MCL & PCL Injuries

What are they and how are they treated?

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What Is an MCL or PCL Injury?

The MCL (medial collateral ligament) and PCL (posterior cruciate ligament) are two of the four ligaments (ACL, MCL, PCL, and LCL) that provide stability to the knee as well as prevent the knee from moving too far in a specific direction.  

The MCL is a ligament on the inside of the knee. It prevents your knee from bending inward (valgus).

The MCL can be injured during activities that involve bending and twisting, or quick changes in direction.  It can also be damaged from a direct blow to the outside of the knee.

MCL sprain symptoms include:

  • Pain and tenderness at the inside of the knee
  • “Popping” sound upon injury
  • Swelling of the knee
  • Feeling of the knee “giving out”
  • Locking or catching in the knee joint

The PCL is located in the back of the knee and keeps the shinbone (tibia) from moving too far backward at the knee.

Injury to the PCL requires a significant amount of force. Common causes of injury include the knee hitting the dashboard in an automobile accident (dashboard Knee) and forcefully falling on a bent knee. 

If you have a PCL injury, the symptoms can include:

The MCL and/or PCL can also be injured when there is a simultaneous injury to the ACL.

The Board Certified Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Specialists at OrthoNeuro have helped thousands of patients with MCL or PCL injuries return to an active and healthy lifestyle using a variety of treatment options.

How Are MCL and PCL Injuries Treated at OrthoNeuro?

In many cases, MCL and PCL injuries do not require surgery unless the ligament is completely torn. In these cases, your OrthoNeuro Specialist may recommend conservative treatment options to allow the ligaments to heal.

These treatment options can include:

  • Physical therapy
  • Bracing or immobilization
  • Anti-inflammatory medications

MCL injuries rarely require surgical intervention.

Surgery is necessary if the ligament is torn in a way that it cannot repair itself or when other ligaments in the knee have been torn. Your OrthoNeuro Orthopedic Surgeon will perform this surgery arthroscopically through small incisions in the knee.

Surgery may be an option for a PCL tear if there are other injuries to the knee such as an ACL tear. 

Your OrthoNeuro Surgeon may recommend a surgical procedure to reconstruct the ligament using a graft from another tendon in the body. Small sutures, screws or anchors may also be used to reattach the tendon to its correct position.

Make an Appointment with an OrthoNeuro Knee Specialist Today!

If you have been experiencing symptoms of an MCL or PCL injury, schedule an appointment with one of our Board Certified Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Specialists at one of our 7 convenient locations throughout Greater Columbus. 

We will evaluate your unique lifestyle and goals to determine which type of treatment is best for you.

Knee Specialists

If you have a severe knee injury or chronic knee pain that reduces your mobility or quality of life, contact OrthoNeuro to schedule a consultation. Our expert orthopedic surgeons are on hand to diagnose and treat your knee problem.

Michael B. Cannone, DO

Orthopedic Surgeon

Mark E. Gittins, DO, FAOAO

Orthopedic Surgeon

Ryan M. Palmer, DO

Orthopedic Surgeon

B. Rodney Comisar, MD, FAAOS

Orthopedic Surgeon

J. Mark Hatheway, MD

Orthopedic Surgeon

Mark T. Kolich, D.O.

Orthopedic Surgeon

Keith A. LaDu, DO

Orthopedic Surgeon

Jeremy R. Mathis, DO

Orthopedic Surgeon

Timothy P. Duffey, DO


Meniscus repair six months ago. Surgery went smoothly. Dr. set realistic expectations that have been met. Great team to work with