An MCL injury of the knee is one of the most common injuries athletes suffer. While you might not need surgery for an MCL tear, it can take a long time to heal and return to sports. In this Ask Dr. Geier video, I discuss the initial treatment and rehab of this common knee injury, including when you can walk with an MCL injury.

Earl asks:
Can you walk on grade 3 MCL injury?

Illustration of the MCL of the knee

What is an MCL injury?

The medial collateral ligament (MCL) is the thick ligament on the side of the knee closest to the midline of your body. You can suffer an MCL injury when someone hits you on the outside of your knee. Or you can cut to change directions and injure it.

Treatment for a sprained or torn MCL

Fortunately, most MCL injuries do not require surgery. You can often recover in 6 weeks or less depending on how severe the injury is. You might wear a brace and do physical therapy to regain knee range of motion and strength.

A hinged knee brace can make it easier to walk with an MCL injury

When can you walk with an MCL injury?

In this video, I discuss when you can walk, exercise and return to play sports after an MCL injury and how to do it safely.

Also read:
How long does it take an MCL injury to heal?
How can I fully recover from an MCL injury?

Please remember, while I appreciate your questions, I cannot and will not offer specific medical advice 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.

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