Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) Injury | Knee Pain Physiotherapy Fremantle

MCL Injury | Knee Pain Physiotherapy East Fremantle

MCL injuries are a common cause of inner knee pain, which results from a sheer force trauma that occurs from the outer part of the knee.

knee pain physiotherapy, physiotherapy, physio, physiotherapy east fremantle, physiotherapy fremantle, mcl injuryMCL Injuries are classified on the basis of severity, and the amount of torn ligament fibres:

  • Grade 1: Mild tearing of the medial ligament.
  • Grade 2: Moderate tearing, partial rupture of ligament.
  • Grade 3: Complete tear of the medial ligament.

Grade 1

This refers to the mild tearing of your Medial Collateral Ligament, where there is only mild tearing of the MCL fibers. There is usually local tenderness over the area of the sprained ligament, and occasionally at the boney attachment of this ligament. Ligament testing by your physiotherapist will reveal no laxity, meaning that the integrity of the ligament remains.


Grade 2

A grade 2 MCL Injury is produced by a more severe sheer stress to the inner knee. There is often significant tenderness over the Medial Collateral Ligament which can be accompanied by a mild amount of swelling. Ligament testing will reveal a small amount of laxity, meaning that your ligament integrity has been compromised. However, a significant end point will remain which identifies that some of these fibers remain intact.


Grade 3

A Grade 3 injury refers to a complete rupture of your Medial Collateral Ligament. It takes a significant amount of trauma to completely rupture your MCL, and it may be accompanied with other injuries including ACL trauma or medial meniscal trauma. Often, people will complain of a highly unstable or ‘wobbly’ knee.

In addition, your lateral meniscus can also become compromised due to compression of the outer part of your knee.

There will be a degree of swelling around the outer part of the knee, and although these injuries are painful, it is often less painful to completely rupture this ligament, as opposed to only partially rupturing these fibers.


Treatment for MCL Injury

For a grade 2 sprain, a hinged knee brace is often used for 4-6 weeks to provide support for the injured ligament and to encourage healing.

For severe grade 2 MCL injuries and ruptures, a limited range of movement brace is used. Many studies are now demonstrating no differences in outcome between surgical and non-surgical repairs for complete ruptures, as such, many people are now encouraged to explore non-surgical management prior to surgery. Surgery is indicated in instances of high amounts of instability, and if required to return to sports where changes of direction are required.

Your exercise rehabilitation is aimed at restoring normal muscle length around your knee, and restoring strength with suitable strengthening exercise.


Move Physiotherapy are experts in knee pain physiotherapy.  You can book in your appointment by calling 0422 813 815, or by following the link to book online.

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