MCL Treatment in Kirkland, WA
What is the MCL?
The medial collateral ligament (MCL) is one of the four major ligaments of the knee. The MCL is located on the inside (medial side) of the knee and connects the femur to the tibia. It helps provide stability to the knee and minimize stress across the knee joint.
The MCL is typically injured from a blow to the outside of the knee. Once the ligament tears, it heals very slowly. MCL tears can occur as isolated injuries or can be associated with other knee injuries. The combination of an ACL tear, MCL tear, and medial meniscus tear is referred to as the “unhappy triad.”
Dr. Robin Fuchs is a fellowship-trained board certified orthopedic surgeon that specializes in treating knee injuries. Dr. Fuchs is expertly trained in diagnosing and treating MCL tears at his orthopedic clinic in Kirkland, WA. If you have an MCL injury and are seeking treatment, please call (425) 823-4000 or request an appointment online.
What Are the Different Types of MCL Injuries?
MCL injuries are graded on a scale of I to III. A grade I injury is a small tear within the ligament. A grade II injury is a medium sized tear. A grade III injury is a complete tear of the MCL and is commonly associated with tears of other ligaments in the knee.In order to help you determine which type of MCL injury you have, here is a description of each degree of MCL sprains:
- Grade 1 MCL Injury– refers to a strained, but not torn, ligament. It is the least severe injury out of all three grades.
- Grade 2 MCL Injury– a ligament which is slightly torn, causing some instability and discomfort in the knee.
- Grade 3 MCL Injury– the most severe, this is a ligament that has completely torn.
What Are the Signs of an MCL Tear?
For most people, the symptoms of an MCL injury are not that different from other knee conditions. This is why it’s important that your doctor is able to examine the injury to determine which treatment option is most appropriate for your condition.
The most common symptom following an MCL injury is pain directly over the ligament on the inside of the knee. Swelling and decreased knee motion are also common with this injury.
Common symptoms of a MCL sprain can include:
- Hearing a popping upon getting the injury.
- Pain near the inside area of the knee
- Swelling of the knee joint
- Not able to put weight on the knee when applying pressure to the area
Other Common Symptoms of an MCL Tear
After an MCL injury, patients typically feel pain along the inside of the knee and experience swelling. Other symptoms include having difficulty walking, instability of the knee, feeling like the knee is stiff or wobbly when you move around.
Which Treatment Option is Best for an MCL Injury?
Most MCL tears heal on their own without the need for surgery. A brace is often prescribed to protect the ligament while it heals. Grade I and grade II injuries usually resolve within 4-6 weeks, though full recovery may take longer. Grade III injuries are more severe injuries that are usually associated with tears of other ligaments in the knee and may require surgery. Surgical repair of the MCL is usually done through an open incision and involves stitching the ligament back together or down to bone. Postoperative recovery is variable and depends on what other injuries are present in the knee.
What Kind of Results Can You Expect Post-Treatment
Regardless of whether or not your condition was serious enough to require surgery, the outlook is positive. Most people with this condition can expect to fully heal in a matter of weeks, assuming that they maintain a recommended treatment regimen.
Schedule a Consultation for MCL Treatment Today!
Dr. Robin Fuchs is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon specializing in the treatment of knee injuries. If you have an injury to your MCL, please call (425) 823-4000 or request an appointment online.
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