The medial collateral ligament (MCL) is located on the medial (inner) side of your knee and it connects the top of your tibia (shinbone) to the bottom of your femur (thighbone). It is one of the four major ligaments in your knee that provide stability to your knee joint. Its main function is to resist the movement of tibia or foot outwards in relation to the knee, also known as knee valgus. When this ligament is injured, it is often called an MCL sprain and it could either be an overstretched or torn MCL.
The MCL is very susceptible to damage when a great force is applied directly on the outer side of the knee, which stretches or tears the MCL. This can occur when making a sharp change in direction, twisting the knee whilst the foot is fixed, landing wrong from a jump or the most common, a blunt force hit to the knee, such as in rugby tackle. In most cases, incidents needs to happen at high speed to injure the MCL.
The symptoms and severity of the MCL injury depends on the degree of stretching or tearing of the MCL. It can be graded in 3 levels: Grade 1 (Mild), Grade 2(Moderate) and Grade 3 (Severe).
On an examination with a physical therapist such as a chiropractor, they will look for signs of ligament injury. The chiropractor might perform some stress test to determine the severity of the injury. A MRI may also be used to diagnose the knee injury and check the surrounding structures for combination injuries.
There are numerous treatment options for MCL injury and the type of treatment also depends on the severity of the injury. However, Grade 1 MCL injury might heal on their own after a few weeks or rest.
Immediate treatment’s main goal is to ease the pain and help stabilising your knee. Immediate treatment options include:
Rehabilitation is a good way to recover you from your injury by strengthening your knee and prevent further injury. Treatment may include:
In rare cases, an injury to MCL will require surgery. Surgery is needed when the ligament is torn in such way that it can’t repair itself. If the tear is in the middle of the ligament, your surgeon will stitch the ligament together. However, if your ligament is torn where it attaches to either your shinbone of your thighbone, your surgeon will often reattach your MCL using the following methods:
Overall, the recommended management for MCL injury is to first applying some immediate treatment to ease the pain or reduce instability in the joint, then, consult a physical therapist like a chiropractor where you will be given exercise and stretching programmes to help strengthening your knee joint.
At Lakeside Chiropractic, we have treated many musculoskeletal injuries including MCL strains/tears and aim at treating your condition in the fastest time possible and bringing full functionality back to your knee. Lakeside Chiropractic is located north to Perth’s city centre and has patients from all over Perth including, Balcatta, Ellenbrook, Yokine, Hilary’s, Alkimos, Wembley Downs and Craigie. We also have HICAPS facilities onsite for most Health insurance Providers to make the expense of your treatment cheaper and are Medibank and BUPA preferred providers. To speak to our team about the benefits of chiropractic or to schedule in an appointment to cure your knee pain, you can call us on 93000095 or book via our book now tab at www.lakesidechiro.com.au we look forward to hearing from you shortly.