6 April 2020,

how can i tell if i tore my mcl

Commonly known as the MCL, the medial collateral ligament is a crucial component of the knee joint which provides stability and prevents the joint from becoming overly mobile. While this ligament is quite resilient, it can be torn through significant impact to the inside of the knee. MCL tears are common among athletes – especially those who play sports such as football or basketball. If you are experiencing knee discomfort following physical activity, you might ask: How can I tell if I tore my MCL?

How Can I Tell If I Tore My MCL? Signs & Symptoms to Watch For

The symptoms of a torn MCL will vary from patient to patient. However, there are some general signs which are characteristic of this common knee injury. An individual with an MCL tear may notice the following:

  • – A popping sound when the injury is sustained
  • – Pain (ranging from mild to severe depending on injury grade) on the inside of the knee
  • – Instability, or feeling like the knee cannot bear weight and may give out
  • – Knee stiffness
  • – Trouble bending and straightening the affected leg
  • – Swelling, which may spread to other parts of the knee joint


In case of a severe blow to the knee, other ligaments may be affected in addition to the MCL. For instance, the lateral collateral ligament (LCL), located on the outside of the knee, may also be damaged. Further, it is possible to sustain a combination anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and MCL injury. If multiple ligaments are damaged, the patient will likely experience pain in various parts of the knee joint.

If You Suspect an MCL Tear, Seek Care from Dr. Soffer

“How can I tell if I tore my MCL?” Our orthopedic surgeon is frequently asked this question. As outlined above, there are certain signs and symptoms which can point to an MCL tear. Ultimately, however, only a skilled sports medicine doctor can accurately diagnose a torn MCL. After all, the symptoms of an MCL tear may overlap with those of other knee conditions and injuries.

If you or your child is experiencing persistent knee discomfort, it is important to promptly seek care from an orthopedic expert. For world-class care in the Reading, PA area, patients rely on Dr. Stephen Soffer.

Through the use of cutting-edge techniques, Dr. Soffer will identify the injury or condition which is causing your symptoms. Then, he will recommend the most appropriate course of treatment based on your individual circumstances. Certified by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery, Dr. Soffer specializes in MCL repair surgery as well as nonsurgical treatment methods.

If you would like to set up an appointment with Dr. Soffer, call our office at 610-375-4949. We look forward to helping you get on the road to recovery.

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