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MCL & LCL Ligament Injuries

What are the MCL and LCL Ligaments?

The Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) and the Lateral Collateral Ligament (PCL) are ligaments in the knee that work jointly to provide support and stability to the knee. The MCL and LCL ligaments are two of the four major ligaments in your knee. The other two ligaments are the ACL and PCL Ligaments (Anterior Cruciate Ligament & Posterior Cruciate Ligaments).

The MCL is located along the inside of the knee and connects the femur to the tibia. The MCL is responsible for keeping the knee from bending out.

The LCL runs along the outside of the knee and connects the femur to the fibula. The LCL stops the knee from bending in.

Watch a video on the Anatomy of The Knee.


What is an MCL or LCL Injury?

Knee injuries are extremely common, especially as a result of a sports injury. Some of the most common knee injuries are MCL or LCL sprains or tears. Often, tears to the MCL and LCL are caused by direct blows to the knee that push the knee outwards or inwards in an unnatural way.

What are the symptoms of an MCL or LCL Injury?

The symptoms of MCL and LCL injuries vary depending on the severity of the injury. Typically, sprains are less severe than tears and the symptoms associated with a sprain of the ligament are not as painful as the symptoms of a ligament tear.

The most common symptoms of an MCL or LCL Ligament Injury include:

  • Knee pain
  • Instability of the knee
  • Swelling of the knee
  • Locking of the knee

What treatments are available for MCL and LCL Sprains and Tears?

Treatment for minor MCL or LCL Sprains usually includes the RICE Method: Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. Physical Therapy and stretching exercises can also be helpful for strengthening of the ligaments and prevention of a future injury.

Not all MCL or LCL Tears require surgery. While at times, surgery may be necessary; non-surgical treatment for MCL and LCL Tears may also include Physical Therapy, Pain Management, stabilization, and strengthening and motion exercises.

At New York Pain Care, personalized treatment plans for knee injuries or sports injuries are designed for each individual patient by our expert staff.

What do I do next?

The first step in treating a Ligament Injury is to make an appointment to see a doctor who specializes in Sports Medicine for a diagnosis and to learn your treatment options.

Call us at 212-604-1300 or request more information using the form above. At New York Pain Care our goal is to get you started on a personalized treatment plan to find relief.

Click here to book an appointment online now.

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