Do you need a knee brace for an MCL injury?

While MCL injuries of the knee are very common in sports, they fortunately don’t need surgery in most cases. In this Ask Dr. Geier video, I explain the treatment for a torn MCL and how an athlete can best return to sports.

Sully asks:
I have a torn MCL – grade 3. I just want to know if I should wear the knee brace while I’m doing my home exercises?

The MCL is a thick ligament on the medial side (inside) of the knee. An athlete often tears the MCL when he is hit on the outside of the kneeMan with hinged knee brace bent knee. Fortunately, most MCL injuries heal on their own without surgery. A brace that allows flexion and extension of the knee but protects against side-to-side stress is important.

In this video, I discuss MCL injuries and their treatments. I also discuss some of the keys to quickly and safely returning to sports and exercise.

Have you suffered an MCL injury of your knee? How did you treat it? Please share your experience below!

Also read:
Ask Dr. Geier: MCL injuries
Ask Dr. Geier – Knee Braces for MCL Injuries

Please remember, while I appreciate your questions, I cannot and will not discuss specific medical information by email, online, on my show, or in the comments at the end of these posts. My responses are meant to provide general medical information and education. Please consult your physician or health care provider for your specific medical concerns.

5 Responses to Do you need a knee brace for an MCL injury?

  1. I have a grade 2 MCL injury. My knee is stiff so that it is not easily going straight because of pain. There is no other injuries in MRI. Should I force it straight or just let it heel on it’s own. Injury happened 4 weeks ago.

  2. how can I tell if I have a MCL injury or a PCL injury. in march of last year I took a bad fall and from what my friend said I landed straight down on it. after a few months it was fine minus the swelling and some pain, until I started to try running again, and ever since then its not as bad but I still cant run without a little pain and it at times can be very stiff. wondering if I have a tear or what might have been a hairline fracture but now maybe due to rushing back into be active stress fracture? Any thoughts on this would be great as I have a race coming up this weekend with my squad/ team.

  3. Hi! When i should call a physical therapist for my knee injury? Im not done yet for mri cause of financial needs but i searched in the internet and i have the same symptoms of an mcl injury. I hope you can help me. God bless!

    • Physical therapy can help a patient regain motion, strength and function of the knee after many injuries. If they suspect a worse injury, they can then recommend you see an orthopaedic surgeon.

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david-headshot I am an orthopaedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist in Charleston, South Carolina.

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