MCL is an abbreviation of 'medial collateral ligament'.

superficial MCL
View of the side of the knee, showing the extent of the superficial part of the MCL.


Nature of the medial collateral ligament

The medial collateral ligament is a band of fibrous tissue supporting the medial (inner) aspect of the knee joint. It has both a superficial and a deep component, which are separated by a 'pocket' called a bursa. The superficial component has a connection to the posterior (rear) part of the outer rim of the medial meniscus, while the deep component is even more intimately associated with the central part.

Most MCL injuries will heal if the joint is properly protected during rehabilitation.

medial collateral ligament
tibial collateral ligament

An interpretation of a published medical article on the posteromedial corner of the knee.

What is complex or multiligament instability?

Multiple damaged ligaments require expert evaluation.

Complex injury involving the collateral ligament

When several structures are damaged, decisions about the collateral ligament become more important.




Objective use of stress radiographs. Robert LaPrade MD - "Stress x-rays are an essential component of the workup for a patient with a knee ligament injury.  They provide an objective measure for determining the extent of an injury prior to surgery, assessing whether one is healing a partial tear nonoperatively, and in assessing postoperative outcomes."

See also -


3D How To: Ultrasound Exam of the Medial Collateral Ligament. Video embedded by courtesy of SonoSite.


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