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MCL/LCL/PCL Tears Specialist

Orthopedic Specialists -  - Orthopedic Surgeon

Orthopedic Specialists

Orthopedic Surgeons located in Palm Harbor, FL

MCL/LCL/PCL Tear Q and A

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What are the MCL, LCL, and PCL?

The MCL (medial collateral ligament), the LCL (lateral collateral ligament), and PCL (posterior cruciate ligament) are the tissue bands that connect the shin bone (tibia) and thigh bone (femur) to the knee. The MCL is located on the inner side of the knee; the LCL is on the outer side of the knee; the PCL is contained inside the knee joint.

What causes a torn MCL/LCL/PCL?

These ligaments can tear as a result of traumatic force injuries, violent twisting, or a fall. 

How can I tell if I have a torn MCL/LCL/PCL?

When an MCL, LCL, or PCL is torn, many people report:

  • Knee stiffness or swelling
  • Severe pain, sometimes limited to one side of the affected knee
  • Difficulty straightening or bending the knee fully
  • Knee instability or feeling that the knee is giving way

It is important to seek an accurate diagnosis from our doctor promptly in order to treat the condition and prevent further damage.

How is an MCL/LCL/PCL injury diagnosed?

Our orthopedic surgeon will conduct a thorough examination of your knee. Sometimes a physical examination alone can help distinguish whether you have injured a ligament or another part of your knee. 

Common diagnostic tests include:

  • X-rays – These can help rule out other knee injuries
  • Magnetic resonance imaging - MRIs create images of both hard and soft tissue, like ligaments
  • Arthroscopy – Miniaturized instruments and fiber optic camera are inserted into the knee cavity for full visualization

How is an MCL/LCL/PCL injury treated?

An accurate diagnosis by our board-certified, fellowship-trained orthopedic specialists will determine the severity of your injury and allow us to create the best plan of care for you. The first line of treatment typically involves nonsurgical options such as rest, compression, anti-inflammatory medication, or temporary use of crutches or braces to limit lateral (side-to-side) knee motion. 

If ligament surgery is required, you can feel confident in our expertise.  

Don’t take risks with a complex joint like the knee. Get a fast, accurate diagnosis and advanced treatment of MCL, LCL, and PCL tears by contacting Orthopedic Specialists or booking an appointment online. We are recognized experts in treating all knee conditions.

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