MCL Injuries Have a Good Prognosis with Proper Treatment
Ligament sprains are one of the most common knee injuries among athletes. The medial collateral ligament (MCL) and lateral collateral ligament (LCL) are located on each side of your knee. If you’re a New Yorker who has been suffering from pain on the sides of your knee, we encourage you to seek medical attention from an MCL tear specialist in Gramercy Park. Rothman Orthopaedic Institute offers world-class treatment for knee ligament injuries at our NYC office.
Even if you have heard of MCL injuries, you probably have questions about what to expect. That’s why we’ve put together a list of the most frequently-asked questions by patients about MCL injury treatment options in NYC. Read on to find out the essentials— everything you need to know—before your knee appointment.
Q: What is an MCL injury?
A: A medial collateral ligament injury is a sprain or tear to the MCL. This ligament consists of a band of tissue on the inside of your knee that keeps the knee from bending inward. The MCL connects the thigh to the lower leg. Depending on the severity of the injury, the sprain will be graded on three levels:
A Grade One sprain is mildly stretched and can keep the knee joint stable.
A Grade Two sprain is a partial tear of the ligament that causes it to become slightly loose.
A Grade Three sprain is a complete tear, resulting in destabilization of the knee joint.
Q: How is an MCL injury caused?
A: Activities that involve twisting, bending, or quickly changing direction can damage the MCL. Many medial collateral ligament tears occur because of a direct blow to the outside of the knee, pushing it inwards (or sideways).
Q: What does treatment for MCL injuries generally look like?
A: Most MCL injuries will recover without surgical treatment. The best thing you can do after being injured is rest. Ice your injury immediately following the incident for periods of 15-20 minutes at a time. Try to avoid putting weight on the knee as much as you can during the first few days following the injury.
Once the inflammation has gone down, the next step is bracing. The torn ligament has weakened the knee, making it more vulnerable to the same sideways motion that caused the injury. An orthopaedic doctor can recommend a brace to protect the sprained ligament from further stress.
Finally, physical therapy may be recommended to help you build up your strength again. Specific exercises will improve knee functionality by reinforcing the supporting muscles.
Q: When is MCL repair surgery recommended?
A: The good news is that the majority of MCL injuries heal successfully without surgery and patients typically make a full recovery. However, there are some MCL injuries that do require surgical intervention; therefore it is imperative that anyone with a MCL injury see their local Rothman Orthopaedic Institute doctor promptly.
Surgery may enter the discussion as an option when the tear occurs alongside other ligament problems. It may also be considered in cases when the ligament is torn in such a way that it cannot heal on its own. An MCL specialist at Rothman Orthopaedic Institute will determine the nature of the injury based on testing, such as an X-ray or MRI. Each case is different and requires individualized care from an experienced knee doctor.
Q: How can I make an appointment at Rothman Orthopaedic Institute in NYC?
A: Our New York office features MCL tear specialists in Gramercy Park who can help you to regain knee functionality. Even if it seems like recovery is impossible right now, you can trust the experts at Rothman Orthopaedic Institute. Let us help you get better as soon as possible— visit us here or contact us at 1-800-321-9999.
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