If you have an MCL tear, getting effective treatment is important for relieving symptoms and preventing further knee problems from developing. Sometimes, surgery is necessary. Below, we will look at surgery options for MCL tear, as well as your non-surgical options.
The knee has four ligaments that contribute to its stability and movement: ACL, PCL, LCL and MCL. The MCL, or medial cruciate ligament, may be torn after sudden twisting or trauma, as is common in certain sports. MCL tears are also more common in middle age.
MCL tears may be mild, moderate, or severe. Mild tears basically “stretch” the ligament but leave it intact. Moderate tears occur when the ligament is actually torn. Severe tears occur when the ligament is completely severed in two pieces. Your doctor will evaluate your symptoms and use medical imaging to determine how severe the tear is.
In cases where a tear is mild to moderate, it may be necessary to manage symptoms without surgery. This is an especially strong option for patients who are older and less active, because the risks may outweigh the benefits in such cases. Some of the most common non-surgical treatments include:
- Rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE)
- Physical therapy
- Steroid injections directly into the knee
Surgery is often necessary for moderate to severe MCL tears, especially for patients who are more physically active. The goal of surgery is to repair the tear while minimizing the invasiveness of the procedure, a fact which should be taken into account when considering surgery options for MCL tear.
The two main surgery options for MCL tear are arthroscopic surgery and open knee surgery. Arthroscopic surgery is a minimally invasive form of surgery that allows the doctor to operate without actually opening up the knee. It is preferable whenever possible, because it is associated with a shorter downtime and lower risks. In cases of very severe or complex tears, or MCL tears associated with other knee injuries, open knee surgery may be required sports-medicine-doctor-orange-county
Only a doctor can determine which treatment is best for your MCL tear. This will be determined by looking at your symptoms, your medical history, the severity of your tear, your overall health, your activity level, and how you have responded to any treatments that were used in the past.
If you are interested in learning more about your surgery options for MCL tear, Dr. Howard Marans would be happy to hear from you. To schedule your consultation today, please click below and enter your information or call OC Orthopedic at (714) 979-8981.