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How long it takes a medial collateral ligament to heal depends on how severe your injury is. If you have a mild sprain, your MCL will usually recover after about 2 to 3 weeks. Then you can return to your normal activities, including sports. If you have a severe sprain, you can return to your activities after about 4 weeks. If you have a severe injury and have torn your ligament, it can take 6 to 12 weeks to recover.
You’ll usually be able to walk with a torn MCL but it depends how severe your injury is. If you’re finding it difficult to put weight on your knee, you may need to use crutches or wear a brace to support you for a while.
For more information, see our section on self-help for medial collateral ligament injury.
You’ll know if you have an MCL injury if you have some pain and tenderness on the inside of your knee. Depending on how severe your injury is, your knee may also feel a unstable and like it may give way. You may have some swelling and bruising too.
For more information, see our section on symptoms of medial collateral ligament injury.
If you have a mild MCL injury and just a few fibres are damaged or torn, it will usually heal on its own. If you have a more severe injury, you may need some treatment to help it heal. For example, if your ligament is completely torn, you may need to have an operation to repair it.
For more information, see our section on treatment of medial collateral ligament injury.
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This information was published by Bupa's Health Content Team and is based on reputable sources of medical evidence. It has been reviewed by appropriate medical or clinical professionals and deemed accurate on the date of review. Photos are only for illustrative purposes and do not reflect every presentation of a condition.
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