Learn more about ACL/MCL Causes, Symptoms, Effects & Treatments.

Knee injuries can be stressful and cause uncertainty about the extent of damage, especially when it comes to ligament injuries like the ACL and MCL. Let us discuss and understand the difference between the two and what to do if you suspect you have an injury.

ACL vs. MCL: What’s the Difference?

  • The ACL and MCL are important stabilizing ligaments in the knee that connect the femur to the tibia.
  • The ACL runs across the front of the knee and is responsible for forward and backward movements.
  • The most common causes of ACL tears are incorrect landings from jumps or quick direction changes in sports like skiing, soccer, football, and basketball.
  • Female athletes are more prone to ACL tears due to anatomical and performance factors.
  • The MCL is located on the inner side of the knee and prevents excessive side-to-side movement.
  • MCL injuries typically occur due to a direct blow to the side of the knee, often in contact sports like basketball or football, or in athletes who stop or pivot quickly like soccer players or skiers.

Symptoms of ACL and MCL Tears

  • Both injuries will result in immediate pain and instability.
  • Symptoms of an ACL tear include a loud pop, severe pain, inability to put weight on the knee, swelling, and reduced range of motion.
  • Symptoms of an MCL tear include pain on the inner side of the knee, feeling like the knee might give out, instability, swelling, and a popping sound in some cases.

Which is Worse? An ACL or MCL Tear?

In most cases, the ACL tear is the more severe injury due to significant instability, even during everyday activities like walking. It will likely require surgery to repair and has a longer recovery timeline of 6-12 months.

An MCL tear, while still painful, usually does not result in a complete loss of stability. It can heal on its own with RICE and physical therapy, with most athletes returning to sport within 2-8 weeks.

What to Do if You Suspect an ACL or MCL Injury

If you suspect you have an ACL or MCL injury, it is important to see an orthopedic specialist like Dr. Reetadyuti Mukhopadhyay, a top ACL surgeon in Delhi NCR, as soon as possible.

Dr. Mukhopadhyay will perform a physical exam and imaging tests to determine the extent of the injury and the best course of treatment.

Schedule an appointment by calling or submitting a request using Dr. Mukhopadhyay’s team’s online contact form.

In conclusion, understanding the symptoms and treatment options for ACL and MCL injuries can help you take the necessary steps toward recovery. Don’t hesitate to seek medical attention if you suspect you have an injury, and trust the expertise of a top orthopedic specialist like Dr Mukhopadhyay to get you back to the sports you love.





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