Dr. Harner describes how medial collateral ligament (MCL) tears are diagnosed.
MCL tear is diagnosed by history and physical examination. The history usually presents with the patient or athlete and their sport, and they take a blow to the knee that stresses the ACL, and you can usually get that history from them. And then the examination is very specific in that they have significant tenderness and pain over the medial or inside part of the knee. And then, when you stress the knee, you go to check it, you do certain tests to stress it. It will open up a little bit and in a grade 1 or 2, and in grade 3, it opens up a great deal. It’s a, diagnosis is made by a combination of both of those--history and physical.
Now the other way that that’s helpful is with an MRI, and that can usually be very specific and show the MCL tear as well. You don’t always need an MRI, though.
About Dr. Harner, M.D.:
Dr. Christopher D. Harner, M.D., is a Blue Cross of Western Pennsylvania Professor, the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Medical Director, and works in the UPMC Center for Sports Medicine and the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery.
Visit Dr. Harner at the UPMC Center for Sports Medicine