MCL or Medial Collateral Ligament is one of the 4 main ligaments in the knee joint. Ligaments are rubbery ropes with connect the 2 bones. MCL along with its fellow ligament LCL on the sides of the knee joint protects and stabilizes the knee against sideward bending forces.
Why & how does MCL injury happen?
MCL tear are one of common injuries to the knee joint. It occurs when the knee gets pushes inwards with the impact from the outer side, when the foot is planted. Hence the impact is from the opposite side and not on the inner side where the MCL resides.
Who gets MCL injury?
This injury occurs more often in contact sports such as football, kabaddi, rugby and also in skiing. . Fall from the two wheelers, bikes and cycles are another common reason for this injury. It is commonly seen in age group between 20 to 45 years.
Sudden severe pain
In some loud POP sound
Inability to walk
Feeling that knee will give away and not supporting
Swelling appears usually few hours later
Within a week most patients with MCL tear will be able to walk with a slight limp
Persistence of instability sensation and pain in certain movements and activities
When to seek medical help?
Initial assessment with an x-ray, pain relieving medicines and RICE therapy is needed as an immediate remedy. Further assessment by an expert Arthroscopy Surgeon and MRI scan are necessary to analyze the extent of injury.
What happens to MCL if no treatment is undertaken?
MCL ligament resides outside the knee joint and hence has got a good healing potential naturally. However, if the knee is not supported well in the first 6 weeks, the chances of natural healing dwindle. A poorly healed MCL ligament will keep causing pain and feeling of giving away whenever there is stress on the knee pushing it inwards while the leg is taking the load.
What happens when I visit the Consultant?
You will be asked about the nature of injury, symptoms further to that so far. Consultant will examine you and discuss the treatment modalities.