Medial Collateral Ligament How it is Injured Knee Support As an Option

By Daniel P. Sims

The Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) is a thick, strong, and wide band of tissues. It is in the inner part of the knee and runs down from the femur (thighbone) to the tibia (shinbone).

There are three functions of the MCL: it stops the knee from extending too far inward, it makes the knee stable, and it allows the knee to rotate. If you have MCL injury you will have mild to severe pain, depending on the nature of the injury. You may also have swelling, limpness or difficulty in walking, and feeling that you cannot trust your knee because it can give out any time.

The MCL can be injured or damaged by stretching it on the inside of the knee too far. This happens mostly when something hits forcefully on the outside of the knee. An MCL damage can damage other ligaments too, like the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL).

The ligament can also be damaged by repeating stress. By repeating stress the ligament loses its strength and elasticity. Your physician will ask about your current injury or if you had any injury in the area before. These questions will be asked to find out the nature and cause of the injury. Force will be applied on the outside of the knee to check whether it is bending and moving in a normal manner or not. An MCL injury can be partial or completed.

Immediately after injury, place ice on the knee and try to raise it to reduce pain and swelling. Doctor may use MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scan to diagnose the MCL injury and its nature or severity. An MRI gives 90 percent accurate result.

As the Medial Collateral Ligament is a good blood supplier, surgery is not recommended in most cases. Non-surgical treatment is suggested instead which includes taking rest, using braces to provide support, or mild pain medication for reducing pain. Physical therapy may also help to warm up the knee and reduce pain and swelling.

In order to keep the knee moving, the doctor may ask the patient to lift light weights or to move the knee back and forth by limiting the side-to-side motion. Knee braces make it easy to do this. Pain and swelling may remain for a few days but after this, you may start the rehabilitation program. Exercises can help in recovering but if you still feel pain during exercises then you should proceed slowly to prevent further pain.

Anyone having an MCL injury must visit their doctor for further evaluation as this article only gives essential information about the MCL.

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