- The medial or “inside” collateral ligament (MCL) connects the femur (thighbone) to the tibia (shinbone) in the knee.
- Injuries to the MCL are usually caused by a force that pushes the knee sideways, causing a partial or complete tear.
- MOST PARTIALMCL tears are treated with rest, bracing, and physical therapy.
- If reconstructive surgery for the MCL is required, it’s usually done through an incision on the inner part (medial) of your knee. It isn’t done arthroscopically.
How the Procedure Is Done
If reconstructive surgery for the MCL is required, it’s usually done through an incision on the inside of your knee. It isn’t done arthroscopically, since this ligament is not within the knee joint.
There are several options for surgical procedures. These may include:
- Re-attaching the ligament to the bone using large stitches, a metal screw, bone staples, or anchors
- If the tear was in the middle of the ligament, the surgeon could sew the torn ends together
- Harvesting one of your hamstring tendons, which could be used to reconstruct the damaged MCL
After surgery, physical therapy will be necessary and begin immediately; however, progression in terms of range of motion, weight bearing, strengthening, etc., will depend on the nature of the injury, surgery, and your overall health. Knee stiffness and residual instability are the most common complications associated with MCL reconstruction. You will use crutches until your physician determines they are no longer needed.