The medial collateral ligament runs along the inside of the knee joint.  It joins the femur to the tibia, and gives support to the inside of the knee joint.  This ligament is prone to injury when an athlete is tackled low at the knee joint by an opposing player in rugby or if an opponent falls across the outside of your leg in other sports.  It’s also commonly injured in combination with the Anterior Crutiate Ligament (ACL) via a rotational mechanism of injury.

Diagnosis of MCL tear can be made by a chartered physiotherapist who will employ various tests to ensure the integrity of the joint.  Positive findings indicating torn MCL include laxity with or without pain on valgus stressing of the joint.  You’re chartered physiotherapist should be able to advise you on the extent of your MCL tear.  A grade one medial collateral ligament tear is the least significant, with grade 2 and 3 tears representing increasing degrees of ligament fibre damage.

Treatment of MCL tear generally involves physiotherapy, which should include manual therapy and a knee strengthening programme.  In worse cases with persistent and ongoing instability an orthopaedic surgery opinion will be necessary.  Such cases are generally associated with crutiate ligament injury, for which orthopaedic involvement should already be in place.