Dr. Ben Wedro practices emergency medicine at Gundersen Clinic, a regional trauma center in La Crosse, Wisconsin. His background includes undergraduate and medical studies at the University of Alberta, a Family Practice internship at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario and residency training in Emergency Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
The medical meniscus and anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments are structures in the knee that are also commonly injured.
Diagnosis of medial collateral ligament injury is usually made by the history and physical examination. X-rays and MRI of the knee may be needed.
Treatment does not usually require surgery. Physical therapy is recommended to return range of motion of the knee joint and to increase the strength of the muscles that surround and protect the knee.
What is the medial collateral ligament (MCL)?
The knee joint allows the lower leg to flex (bend) or straighten (extend). To make certain that those are the only two motions that occur, there are four ligaments in the knee that help control and protect it.
The medial collateral ligament (MCL) is located on the medial aspect of the knee (medial = the closest to the center of the body).
The lateral collateral ligament (LCL) is located on the lateral aspect of the knee (lateral = away from the center of the body).
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) prevent anterior (frontward) and posterior (backward) movement of the knee joint.
Ligaments are tough bands of tissue that span a joint and attach to the bones on each side of it. The MCL is located on the inner side of the knee and is attached to the femur and tibia bones. It holds the knee stable against stress when a force is place on the outer part of the leg that could potentially buckle the knee toward the center of the body.
Picture of the ligaments in the knee joint
The muscles that surround the knee, especially the quadriceps muscles located in the front of the thigh, and the hamstrings located in the back of the thigh, are also important stabilizers of the knee joint.
During physical therapy for rehabilitation of a knee injury, the patient will be given specific exercises by the physical therapist in order to strengthen and stabilize the knee joint. These exercises include strengthening the front of the thigh (quadriceps), back of the thigh (hamstrings), calf, and hip.
Some exercises that your physical therapist may recommend include the following: