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MCL Injury

Although medial ligament injuries of the knee are common, they are mostly not considered severe. The usual mechanism of injury in football is a blow to the outside of the knee.

The severity of injury is graded (I-III) with a Grade III tear being a complete rupture of the ligament. A Grade II injury will normally be supported for up to 6 weeks in a range of movement brace which limits full knee extension during the recovery period. This limitation of full extension of the knee places the MCL in a shortened position to allow for better healing. Progression out of the brace depends on several factors including injury severity, pain and function.

Queensland halfback Johnathan Thurston tore his medial collateral ligament during the final State of Origin match in 2011.
Johnathan Thurston MCL Tear
Queenslander Johnathan Thurston tore his medial collateral ligament during the final State of Origin match in 2011.
(Image sourced from Sky News)
Medial Collateral Ligament MCL
3D model of the knee showing the medial collateral ligament or MCL.
(Image sourced from Primal Pictures)