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"Did I tear my MCL?"

ZocdocAnswersDid I tear my MCL?


I slipped and fell on a wet sidewalk. now it hurts to both bend straighten my leg fully. It hurts when I try and put weight on my leg and my knee is visibly swollen on the inside top part of my knee.


It is important to discuss this question with your primary care doctor. We can be almost certain that you have sustained at least a minor injury to the knee, but there are numerous ligaments that surround and support the knee, and stress or injury to any one of them can cause a knee sprain, which would be characterized by swelling, stiffness, and pain like you describe. In addition, rarely, a fall like this can cause a fracture of one of the bones in the knee or leg, although this is less likely given that you are able to put weight on the knee, albeit with pain. What I suggest is that you go to see your primary care doctor. They will be able to examine the knee and confirm whether or not this is a sprain. If there is any concern at all about a possible fracture, they will want to order x-rays to rule this out. Otherwise, they will give you advice on how to manage the sprain. Most sprains are managed with rest, ice, elevation of the leg, and over the counter anti-inflammatory medications. Occasionally, a brace or crutches are used to help with ambulation. In the most severe cases, a referral to an orthopedic doctor may be necessary. Again, please speak to your doctor to discuss the best treatment options for you.

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