What is the recovery timeline for an MCL injury?

MCL Injury Timeline

The medial collateral ligament (MCL) is most commonly injured while playing sports. However, twisting your knee can also cause this injury. Working with a physical therapist allows you to develop the shortest possible recovery timeline for an MCL injury.

The MCL is a ligament on the inner side of your knee joint. Blows to the outside of your knee can cause this ligament to be overstretched or torn. On average, it can take about six weeks for an MCL injury to heal, but your recovery time will depend on the severity of your injury. A physical therapist can help you determine what your MCL injury recovery timeline may look like. Additionally, they can use physical therapy techniques designed to help reduce your MCL injury recovery time

A common MCL injury recovery timeline

Each person experiences an MCL injury differently, so how long your injury takes to recover can vary from the average. This means that your recovery timeline may be different from other people. A few of the stages you’ll go through as you recover include the: 

  • Resting stage — This stage typically lasts for 24 to 48 hours after you’ve been injured. Typically, you’ll need to rest the injured knee and avoid activities that can cause pain, such as walking. Your physical therapist may also recommend keeping your leg elevated and icing your knee to help reduce pain and swelling. 
  • Movement stage — After your pain starts to subside, you’ll be encouraged to start moving your injured knee. Physical therapists will typically start you off with passive exercises at first. As your recovery progresses, they can show you active exercises that can help your knee. 
  • Return to activity stage — Your physical therapist will find out what your recovery goals are. For athletes, the ultimate goal is to return to playing their sport. Other people might want to simply be able to walk or jog without pain or knee instability. Helping you meet such goals will take up the final stage of your recovery. 

What physical therapy methods can be used during your MCL injury recovery?

Different physical therapy methods can be used at different points of your MCL injury recovery timeline. A few of the techniques your therapist might use during your recovery are: 

Advent PT offers treatment for MCL injuries

Want to have the shortest possible MCL injury recovery timeline? Our Advent Physical Therapy team is prepared to help you recover from an MCL injury as rapidly as possible. We can do a free screening of your knee to confirm you have an MCL injury. In addition, our physical therapists excel at creating individualized treatment plans designed to reduce pain and your recovery time. We can even help you address your injury from home thanks to our at-home care and virtual therapy services. 

Contact our team today for more information about how we can help treat your knee injury or to schedule an initial appointment.