Return to Play After Medial Collateral Ligament Injury

Clin Sports Med. 2016 Oct;35(4):679-96. doi: 10.1016/j.csm.2016.05.011. Epub 2016 Jun 11.


Medial collateral ligament injuries are common in the athletic population. Partial injuries are treated nonoperatively with excellent outcomes. Complete ruptures may be treated nonoperatively, although some will require surgery. A comprehensive rehabilitation program is critical to outcome, but a standardized program for all injuries does not exist. Most of the literature regarding nonoperative and postoperative rehabilitation include observational reports and case studies. Level I studies comparing rehabilitation protocols have not been published. The goal of the injured athlete is to not only return to play with no functional limitations, but to also address risk factors and prevent future injuries.

Keywords: MCL rehabilitation; Medial collateral ligament; Partial MCL injury; Return to play.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Athletic Injuries / diagnosis
  • Athletic Injuries / epidemiology
  • Athletic Injuries / rehabilitation
  • Athletic Injuries / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Medial Collateral Ligament, Knee / injuries*
  • Medial Collateral Ligament, Knee / surgery
  • Recovery of Function
  • Return to Sport*
  • Treatment Outcome