Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) Sprain
Diagnosis: Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) Sprain
Clinical Keywords: Knee pain, twisting injury, medial knee pain, valgus, ligament sprain
- Common injury of the knee causing pain along the inner side of the knee
- Can be confused with other causes of pain along the inner side of the knee such as a meniscus tear
- Can be associated with other injuries, such as a meniscus tear and anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear
The medial collateral ligament (MCL) is a structure in the knee that connects the femur bone to the tibial bone along the inner side of the knee (the same side as your big toe) which is called the medial side of the knee.
When an injury results in the knee bending sideways so that it is pointing toward the midline of the body, the MCL gets stretched which causes an injury called a sprain. Depending on the degree of force of the stretch injury, MCL sprains can be of varying severity. The degree of severity is often described as mild, moderate or severe or grade 1, 2, or 3. Severe, or grade 3, sprains are generally complete tears of the ligament so that there is either a gap in the ligament itself or a gap between one end of the ligament and the bone it is supposed to attach to.
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