Treatment for knee ligament damage

Injuries to the knee's medial cruciate ligament (MCL) may be treated successfully without surgery, according to a literature review published in the March 2009 issue of The Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (JAAOS). The key, the review's authors found, is properly diagnosing and understanding the extent of the injury to determine the best course of treatment.

The MCL is the most frequently injured ligament in the knee. It attaches to the femur (thigh bone) and the tibia (shin bone) and runs across the inside of the knee. MCL injuries are usually caused by a direct blow to the knee, very common in contact sports such as football, rugby or soccer.

Injuries to the MCL may be isolated, or they may be part of a more complex injury involving the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) or meniscus (cartilage between the bones in the knee joint). Knowing whether other structures in the knee are involved is vital to treating these injuries.

"In most cases, MCL injuries can be treated non-operatively, with a combination of rehabilitation and bracing," says Ryan G. Miyamoto, M.D., sports medicine fellow at the Steadman-Hawkins Clinic in Vail, Colorado. "Surgery becomes an option when there are multiple injuries present in the knee. However, the additional injuries are not always identified."

Thorough physical examinations and appropriate imaging are of paramount importance in managing MCL injuries, say the study authors. In addition, they add that high-grade MCL injuries are often associated with other ligament injuries, so orthopaedic surgeons should pay particular attention to the other joint structures in those cases.

Non-surgical treatment of MCL injuries generally consists of:

  • Early rehabilitation with range of motion and strengthening exercises, along with use of a hinged knee brace.
  • Anti-inflammatory medications and low-intensity ultrasound are also being used with some success.
  • Other nonsurgical treatments, such as gene therapy, growth factors, and small intestine submucosa, which is a naturally derived biomaterial isolated from the small intestine of pigs.

All are currently in their early stages of use, but may hold some promise.

Surgical treatment of MCL injuries may include primary repair or reconstruction of the ligament(s), depending on the stability of the knee. Rehabilitation and bracing is required following surgery.

"We need to be very critical of the stability of the knee, which can be a factor in how well the knee heals and whether it is reinjured," Miyamoto says. "Injuries like these are best overseen by an orthopaedic surgeon."



  1. rewati rewati India says:

    Respected sir, for the past three year I am suffering from knee ligament injury. Doctor has suggested an operation but my age is 23 year old, Please advise.

    • Prasanth Nair Prasanth Nair Iceland says:

      I am also having a ligaments tear on right leg from last 3 years. Me gonna undergo surgery this month last. Will needs a 2 month rest after that along with physiotherapy, medicines and braces.

  2. Ravi Agrawal Ravi Agrawal India says:

    Respected sir, for the past ten year I am suffering from knee ligament injury. Doctor has suggested an operation but my age is 39 year old, Please advise.isit possible to repair ligament by excersise

  3. sujit singh sujit singh India says:

    Respected sir,
             for the past two year i am suffering from knee ligament injury . doctor has suggested an operation but my age is 22 years old , and i want to be a police .so i don't have operation . plz give me some advice

  4. Sanjay Patil Sanjay Patil India says:

    Two weeks before I had right knee injury and Doctor has suggested for MRI Scan, MRI report says that anterior cruciate ligament is Torn and Vertical tear of posterior horn of Medical Meniscus.

    I can slowly walk, climb with knee cap, Doc has adviced for microscophy operation. Is the operation is necessary or anyother way without operation.

  5. faizan faizan Islamic Republic of Pakistan says:

    i have knee problems for 4 years is still going on....same ligament problem...i m a engineering student and plays football as a sports ...but this is really annoying....this problems starts 4 years ago......i got injured while playing......i use many supplements and gone through a lot of treatment but this didnot work ...please suggest me the solution.....

  6. Consultech Engg Pune India Consultech Engg Pune India India says:

    Hallo sir, I am JV Ingale and  having a ligament tear on right leg from last 6 years. It is happened during playing football. After I shown MRI reports ,Doctor has suggested an operation. I am 41year old. Looking for an effective treatment without operation. Please advise.

  7. Sajjak Khan Khan Sajjak Khan Khan India says:

    hallo sir i am sajjak khan  and  having a ligament tear on left leg from last 10 years. It is happened during playing football. After I shown MRI reports ,Doctor has suggested an operation. I am 42 year old. Looking for an effective treatment without operation. Please advise.

  8. fara lisa fara lisa Malaysia says:

    Hello, for past 3 years I have been undergo surgery for my left knee. both my ligament side by side is tear wholly. after the surgery I have gone for physiotherapy for about 4 months. Then I totally stop going to the physio. Now I realize that my left knee can't bend fully. Can sir suggest any alternative either treatment or physiotherapy. Please advise. A.S.A.P

  9. Muzaffar Kmj Muzaffar Kmj Oman says:

    Respected sir for the past 1 year i am suffering right leg  ligament multiple injured .Dr has suggested an  operation  but my age is 32 year old. Please advise isit possible to repair ligament by exercise or Ayurveda medicine .

  10. swapnil gawai swapnil gawai India says:

    Hello, I am a 20 yr old male, since 2 yrs I am experiencing a lateral colateral ligament tear. I had physiotherapy for a week then it felt good, but after that it pains on and off when my knee feels a jerk eg. from getting down the train etc. Please advise me what to do.

  11. Sundaresan K Sundaresan K India says:

    Hello, I am aged sixty four I have been suffering with left leg knee ligament problem I have been suggested by doctor to under go for surgery kindly advice me is there any treatment without surgery.

  12. James Fernandes James Fernandes India says:

    My wife Right Knee,  Grade 111 tear of anterior cruciate ligament is seen. Doctor has suggested an operation surgery, Please advise me what to do.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News-Medical.Net.
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