Specialty Care for an MCL Tear at UPMC
An MCL tear is an injury to the medial collateral ligament (MCL), which is on the inside of the knee. A torn MCL can be partial or complete. It is the most frequently injured knee ligament. MCL tears often occur along with ACL (anterior crucial ligament) and meniscus injuries.
MCL Tear Symptoms
The signs and symptoms of an MCL tear may include:
- Popping sound at the time of injury
- Knee pain, usually on the inside of your knee
- Stiffness, making the knee difficult to move
These signs and symptoms may appear a few hours after the injury.
Speak with an orthopedic doctor at UPMC Susquehanna if you think you’ve had an MCL injury. Our specialists and surgeons offer a wide array of therapies and treatments to help you recover and regain mobility.
MCL Tear Causes
An MCL tear is usually caused by a sports injury, typically from contact sports, like football. It occurs when the knee is hit from the side, pushing it unnaturally inward. Some MCL injuries are caused by overuse or repeated stress.
Advanced MCL Tear Treatment in PA
Treatment for an MCL tear begins with the RICE approach:
- Rest your leg/knee
- Ice your knee
- Compress your knee with a compression or elastic wrap
- Elevate your knee
Surgery is rarely needed for a torn MCL unless there is other damage to your knee. Your doctor may recommend an over-the-counter pain reliever, along with a knee brace to support and protect your knee from twisting or making side-to-side movements.
Your doctor may recommend rehabilitation exercises with a physical therapist to strengthen your knee and the muscles above it. To prevent further damage to your knee, it’s important to follow your treatment plan as you allow your knee to fully heal.
If you’re an athlete or you participate in activities that put stress on your knees, you can reduce your risk of sustaining an MCL tear by warming up and stretching before your activity, and by strengthening your leg muscles, particularly those above the knee. To relieve pressure on your knees during physical activity, allow them to rest by alternating high impact with low impact exercise.
Orthopedic doctors and surgeons at UPMC provide comprehensive care to treat MCL tears in Williamsport, Wellsboro and Muncy, PA.