MCL injuries are like sister injuries to ACL tears.  Although they sometimes occur at the same time, ACL and MCL injuries are two different things, each with individual treatment methods. If you’re looking for a physical therapist to help you recover from sports injuries including MCL injuries, Next Level Physio is the team to call. 

What is an MCL Injury?

The medial collateral ligament (MCL) is a band of thick tissue on the inner part of the knee that connects the femur (thighbone) to the tibia (shinbone). Its main function is to prevent the leg from going too far inward. The MCL is one of several ligaments that also helps keep the knee stable and allows it to rotate. 

MCL injuries may happen when the knee gets hit directly on the outer side, stretching the ligament on the inside, but non-contact injuries to the MCL are more common.  Sports like volleyball, soccer, lacrosse, basketball, football, jiu-jitsu are among the top sports where we see MCL injuries occur.  MCL and ACL injuries often occur together, so it’s important that your physio check for both during the evaluation.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of MCL Injuries?   

Some of the most common symptoms of an MCL injury include:

  • Pain that ranges from mild to severe on the inner part of the knee.
  • Stiffness 
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness on inner part of the knee
  • Sensation of locking or catching in the knee 

How to Diagnose an MCL Injury 

To diagnose an MCL injury, your physio team will spend a lot of time reviewing your medical history, activity profile, lifestyle and then conduct a detailed physical exam.  Depending on the severity of your limitations and symptoms, you may be referred to a specialist for an MRI. This is the most comprehensive way to determine the extent of the injury. 

Treatment for MCL Injuries

There’s good news ahead: more often than not, MCL injuries do not require surgery!  The MCL has a great blood supply and is likely to heal fast with physiotherapy.  The most fundamental nonsurgical treatments for MCL injuries include active rest for day-to-day management and physiotherapy.  

Recovery from an MCL injury can take anywhere from 1 to 8 weeks depending on the severity of the injury. The key is to be patient and follow your physical therapist’s recovery plan as closely as possible.  

Next Level Physio Physiotherapy for ACL Tear Surgery

Injuries happen, but it’s how we deal with them that makes all the difference. At Next Level Physio, we see clients with MCL injuries all the time. We know the ins and outs of what it takes to properly heal from an MCL Injury and get you back on the field, pain-free. 

What do we do differently at Next Level? On top of using cutting edge modalities and treatment strategies, we also provide you with programming to keep the rest of your body from deteriorating, and for those who are active, we can coach you on what CAN do to keep fit and healthy during the long recovery process.  

Using our MEI Method, we work closely with you to design the right plan of care for you.  The frustrations we often hear from clients who have been to the mill or corporate physical therapy practices include:

  1. The PT there didn’t really spend a lot of time with me. 
  2. The PT was seeing 5 other patients at the same time.
  3. All they did was put on a hot pack, rub some gel on my hip, then have me do pointless exercises on my own.
  4. They didn’t care about my goals after surgery and did nothing to get me back to my favorite activities. 

Does this sound like the type of PT place that will get you the results you want?

That’s why we’re different :)

Our goal is simple: help you heal without medication or surgery. In addition to physical therapy MCL injuries, we also work with patients for conditions including: 

Some of the physical therapy methods we use for pain treatment include: 

  • IASTM Technique
  • Blood Flow Restriction Training
  • Therapeutic Exercise
  • Shockwave
  • Cold Laser
  • Australian Manual Therapy
  • Cupping, and more

Click here to schedule an appointment and a free consultation.