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What is a Torn MCL? Find Out from Advanced Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine of Houston

A torn MCL is an injury to the medial collateral ligament – one of the ligaments that is responsible for stability and range of motion in the knee. Most MCL tears occur as a result of a sudden collision or sports injury. However, ligaments can also tear during other ordinary movements, like walking or standing up from a seated positon.

What are the symptoms of a torn MCL?

When the MCL tears, it’s common to feel a sudden snapping sensation in the knee. Pain typically develops right away, and swelling can follow within a few hours. Placing weight on the knee becomes particularly difficult, and many people experience a feeling of their knee buckling when they attempt to walk.

How do you treat a torn MCL?

Most MCL injuries require immediate medical attention. If the tear is not allowed to heal completely, it can be more prone to tearing again in the future.

In some cases, conservative therapies can be used to support the knee while the ligament heals. Potential options include:

  • Short-term rest
  • Elevating and applying ice to the knee
  • Wearing a knee brace
  • Taking anti-inflammatory medications to reduce swelling
  • Physical therapy

More severe MCL injuries may require surgery. This includes MCL tears that are also accompanied by other types of ligament damage, such as ACL and PCL tears. The goal of surgery is to repair the ligament damage and restore stability within the knee joint. Depending on a patient’s needs, traditional or minimally invasive techniques may be used to accomplish this.

At Advanced Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine of Houston, Texas, our knee injury specialists frequently diagnose and treat torn ligaments, along with other common issues. We offer comprehensive care, from physical therapy to surgery and everything in between, in several convenient locations. For more information about our approach to torn MCL treatment, contact us today.