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MCL Tears & Injuries

An MCL tear/injury can cause immediate pain and swelling, knee instability, and difficulty bearing weight. See our specialists as soon as possible.
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What is an MCL Tear/Injury?

The MCL is a crucial ligament that connects the tibia to the femur in the knee. An MCL tear/injury is usually caused by a direct blow to the knee, often occurring during sports such as football, soccer, and hockey. If you suffer an MCL tear/injury, seek medical attention immediately to determine its severity with a physical examination. Sometimes X-rays and MRIs are required, and an accurate diagnosis is made to effectively treat the tear/injury. At OIBO, our fellowship-trained and board-certified specialists prescribe customized treatments plans, which include rest, ice, medication, immobilization, and physical therapy. In most cases, nonsurgical treatment is successful, but in some cases, surgical intervention may be required. After surgery, physical therapy helps patients regain strength and flexibility. To schedule an appointment with one of our specialists, please call our practice or visit our contact page.


The MCL (medial collateral ligament) is an important knee ligament. It is located on the inside part of the knee—connecting the tibia (shin bone) to the femur (thigh bone). A direct blow to the knee may cause an MCL tear/injury. Football, soccer, and hockey are sports in which MCL tears/injuries are common. Symptoms include:

  • Immediate pain and swelling
  • Knee instability
  • Difficulty bear weight/walking

Patients who sustain an MCL tear/injury should make an appointment with our specialists as soon as possible. A physical examination determines the severity of the tear/injury. In some cases, X-rays and an MRI are ordered after swelling goes down. An accurate diagnosis is made so the tear/injury can be effectively treated. Our specialists are fellowship trained and board-certified. They prescribe customize treatment plans that decrease symptoms and heal the tear/injury.

How is an MCL Tear/Injury Treated?

The overwhelming majority of MCL tears/injuries heal on their own after several weeks of nonsurgical treatment. All of the following are usually included in a customized OIBO treatment plan:

  • Rest, ice and medications help with initial pain and swelling.
  • Immobilization (a brace and crutches) is necessary as it is usually very difficult for patients to bear weight without knee instability.
  • Physical therapy strengthens the knee and improves instability. OIBO approved physical therapists prescribe and monitor customized exercise plans.

Complete MCL tears may require surgical intervention. During an MCL repair, one of our specialists uses sutures to reattach torn ends of the MCL. Physical therapy is prescribed after surgery to help patients regain strength and flexibility. To schedule your appointment with one of our specialists, call our practice or visit our contact page.

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Patients deserve personalized, outcome-driven care provided by physicians who genuinely care about them. As medicine has become more corporate and transactional, OrthoNJ prioritizes exceptional doctor/patient relationships. This is why we say we have The Power to Put Patients First.

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Orthopaedic Leaders in NJ

Patients deserve personalized, outcome-driven care provided by physicians who genuinely care about them. As medicine has become more corporate and transactional, OrthoNJ prioritizes exceptional doctor/patient relationships. This is why we say we have The Power to Put Patients First.

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