Medial Collateral Ligament Tear (MCL Tear) Overview
Located on the inside of the knee and extending from the end of the femur (thigh bone) to the top of the tibia (shin bone), the medial collateral ligament (MCL) provides side to side stability to the knee joint. An MCL injury can occur when the outside of the knee experiences a direct blow, causing the knee to cave in. San Fernando, Conejo Valley and greater Los Angeles, California patients that have experienced an MCL injury are encouraged to contact Dr. Mark Getelman for an orthopedic consultation. Dr. Getelman is a knee specialist fellowship trained and highly experienced at treating knee injuries, including an MCL tear.
An MCL injury can be sustained during an awkward landing in athletic activities, dirt biking injury or from a tackle in football. Medial collateral ligament injuries can range from a simple stretch to a complete MCL tear. Physicians classify these injuries into three grades:
- Grade I: An incomplete tear where the MCL is stretched by still intact
- Grade II: A partial (incomplete) tear of the ligament
- Grade III: A complete MCL tear
MCL Injury Symptoms
The hallmark sign of an MCL injury is knee pain. Patients often experience bruising and swelling along with the pain. In severe cases of an injury to the medial collateral ligament, the joint may feel is wants to give out or feel unstable when walking or weight bearing.
MCL Injury Diagnosis
Dr. Getelman will obtain a history of the injury, perform a thorough physical examination and utilize a variety of tests to check joint mobility, strength and level of pain. He may also perform X-rays and/or an MRI to view the injured medial collateral ligament in more detail and confirm the diagnosis.