The knee joint is responsible for movement and load-bearing. This hinge joint consists of cartilage, tendons, and bones designed to perform different functions. The knee provides support to the body in an upright position, removing pressure from the lower back.
Our knees help us in lifting tasks, and act as a shock absorber, limiting the impact from running and jumping. When injuries occur to the ligaments or meniscus, (the cartilage,) the patient may feel symptoms of pain that vary depending on the extent of the damage.
Two of the most common injuries involving ligaments in the knee are sprains or tears of the ACL or MCL. The ACL, (anterior cruciate ligament,) prevents excessive hypertension of the tibia and femur. The MCL, (medial collateral ligament,) prevents extreme side-to-side motion of the knee joint, providing stability while walking or changing direction.
In this article, we are going to look at eight facts about the MCL, and how you can avoid injuring this ligament.
1. The MCL Is on the Inside of the Knee
The medial collateral ligament, (MCL,) is the band of fibrous tissue found on the inside of the knee joint. This ligament is one of the four primary ligaments in the knee, with the MCL acting to provide stabilization to the knee joint while walking, running, or jumping. The MCL connects the medial tibial condyle and the medial femoral condyle.
Ligaments are bands of fibrous tissue made from collagen – a protein responsible for the development of healthy skin, hair, bones, and ligaments. The MCL serves to resist valgus force, which occurs when the foot turns outwards away from the knee.
Patients who experience an injury to the MCL, incur damage to the ligament through sudden twisting movements, such as changing direction while running. MCL injuries vary in severity depending on the extent of the force that causes the damage. In severe cases of MCL damage, the patient may require surgery to reattach the ligaments.