Medial Collateral Ligament MCL Sprain
Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) Sprain
What is a medial collateral ligament MCL sprain?
The medial collateral ligament aka MCL is a strong ligament on the inner side of your knee that attaches your femur (the thigh bone) to your tibia (the shin bone). This ligament keeps your knee from bending inward towards the midline.
Grades for medial collateral ligament (MCL) sprains?
If you bend or twist your ligament severely, then a medial collateral ligament sprain may occur. MCL Sprains are categorized into three grades:
- First-degree sprain: Only a few ligament fibers (fewer than 10%) are damaged.
- Second-degree sprain: Damage to the ligaments is extensive, but the ligament remains intact.
- Third-degree sprain: The ligament is totally torn. Other adjacent structures such as the meniscus or the anterior cruciate ligament can also be affected.
Causes of a medial collateral ligament sprain
Your knee is highly vulnerable to impacts while participating in sporting activities. A medial collateral ligament sprain is the most commonly sports-related knee ligament injuries. The medial collateral ligament can become strained or injured due to a quick changes of direction, too much bending or twisting of your knee. Stop-and-go movements, jumping, or weaving are other causes of medial collateral ligament sprains. And in some contact sports such as rugby, football, and soccer, the medial collateral ligament can be damaged due to the force to the outside aspect of the leg (just above the knee).
Symptoms of a medial collateral ligament sprain
With the first-degree sprain, the area is tender while touching. When you try to stand up from sitting, you may feel a pain. In the second-degree sprain, you will have a swelling in the area and the pain is more severe. In the third-degree sprain cases, your joint is unstable and not able to function due to instability in the knee.
Early First Aid Treatment of MCL sprains or an MCL injury
- Rest: Just gentle movements
- Elevation: The affected knee should be rested in an elevated position above the level of your heart.
- Compression bandage: To prevent swelling
- Ice packs: For 20 minutes (every two hours) in the acute phase
- Medications: Anti-inflammatory medicine
Physiotherapy Treatment of a medial collateral ligament sprain or an MCL injury
If you have sprained your medial collateral ligament, you should seek a professional care immediately. At Ace Physiotherapy our Physiotherapists employs various treatment techniques to help you with your MCL sprain:
Electrotherapy: Pain relief
Ultrasound: Treatment to control swelling and pain
Laser Therapy: Treatment for inflammation and pain
Taping: To support and protect the knee
Custom Knee Brace: For support and protection
Massage Therapy: light and cross friction massages
Strengthening exercises: Isometric strengthening exercises (static muscle contractions), progressing into more advanced functional exercises incl. mini squats, leg press, and step ups.
Mobility exercises: Range of motion exercises
Proprioception exercises: Under the supervision of a chartered physiotherapist
Education and activity modification advice, Biomechanical correction
Qualified Physiotherapists at Ace Physiotherapy downtown Toronto provide expert care to help you with your medial collateral ligament and other knee injuries using advanced techniques.
To learn more about our Physiotherapy Toronto costs or services, or to book an appointment contact our friendly staff at 416-900-6653