Evaluation and Treatment of Chronic Medial Collateral Ligament Injuries of the Knee

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Injuries to the medial collateral ligament (MCL) can occur as isolated injuries or in conjunction with injuries to other structures about the knee. Most grade I and II MCL injuries without meniscal avulsion, alone or in combination with anterior or posterior cruciate ligament injuries, can be treated nonoperatively. Grade III or complete tears also can be treated nonoperatively, but only after careful exclusion of any associated injuries that may require surgical treatment. Treatment recommendations also have been based on the location of the MCL tear and the associated injuries. Surgical treatment may include reconstruction of the anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments with primary repair of the MCL. Chronic medial knee injuries often are associated with concomitant ligament injuries, which also must be treated. Treatment options include nonoperative (bracing, activity modification, and rehabilitation) and operative reconstruction.

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