Definition

The medial collateral ligament is located in the inner side of the knee, which helps to maintain knee stability by restricting the range of knee sideways movement. MCL is a strong ligament, yet can be partial or complete torn during accidents or sports events, eg: sprain during ski, tackle in rugby.

Self File | 內側副韌帶創傷 Medial Collateral Ligament Injury (MCL Injury)_膝痛成因物理治療

 

 

Causes



If the lower leg suddenly abducts or is collided by heavy objects, MCL may be partially or completely torn. For severe cases, MCL injury is in conjunction with meniscus, capsule, or ACL injury.

MCL injury is divided into different grading:

  • Grade 1: MCL sprain without tear
  • Grade 2: Partial tear which affecting joint stability
  • Grade 3: Complete tear that severely affect functions

Self File | Medial Collateral Ligament Injury (MCL Injury)內側副韌帶創傷_Knee Pain Causes, Physiotherapy Treatment

 

 

Risk Factors
  • Knee joint is being collided or move out of normal range, eg: fall or contusion
  • High impact sports involve sprinting, sudden stop or turning, eg: football
  • Incorrect technique of jumping, landing, or changing direction

 

 

Common Symptoms

When MCL injured, it will be painful and swollen over the medial knee, causing the inability to fully straighten or bend the knee. Patients may have bruisings a few days after injury and walk with a limping gait. There is a prominent tenderness at the medial knee joint. A complete or severe partial tear of MCL will have more than 10-degree abduction in the valgus stress test.  A complete rupture may have a localized gapping when palpating on the ligament.

 

 

Management

Mild MCL injury can be managed by physiotherapy and manual therapy, combined with adequate rest for recovery, partial immobilization by protection brace, or sports taping for better stabilization if necessary. If the injured MCL heals too slow or complicated with a meniscal tear, arthroscopic repairs or a meniscectomy may be needed depending on the severity and types of injury. Despite the kinds of passive treatment implemented, patients still need a very comprehensive and progressive knee stabilization and strengthening program before returning to high-impact sports and avoiding re-injury.

Self File | 內側副韌帶創傷 Medial Collateral Ligament Injury (MCL Injury)_膝痛成因物理治療運動3

 

Self File | 內側副韌帶創傷 Medial Collateral Ligament Injury (MCL Injury)_膝痛成因物理治療運動1

Self File | 內側副韌帶創傷 Medial Collateral Ligament Injury (MCL Injury)_膝痛成因物理治療運動2

 

 

Preventive Measures

Regular exercise to stay healthy and strengthen up muscles. It helps to maintain better knee stability too. It is recommended to keep optimal lower limb biomechanics in sports activities to avoid injury. If you didn't do exercise for a long time, you should progress the exercise level gently. A 5 to 15 minutes warm-up is essential for improving blood circulation to the muscle and joint, hence reducing the chance of injury.

 

 

 

 

 

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