What is a Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) injury?
The medial collateral ligament (MCL) is one of the two collateral ligaments located within the knee complex. This strong ligament originates from the medial epicondyle, a bony prominence on the inner femur; and attaches to the medial condyle, a bony prominence on the inner tibia. The MCL’s function is to prevent an inward collapse of the knee as well as to provide stability when the knee rotates or performs side-to-side motions. Athletes are the most common group to injure the MCL by sustaining a direct, forceful blow to the outer knee, forcing an inward shift of the joint. Contact sports such as football, hockey, wrestling, soccer, or Lacrosse can cause MCL sprains, strains, tears or complete ruptures. Dr. Ronak Mukesh Patel, orthopedic knee surgeon, serving patients in Sugar Land, Pearland, and the Houston, Texas area, has the knowledge and understanding as well as substantial experience in treating patients who have experienced an MCL injury or tear.
What is the treatment for an MCL injury or tear?
MCL (medial collateral ligament) injuries that are mild or lower grade can often heal with conservative therapies alone. However, if conservative or non-operative measures are unsuccessful, or in the event of a complete ligament rupture, surgical reconstruction of the MCL may be required to restore rotational stability to the knee. MCL reconstruction involves the excision of the damaged ligament fragments, then suturing the remaining ligament pieces back together, or fastening them to the bone. A complete MCL rupture that is irreparable may require a tendon graft harvested from the patient (autograft) or donor (allograft). A section of the quadriceps tendon, hamstring tendon, or patellar tendon may be harvested as an autograft.