Medial Collateral Knee Ligament Injury Follow-up

Updated: May 31, 2017
  • Author: Thomas M DeBerardino, MD; Chief Editor: Craig C Young, MD  more...
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Follow-up

Return to Play

Return to play is allowed when sport-specific agility testing is completed comfortably. Usually this requires 90% return of strength compared to the contralateral knee.

Grade 1 and 2 sprains often allow return to play within 1-2 weeks. Grade 3 injuries usually require at least 6 weeks for return to play, although some authors have reported 3-4 weeks.

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Complications

Late instability can occur, requiring operative intervention.

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Prevention

Prophylactic bracing is controversial, although many athletes wear braces. Some studies recommend bracing after showing a decrease in injury rate. Older studies did not show a decrease in injuries, and some actually demonstrated a slightly increased rate of injuries.

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Prognosis

Patients with grade 1 and 2 injuries consistently recover well, and athletes return to play early. Patients with isolated grade 3 injuries also consistently return to full preinjury level, but recovery takes longer.

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Patient Education

For patient education resources, see the Breaks, Fractures, and Dislocations Center and Sports Injury Center, as well as Knee Injury.

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