Should I wear a brace during sports after an MCL sprain?

The use of a brace after an MCL (medial collateral ligament) sprain will be beneficial. The MCL is sprained when a force is applied to the lateral side of the knee, forcing the MCL, which is on the inside of the knee, to stretch beyond its normal limits. A brace will protect the knee from these forces, which will allow the MCL to heal. A store-bought brace marketed to protect the MCL should provide sufficient protection to a slight to moderate sprain, since these sprains usually heal without surgery. However, for a more severe sprain, a custom brace may be needed, which can be prescribed by an orthopedist. These braces are more expensive, but may be covered by insurance.

(This answer provided for NATA by the King College Athletic Training Education Program.)

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.