Medial Collateral Ligament Injuries
The medial collateral ligament (MCL) is more easily injured than the lateral collateral ligament (LCL). It is most often caused by a blow to the outer side of the knee (such as occur in contact sports) that stretches and tears the ligament on the inner side of the knee.
Degrees of Lateral Collateral Ligament Injuries - Image The classic sign of this injury is hearing a "pop" and feeling the knee buckle sideways. Pain and swelling are are immediate. To diagnose a collateral ligament injury, a medical professional will perform several manual tests (applying ressure on the side of the knee to determine the degree of pain and looseness of the joint) and possibly order an MRI to confirm the diagnosis.
Minor sprains of the collateral ligaments will heal with rest and gradual return to activity. R.I.C.E. - rest, ice, compression and elevation help reduce pain and swelling and a knee brace may be used to protect and stabilize the knee. A sprain may take 2 to 4 weeks to heal. A severely sprained or torn collateral ligament may occur along with a torn anterior cruciate ligament, which usually requires repair with Arthroscopic surgery.