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MCL Tear

MC-Ligament Torn
Picmonic
MCL stands for the medial collateral ligament. This injury is a tear of the ligament that connects the femur to the tibia on the medial aspect of the knee. It occurs in patients that have experienced high-energy trauma. It is typically treated conservatively, and can be clinically observed with the valgus stress test.
6 KEY FACTS
MECHANISM
Medial Knee Injury
Medial Knee Injury

This is an injury to the ligament on the medial side of the knee. This usually occurs from pressure or trauma from the lateral aspect of the knee, stretching the medial beyond its range of motion.

Unhappy Triad
Unhappy Triangle-triad

MCL tear is part of the unhappy triad which also includes damage to the ACL and medial meniscus. This occurs due to trauma to the lateral aspect of the knee and is common in football.

Football
Football-player

Football trauma can result in damage to the MCL, as patients are often tackled from the outside (laterally).

Skiing
Skier

Skiing accidents can result in damage to the MCL.

SIGN
Valgus Stress Test
V-goose doing valgus

This test is done by placing valgus (lateral to medial) stress to the knee while the knee is flexed at 30 degrees and tests the MCL, looking for laxity.

TREATMENT
Conservative Management
Conservative Mananger being conservative with treatment

Nonoperative therapy, including a hinged knee sleeve, activity modification, and physical therapy, is typically the standard of care for all types of MCL strains.

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