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Orthopaedics 360

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An MCL tear is typically sustained during a collision or forceful contact on the outside of the knee. This results in an injury of various severity to the MCL. The pain is felt immediately on the inner side of the knee. The MCL can be injured in isolation, or can be injured in combination with other internal knee structures, such as the ACL.

MCL Function

The medial collateral ligament (MCL) is one of the major stabilising ligaments of the knee. It is a broad ligament found on the inside  of the knee, and its primary function is to resist force that is applied to the outside of the knee. It has attachment to the femur (thigh bone) and to the tibia (shin bone).

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Symptoms and Signs of an MCL Injury

Do you have these

Patients who sustain a MCL tear, will experience acute pain on the medial (inside) of the knee joint. Associated swelling and the feeling that the knee is going to buckle (‘Instability’) are also common. The severity of symptoms correlates with the severity of the injury.

Making the Diagnosis

In an isolated MCL injury, with a classic mechanism of injury, it can be possible to make the diagnosis on physical examination alone. The MCL’s integrity is assessed by performing a ‘Valgus stress test’ (See image). It is important to undergo a thorough assessment, as there are specific situations where further evaluation with an MRI and orthopaedic surgeon review is warranted.

MCL injury valgus stress mike smith knee specialist adelaide
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Return to the sport you love

Have your knee injury assessed thoroughly

Specific MCL injuries require Surgery

Have your knee injury assessed thoroughly

MCL Tear Management

The majority of isolated MCL tears can be managed conservatively with a range of motion knee brace. The brace restricts excessive sideways movement of the knee joint and allows the MCL to heal.

MCL tear treatment mike smith adelaide knee specialist knee arthroscopy reconstruction
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3 main scenarios where surgical intervention may be needed.

What you need to be assessed for

Tibial Sided MCL tear/Avulsion 

MCL may have ‘flipped’ superficial to the hamstring tendons. Preventing MCL healing to bone.

Chronic Grade 3 MCL Injury with functional Instability 

Patient experiences ongoing instability following an acute injury

Multi-ligamentous Knee Injury 

When the MCL is injured in combination with other internal knee ligaments (i.e ACL/PCL). This represents a complex knee injury.

Disclaimer: Please note that this is general advice only - for more information, please consult your regular doctor, or obtain a referral to see a specialist orthopaedic surgeon. 

Orthopaedics 360

Orthopaedics 360

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Orthopaedics 360

P: (08) 7099 0188

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Health @ Hindmarsh

Orthopaedics 360

P: (08) 7099 0188

F: (08) 7099 0171

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