Medial Collateral Ligament Reconstruction

What is medial collateral ligament reconstruction?

Fortunately, medial collateral ligament reconstruction is a procedure that can be done through a tiny incision made over the knee. The procedure restores a torn or severely damaged medial collateral ligament. The MCL is a dense tissue band that runs from the femur to the tibia. The core function of the MCL is to provide further stability to the knee.

How does Dr van Niekerk perform medial collateral ligament reconstruction?

Fortunately, the medial collateral ligament is near the knee, which makes it easy to access arthroscopically. Your body or a donor source is used to harvest a small portion of tissue, known as a graft. The hamstring tendons or a cadaver tendon are typical sources of transplant tissue. Two small tunnels are drilled through the femur and tibia at the initial MCL attachment site. By using screws or other fixation devices, the graft tissue can be inserted through the tunnels and fastened to the bones. As a result, Dr van Niekerk will reconnect the torn ligament using stitches, metal screws or bone staples. If, for example, the tear is in the centre of the ligament, he will reconnect the severed ends of it.

What is recovery like?

Generally, the medial collateral ligament takes six weeks to heal completely. Surgery for MCL tears aims to reduce pain and inflammation and, in addition, stabilises and secures the knee. On the same day, you will be discharged with instructions on how to take care of the wound, manage your pain, and start your rehabilitation. A complete recovery following MCL reconstruction entails taking pain relief medication, attending physical therapy sessions and wearing a knee brace or another immobilisation device. In addition, when sitting, keep your knee elevated to minimise blood flow to the knee. Normally, physical therapy is suggested once the pain and swelling have subsided.


How long does MCL reconstruction take?

Medial collateral ligament (MCL) reconstruction surgery can take one to two hours, depending on the situation.

When can I return to work after the MCL reconstruction?

Most patients can return to work four to six weeks after surgery.

How long does it take to heal from MCL reconstruction?

It will take several months to recover from MCL reconstruction fully.