It is possible to suffer a MCL sprain or complete tear to the medial collateral ligament (MCL) – or the lateral collateral ligament (LCL). These are two of the four knee ligaments. A sprain is a minor injury to the ligament, while a complete tear is a lot more severe.
Causes of MCL Sprain or LCL Sprain
The sprain of the MCL or LCL occurs when the knee is directly impacted in an unnatural way. Contact sports are a common cause of this injury. The MCL injury can happen due to an outer impact to the knee. LCL sprains are a result of serious contact with the inner side of the knee.
Symptoms of MCL Sprain or LCL Sprain
The symptoms will vary based on the severity of the condition. There may be swelling near the ligament, but very minor sports injuries may not have any swelling present. The pain will depend on the severity of the sprain too. Less severe injuries mean the pain may only come up during physical activity. With a more severe injury, the pain is present all the time. Stiffness may also be present in and around the knee.
Treatment of MCL Sprain or LCL Sprain
With any knee injury, it is best to abstain from physical activity whenever possible. Continuing to play sports on a knee injury will only make it worse. Rest, elevating the leg, applying ice and taking pain medication can help during the first few days. If the pain and swelling does not go away, it is time to seek professional sports medicine help.
If you are experiencing symptoms that align with an MCL or LCL sprain, it is best to seek sports injury treatment from a professional. By contacting and experienced sports medicine doctor like Dr. Bob Meyer at the Spinal Rehab and Sports Medicine clinic, you give yourself the best chance of a full recovery. Dr. Bob can perform the necessary tests to assess your condition, before recommending proper treatment.