MCL Repair / Reconstruction Overview
An MCL repair/reconstruction treats a torn medial collateral ligament (MCL). The ligament is important because it stabilizes and moves the medial or inside part of the knee joint. A torn MCL will not heal on its own and symptoms will become worse if treatment is delayed. An appointment with a Carolina Orthopaedic and Neurosurgical Associates’ (CONA) knee specialist should be made as soon as possible.
How is MCL repair/reconstruction performed?
An MCL repair is an outpatient procedure that is performed under general anesthesia. Procedure steps are:
- Surgery begins. Muscles and soft tissues are gently retracted.
- The MCL is repaired/reconstructed. The torn MCL is repaired with sutures or removed and replaced with a new ligament.
- Surgery ends. Absorbable sutures close tissues. Removeable sutures close the skin. The knee is sterilely dressed and an ACE bandage is wrapped around it.
A knee brace is placed on the knee for immobilization and protection purposes. Total procedure time is 60-90 minutes.
What conditions can MCL repair/reconstruction treat?
An MCL repair/reconstruction treats a complete MCL tear.
What are MCL repair/reconstruction advantages?
An MCL tear causes pain and makes it difficult to properly use the knee. Surgery corrects the tear and patients return to normal activities with no pain and minimal to no restrictions.
What is MCL repair/reconstruction recovery like?
The first two weeks are spent resting at home. Simple exercises help gently stretch the knee. Crutches are used to get around the house. Follow up appointments occur 2 weeks and 1, 3, and 6 months after surgery. Specific recovery instructions are given at each follow-up appointment. Physical therapy is an important part of recovery.