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Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) Injury - Topic Overview

What is the treatment? continued...

Your doctor may recommend physical therapy to increase range of motion and strengthen your quadriceps muscles and hamstrings.

Home treatment

  • Put ice or a cold pack on your knee for 10 to 20 minutes at a time. Try to do this every 1 to 2 hours (when you're awake) for the first 3 days after your injury or until the swelling goes down. Put a thin cloth between the ice and your skin.
  • If your doctor recommended crutches or a brace, use them as directed.
  • Prop up your knee on a pillow when you ice it or anytime you sit or lie down. Do this for about 3 days following your injury. Try to keep your knee above the level of your heart. This will help reduce swelling.
  • Take anti-inflammatory medicines to reduce pain and swelling. These include ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve). Read and follow all instructions on the label.
  • Wear a brace, if your doctor recommends it, to support your knee while it heals. Wear it as directed.
  • Do stretches or strength exercises as your doctor suggests.

When should you call your doctor?

Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You have severe or increasing pain.
  • Your swelling is getting worse.

Watch closely for any changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if you do not get better as expected.

This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 12, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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