Published: June 22, 2011
Updated: June 22, 2011
The medial collateral ligament (MCL) is the ligament on the inside of the knee that limits side-to-side movement of the knee.
The MCL is often injured when the outside of the knee is struck and the MCL is stretched. The injury may also occur with a fall, often sports-related.
MCL injuries are indicated by pain surrounding the ligament and swelling or bruising as a result of the injury.
A physical examination by a knee specialist is usually sufficient for diagnosing MCL injuries. Simple stress tests are used during this exam to check for injury.
In some cases, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is used to determine the severity of the injury and rule out injuries to other structures.
A period of rest is usually enough to heal most MCL tears. Occasionally, a brace is used to help stabilize the knee during this time of recovery.
Anti-inflammatory medications are used to relieve pain and reduce swelling.