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Do I have an MCL Tear?

by Princeton Orthopaedic Associates

Do I have an MCL Tear?

by Princeton Orthopaedic Associates

MCL Tear: Symptoms, Treatment Options, and Recovery

Living with an MCL tear presents a series of daily challenges that can disrupt your routine and overall well-being. From the moment you wake up, simple activities like getting out of bed or walking to the kitchen require extra care and patience due to instability in your knee. Mobility is limited, making everyday tasks such as climbing stairs or carrying groceries a bit more demanding. However, as you see care, adopt new strategies, and build resilience, with patience, determination, and a strong support system, you can navigate the journey of recovery and emerge stronger.

Dr. Rossy evaluates a patient's knee for a MCL tear

What is an MCL Tear?

A medial collateral ligament (MCL) tear is an injury to one of the major ligaments in the knee. The MCL on the knee's inner side helps stabilize the joint and prevents the knee from bending inward. MCL tears commonly occur in sports that involve sudden changes in direction, twisting, or direct blows to the knee, such as football, soccer, and skiing

Symptoms of an MCL Tear

The symptoms of an MCL tear can vary depending on the severity of the injury but typically include:

  • Pain on the inner side of the knee
  • Swelling around the knee joint
  • Instability or a feeling that the knee may "give out."
  • Difficulty walking or bearing weight on the affected leg
  • Stiffness and reduced range of motion in the knee

These symptoms can range from mild discomfort to severe pain, significantly affecting your ability to perform everyday activities and participate in sports.

Treatment Options for an MCL Tear

Treatment for an MCL tear depends on the severity of the injury. Here are the main treatment options:

When to See an Orthopaedic Specialist

You should see an orthopaedic specialist if:

Dr. Prodromo evaluating a patient's knee for a MCL tear.
  • Your knee pain and swelling do not improve with rest and self-care
  • You experience significant instability or difficulty bearing weight on the affected leg
  • You have concerns about returning to sports or physical activities

An orthopaedic specialist can assess the severity of your injury, perform imaging tests, and develop a tailored treatment plan to ensure optimal recovery.

Why you can trust us:

  • We have multiple Orthopaedic Spine & Back Specialists who treat spine & back-related injuries every day.
  • We have the Spine and Back Institute with a team of world-recognized back specialists, orthopaedists, and therapists who have focused solely on back, neck, and spine health issues for over 15 years.
  • We have a whole-body health approach when it comes to orthopaedic spine, neck, and back health. The health of the entire body is connected to your back.  

Want to know more? Visit our website.

When to Seek Urgent Care

Seek urgent care if:

  • You experience severe pain and swelling in your knee immediately after an injury
  • You are unable to move your knee or bear weight on your leg
  • You notice significant deformity or instability in your knee

These symptoms may indicate a more severe injury that requires prompt medical attention.

POA Has Six Urgent Care Facilities


11 Centre Drive
Monroe Twp., NJ 08831


5 Plainsboro Road, Suite 100
Plainsboro, NJ 08536


1 Union Street Suite 305
Robbinsville, NJ 08691


325 Princeton Avenue
Princeton, NJ 08540


315 US Highway 206
Hillsborough Township, NJ 08844


340 Scotch Road
Ewing, NJ 08628

Urgent Care Hours

Seek Orthpaedic Care for Your MCL Tear

MCL tears can significantly impact your mobility and quality of life. Early intervention and proper treatment are essential for a successful recovery. If you suspect you have an MCL tear or are experiencing persistent knee pain, schedule an appointment with an orthopaedic specialist to receive a comprehensive evaluation and personalized treatment plan.

By taking action, you can prevent further damage, reduce pain, and return to your normal activities more quickly. Don't let an MCL tear keep you on the sidelines – seek professional help and start your path to recovery today.

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Are you suffering from knee pain?

Please contact us! We'd love to help.

If you have knee pain, please contact us and schedule an appointment. We have urgent care facilities all over New Jersey for your convenience.

This blog post is meant to be informative and should not act as a self-diagnosis tool. If you’d like to see one of our doctors, please contact us here.

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