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A 34-year-old member asked:

what are the differences in symptoms in an acl tear and a mcl tear?

3 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. John Ayres
Orthopedic Surgery 37 years experience
Yes: Both are stabilizing ligaments in the knee. The ACL (anterior criciate ligament) prevents the tibia (shin bone) from sliding forward from under the femur (thigh bone). The MCL (medial collateral ligament) prevents the knee from going into a medial or valgus ("knock-knee') postion. They can occur alone or in combination with each other.
Dr. Greg Hicken
Specializes in Orthopedic Reconstructive Surgery
MCL will heal: Mcl tears hurt on the inside of the knee when a stress is applied to the inside of the foot. Acl tears cause instability in full extension and hurt when the knee shifts. Mcl tears usually heal in 2-3 months. Acl tears rarely heal.
Dr. Bernard Bach Jr
Orthopedic Surgery 42 years experience
Instability.: Tears of either can make your knee feel unstable, but in different planes. The MCL tear will give you more pain over the inner side of your knee.

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Similar questions

A 47-year-old member asked:

Are there different symtoms in a ACL tear and a MCL tear?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Allen Lu
Dr. Allen Luanswered
Orthopedic Surgery 24 years experience
Effusion (swelling): An acl tear can often include an mcl tear that occurs at the same time. An acl tear generally causes bleeding in the knee joint caused by tearing the blood vessels around the acl. This causes a very fast swelling of the knee joint (usually without the hour). An isolated mcl tear usually does not swell inside the knee and causes pain on the inner portion of the knee, where the mcl tore.
A 45-year-old member asked:

How do the symptoms of an ACL tear differ from an MCL tear?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Ryan Pflugner
Sports Medicine 15 years experience
Sometime not much: It sometimes can be difficult to distiguish the two from symptoms patients experience alone. That is why a good physical exam is key to making the diagnosis.

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Last updated Mar 14, 2019
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