What To Know About MCL Injuries and Treatment Options
Injuries can occur in any sport, and some have longer recovery times than others. In addition, tearing muscles and ligaments are painful and may even require surgery. By noting what to know about MCL injuries and treatment options, you’ll know what to do if you encounter this injury.
What Is an MCL Tear?
Your MCL is also known as the medial collateral ligament, and it helps keep your knee held together and flexible. It connects your femur to your tibia. Without this important ligament, your knee could move from side to side, making sports anything but easy. MCL tears are prevalent during high-impact sports, and injury to this band may impair your walking ability.
Symptoms of MCL Tear
Tearing or straining your MCL is painful, and your knee will typically swell as your body reacts to the injury. Some even hear a ‘pop’ sound or cannot walk because of the damage. If you notice any of this, visit a doctor for a diagnosis.
Typically, medical professionals will evaluate the area by applying pressure to the knee to determine the severity of the injury. Your doctor may also do an MRI for further analysis since this allows them to see the tear.
Treatments for an MCL Tear
As you investigate what to know about MCL injuries and treatment options, it’s important to understand that the best treatment for an MCL tear depends on the degree of damage. If your injury isn’t too serious, you may have to rest the area and wait for it to heal, but this isn’t always the case.
A Non-Surgical Approach
When you first injure your MCL, medical professionals recommend following the RICE treatment method—rice, ice, compression, and elevation—to lessen the initial inflammation. You may also want to take over-the-counter pain relievers or wear a brace to help further alleviate the pain.
After visiting a doctor, they’ll tell you how long to wait before resuming physical activity. Depending on the severity, this could range from a week to two months. While a two-month recovery may sound painstakingly long, by allowing your body time to repair, you prevent further damage.
Every MCL injury does not require surgery, but if the ligament does not heal correctly on its own, a surgeon will have to use medical equipment to keep it in place. Surgery could extend your recovery time, so it’s best to devise a healing plan with your doctor that aligns with your lifestyle.
Visit a sports medicine doctor in Las Vegas for an expert’s opinion. PRO-AM is a sports medicine clinic that offers surgical and non-surgical treatments to keep you on your feet. Working with one of our experts, together we’ll develop a healing plan that aligns with your athletic ability, then focus on rebuilding your strength.