Tears and Sprains

The most common cause of an MCL injury is a blow to the outside of the knee. This can occur in contact sports like football, or due to trauma during an accident. The pressure can shove the knee joint inward, stretching or tearing the MCL. Symptoms of an MCL tear or sprain injury include:

  • Weakness or instability in the knee
  • Pain and swelling on the inside of the knee
  • Tenderness on the inside of the knee
  • Stiffness, locking or catching in the knee joint

Most MCL injuries respond well to conservative treatment. The MCL has a good blood supply, allowing the ligament to repair with rest and limited movement. Treatment can include wearing a brace and undergoing physical therapy, and NSAIDs can be used to reduce inflammation and pain.

While MCL injuries do not usually require surgery, severe or complete tears may require surgical repair. In addition, the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is often injured with an MCL and more likely to require surgical repair.

If you suffer a knee injury damaging the MCL or other knee ligaments, contact our medical team at DOCS Health in Los Angeles to schedule a knee exam and consultation. We specialize in sports and orthopedic injury treatment for MCL injuries and other knee damage.