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MCL & LCL Tear / Sprain

MCL & LCL Tear / Sprain

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).

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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?

    The MCL is the ligament located on the inside of your knee joint. It links your thighbone (femur) and shinbone (tibia).

    The LCL is the ligament located on the outside of your knee linking the thighbone and calf bone (fibula).

    MCL and LCL sprain causes
    The two most common causes of MCL sprains are when:

    A player applies force to the outside side of your knee during contact sports, such as football and soccer.
    You catch your foot in the ground and try to turn to the side, away from the planted leg.
    An LCL sprain can occur if a player applies force to the inside of your knee during contact sports.

    MCL and LCL sprain risk factors
    You increase your risk of an MCL or LCL sprain if you play contact sports, like football or soccer.

  • What are the symptoms of an MCL or LCL Injury?

    Pain at the sides of your knee. If there is an MCL injury, the pain is on the inside of the knee; an LCL injury may cause pain on the outside of the knee.
    Swelling over the site of the injury.
    Instability — the feeling that your knee is giving way.

  • 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 PRP Injection, Physical Therapy, Pain Management, stabilization, and strengthening and motion exercises.
    At Alleviate, personalized treatment plans for knee injuries or sports injuries are designed for each individual patient by our expert staff.

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