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Knee Medical Collateral Ligament

What is the Medical Collateral Ligament (MCL)?

The MCL is most commonly injured when a person sustains an impact or force on the outside of the leg that moves the knee inward. This puts the MCL on stretch and with enough force the MCL is sprained or torn.

What causes an MCL tear?

How is an MCL tear treated?

The MCL is a broad ligament on the inside or medial aspect of the knee. The ligament is important and functions to provide knee stability.

Thankfully, most isolated MCL tears are treated without surgery. This is not to say that MCL tears are not painful and some athletes could be out of their sport for several weeks. There is a concern that some patients with MCL injuries may be at a higher risk for a meniscus tear. The MCL may be repaired or reconstructed in cases of a knee dislocation where multiple ligaments in the knee are torn.

The MCL is located on the inner or medial aspect of the knee.


1. Dale KM, Bailey JR, Moorman CT. Surgical Management and Treatment of the Anterior Cruciate Ligament/Medial Collateral Ligament Injured Knee. Clinics in Sports Medicine. 2017;36(1):87-103. doi:10.1016/j.csm.2016.08.005.

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