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MCL tear and reconstruction

Torn MCL Causes Knee Pain

Contact sports or sports that call for sudden changes in speed and direction, increase an athlete’s risk of medial collateral ligament (MCL) knee injury.

A torn MCL results in damage to the ligament that supports the inner knee and connects the upper leg bone (femur) to the tibia bone below the knee. In one of the most common sports injuries, a blow to the side of the knee can push the joint in, tearing the MCL and possibly damaging surrounding bone or soft tissue.

Orthopedic knee specialists at Baylor Arlington report that patients with MCL tears experience common symptoms such as:

  • Pain on the inside surface of the leg at the knee
  • Popping noise on initial impact
  • Swelling around the knee joint
  • Weakness and knee joint instability
  • Loose knee joint

After a full examination and diagnostic imaging tests, your sports medicine doctor or orthopedic surgeon can fully assess the damage to the MCL. A mild MCL knee sprain may result in minimal pain or stiffness, but more serious ligament damage can indicate loose knee joint, partial tear, complete MCL tear, and chronic instability.

Treat MCL Tears Without Surgery

For mild MCL injuries, nonsurgical treatment can be helpful for pain management and healing. Your knee specialist may recommend:

  • Applying ice to the knee
  • Wearing a knee brace to stabilize the joint
  • Keeping weight off the knee
  • Strengthening the knee and leg muscles with physical therapy exercises

In cases of severe MCL injury, knee surgery may be another treatment option. As with torn ACL (link back to ACL page) injuries, minimally invasive surgery using knee arthroscopy, and possible ligament reconstruction, could be a solution for this type of knee injury.

To consult with a sports medicine specialist or an orthopedic knee surgeon with expertise in treating torn MCL and many other types of sports injuries, call Baylor Orthopedic and Spine Hospital at Arlington at 855-41-ORTHO.