The Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) is a ligament within the knee that helps to connect your thigh bone (femur) to your shin bone (tibia). It is found at the inner aspect of the knee and acts to control sideways movement. It is one of the most commonly injured knee ligaments. Injury to the ligament is common in various sports, especially AFL, soccer, rugby, netball and basketball. Injury occurs when the knee is forced inwards into an excessive ‘knock knee’ position. The ligament can also be injured as part of a more complex knee injury during high energy trauma.
Injury to the MCL is usually quite painful. There may be acute swelling of the knee. People who injure their MCL will often struggle to weight bear on the leg after the injury, although this can settle with time. Early after the injury, people notice that their knee feels unsteady or ‘sloppy’ and may give way.
MCL injury is usually suspected after a medical consultation, where a clinical history is taken and examination of the knee performed. Diagnosis is concerned with imaging. Often an X-ray of the joint is normal, and the diagnosis is picked up on MRI scanning of the knee which will be able to more accurately diagnose the injury, but importantly exclude injury to other structures within the knee (ACL, multi-ligament knee injury, meniscus injury).
Most isolated MCL injuries will heal with non-surgical treatment. Dr Radic may recommend you use a hinged knee brace for a period of time, possibly the use of crutches. It’s important to rest, ice and elevate the knee to help treat and prevent excessive swelling.
Surgical treatment of MCL injury may occasionally be recommended for high-grade injuries or when the injury is part of a more complex problem. In these instances, Dr Radic will be able to discuss with you the exact nature of the surgery and your expected recovery timeframe. In general, full recovery after isolated MCL reconstruction will take 6 months.
If you have injured your MCL, make an appointment with Dr Radic to discuss your treatment options.
For all appointments and enquiries, please contact us on:
Alternatively, please call the switchboard on 08 9212 4200 and ask for Dr Radic's rooms.
Perth Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine Centre
31 Outram Street
West Perth WA 6005
Antony Street Specialist Centre
6-8 Antony Street
Palmyra WA 6157
100 Stephenson Ave
Mount Claremont WA 6010