Medial collateral ligament injury grading
Medial collateral ligament (MCL) injuries are graded into three groups on MRI, much in the same way as many other ligaments:
- grade 1: (minor sprain) high signal is seen medial (superficial) to the ligament, which looks normal
- grade 2: (severe sprain or partial tear) high signal is seen medial to the ligament, with high signal or partial disruption of the ligament
- grade 3: complete disruption of the ligament
As a general rule, the MCL is not repaired in the general population if it is an isolated injury. In athletes, grade 3 injuries often require surgical repair 1.