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Home » 5 Best Knee Brace for Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) Injury

5 Best Knee Brace for Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) Injury

MCL injuries are common, especially among athletes and active people. The MCL is a ligament inside the knee that keeps it steady and stops it from moving too much sideways. When the MCL gets hurt from sudden twisting or getting hit on the outside of the knee, it causes pain, swelling, and wobbliness.

Knee braces are really important in treating MCL injuries. They support and stabilize the knee, easing the pressure on the injured MCL and helping it heal. By keeping the knee from moving too much, a brace can ease pain, reduce swelling, and shield the ligament from more harm as it heals. Plus, wearing a knee brace makes it easier to start moving early and gradually get back to normal activities, making recovery smoother for people with MCL injuries.

5 Best MCL Knee Brace Products

1. Orthomen Functional Knee Brace

best overall knee brace for mcl recovery

The Orthomen Functional Knee Brace is a helpful choice for people recovering from injuries like ACL, MCL, PCL, Meniscus, Ligament, or sports-related ones. It has special hinges that let the knee bend and straighten in specific positions to aid recovery. These hinges can stop the knee from moving too much at certain angles. The brace also includes pads made from hypoallergenic silicone to stop it from slipping and make it more comfortable. Plus, the straps on the brace are numbered, so you can adjust them to fit you perfectly and give your knee the right amount of support.

This brace is made to support your knee after an injury or after surgery to fix your ACL/PCL/LCL. It’s light but sturdy, with soft materials that are tough enough to provide support but still feel comfy. It’s great for people who want some extra support while they recover, helping them feel more confident as they start moving again.

2. Z1 K2 MCL Knee Brace

z1 knee support for mcl ligament injury

The Z1 K2 MCL Knee Brace is a top-notch support for your knee, available in a wide range of sizes – 23 in total – making it almost like having a brace custom-made for you. This versatile brace is great for various knee issues, including ligament injuries such as ACL, PCL, MCL, sports injuries, and even mild osteoarthritis (OA). It’s also handy for preventing knee joint problems from getting worse.

Made from lightweight materials, it’s comfy for everyday wear and lets you move freely. The neoprene frame liners with silicon coating and foam strap pads keep it firmly in place without being uncomfortable. Plus, the neoprene Condoyles on both sides of the brace give extra support to sensitive knee joints and ligaments, making it even more comfortable to wear.

Because it’s low-profile and light, you can easily use it while going about your daily activities. And it’s made by a manufacturer registered with the FDA, so you can trust its quality and dependability.

3. Orthomen Hinged ROM Knee Brace

professional MCL knee brace with customizable compression settings

The Orthomen Hinged ROM Knee Brace is a great option for people recovering from surgery, as it helps keep your knee stable and controls how much it can move. It comes with bars on the sides that you can adjust without any tools to make sure your knee stays in the right position while it heals. This brace is simple to use and works well for patients who have had operations on their collateral or cruciate ligaments. You can easily put it on or take it off using the buckles on the sides.

One cool thing about this brace is its adjustable hinges, which let you set different ranges of motion to suit your needs. It’s a trusted choice used in many American hospitals and has FDA registration, so you can be sure it’s safe and good quality. Plus, you may be able to get reimbursed for it through your FSA or HSA accounts.

4. Honarry Hinged Knee Brace

pen-patella MCL knee brace with reinforced stitching for longevity

The Honarry Hinged MCL Knee Brace is a top pick for reliable support after knee injuries or surgery. It’s crafted with sturdy materials like aluminum bars, immobilization straps, sticky cloth, and fastener straps to keep your knee stable and speed up your recovery.

What sets this brace apart is its flexibility. It offers adjustments for both sides of your knee’s movement, thanks to its adjustable locking dial and extension feature. With a 10-degree adjustment unit, you can customize the brace to fit your needs perfectly, setting flexion from -10° to 120° and extension from -10° to 30°.

Comfort is key, and this knee brace comes with soft pads that grip your knee securely, preventing any slipping during use. It’s not just for MCL injuries – it can help with a range of knee issues, from fractures to arthritis, ensuring a comfortable recovery process.

5. McDavid Maximum Support Knee Brace

mc david neoprene MCL knee brace with non-slip silicone grips for secure fit

The McDavid Maximum Support Knee Brace provides excellent stability with hinges on both sides, letting your knee move freely. It has a padded buttress all around, giving strong support to your kneecap. Elastic straps cross over, giving compression that helps your ligaments and improves blood flow to reduce pain faster.

You can adjust it easily with straps at the top and bottom, so it fits you just right, whether you’re relaxing or being active. It works for both left and right knees and feels comfy with edges that won’t rub your skin. Made from neoprene without latex, it keeps your muscles warm and lowers the chance of getting hurt.

For extra comfort, the back panel lets heat and sweat escape, so you stay cool and dry even during tough activities. Remember, it should fit snugly to give the best support. If you’re close to the biggest size, it’s better to go up a size for more comfort. Overall, the McDavid Maximum Support Knee Brace is a great choice, giving support, compression, adjustability, and comfort for your knee.

What is Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL)?

Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) definition

The Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) is a crucial part of the knee, helping to keep it stable. Positioned on the inner side of the knee, it connects the thigh bone to the shinbone. Its role is vital in maintaining the joint’s steadiness.

MCL injuries often occur during sports activities, accidents, or even simple everyday movements that put stress on the knee. These injuries can cause pain and instability in the knee, particularly when there’s excessive sideways or twisting force involved. The severity of MCL injuries is typically divided into three grades:

grades of mcl ligament injury

Grade I

This is a mild MCL sprain, where the ligament is stretched but not torn. While there may be some pain and swelling, individuals with Grade I injuries can often continue their usual activities with rest and physical therapy.

Grade II

A Grade II MCL injury involves a moderate sprain, where the ligament is partially torn. This leads to more significant pain, swelling, and knee instability. Treatment usually includes using a brace, physical therapy, and reducing activity levels for a period.

Grade III

The most severe type, a Grade III MCL injury, entails a complete tear of the ligament. This type of injury significantly impacts knee stability and typically requires advanced treatment, which may include surgery.

Importance of the MCL Knee Brace

mcl knee brace benefits

MCL injuries can range from mild sprains to complete tears, and a proper recovery is crucial to prevent more damage and restore mobility. That’s where the MCL knee brace comes into play.

Stability and Support

The main purpose of the MCL knee brace is to stabilize and support the knee joint. By limiting unnecessary side-to-side movement, it shields the injured MCL, aiding recovery. It acts as an external support system, lowering the risk of re-injury and enabling confident participation in daily activities.

Pain Relief

MCL injuries often come with pain and discomfort. The brace’s compression and padding not only provide support but also alleviate pain by reducing swelling and applying gentle pressure to the affected area.

Enhanced Recovery

Supporting the healing process, the MCL knee brace controls the range of motion. It ensures the knee stays within its intended limits, allowing the ligament to heal without undue stress. The brace’s compression enhances blood circulation, speeding up the recovery.

Adjustable Fit

Designed to be adjustable, MCL knee braces offer a customized and snug fit. The adjustable straps and closures ensure the brace stays securely in place during movement, delivering optimal support without compromising comfort.


MCL knee braces are suitable for various activities and sports. Whether you’re an athlete returning to the game or an individual seeking support during daily activities, the brace provides reliable protection and stability.

Medial Collateral Ligament Injury Treatment

knee brace - best treatment for mcl injury

Treating MCL injuries involves different methods. Physical therapy is key, using customized exercises to make knee muscles stronger and improve stability by moving it, building strength, and practicing balance. Doctors might also suggest anti-inflammatory meds like NSAIDs to ease pain and swelling, but it’s important to follow their instructions carefully.

Sometimes, wearing a knee brace can help support the knee as it heals. Once you’re feeling better, slowly getting back into normal activities and sports is recommended to avoid getting hurt again. If the usual treatments don’t work, doctors might try more serious options like corticosteroid shots or surgery.

Also, following the R.I.C.E. steps – Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation – right after the injury can help manage pain and speed up healing.

MCL Injury Symptoms


Pain along the inner side of the knee is a typical symptom of an MCL injury. The pain may range from mild to severe, depending on the extent of the damage.


Swelling around the knee joint is a common response to injury. In the case of an MCL injury, swelling often occurs on the inner side of the knee. This swelling may develop gradually and become more noticeable over time.


The inner part of the knee may be tender to the touch. Palpating the area around the MCL may elicit pain and discomfort.


Stiffness in the knee joint, especially when trying to bend or straighten the leg, is another symptom of an MCL injury. This stiffness can contribute to difficulty with normal range of motion.

Instability or Weakness

Individuals with an MCL injury may experience a feeling of instability in the knee, particularly when weight-bearing or moving. The injured knee may feel weak, making it challenging to bear weight or engage in normal activities.

Most Common Knee Injuries

4 main ligaments of knee

An MCL (Medial Collateral Ligament) injury doesn’t just affect the MCL itself; it can also impact other parts of the knee. Here’s how:

MCL Ligament

The injury directly affects the MCL. Depending on how bad it is (Grade I, Grade II, or Grade III), the MCL can get stretched, partly torn, or completely torn. This makes it hard for the MCL to keep the inside of the knee stable. It can also get swollen and hurt.

Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL)

Even though the MCL is on the inside of the knee, an injury can mess up the balance in the knee. The LCL, which is on the outside, might have to work harder to make up for the weak MCL. This could strain or injure the LCL.

Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) and Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL)

These ligaments are inside the knee joint and might also be affected by an MCL injury. When the MCL gets hurt, it changes how the knee works and can put more stress on the ACL and PCL. Sometimes, an MCL injury happens at the same time as injuries to these ligaments.


The meniscus is a piece of cartilage in the knee that helps cushion and stabilize it. An MCL injury can make the knee move in weird ways, which might damage the meniscus. It’s common to have a meniscus tear along with an MCL injury.

Joint Capsule and Synovial Membrane

These are parts around the knee joint. When you injure your MCL, these parts can get swollen and sore too. That can cause pain, swelling, and discomfort in the knee joint.

Choosing the Right MCL Knee Brace

When picking the right MCL knee brace from the many options available, it’s important to consider a few key factors:

Size and Fit: Make sure you measure your knee accurately and choose a brace that matches your measurements. Getting the right size is essential for getting the best support and comfort.

Level of Support: The seriousness of your MCL injury will determine how much support you need. Talk to a healthcare professional about your specific needs so you can choose a brace that gives you the right amount of support.

Quality and Durability: Look for braces made from good-quality materials that can handle regular use. Check out reviews from other customers and think about going with trusted brands known for making reliable products.


How do I know what size MCL knee brace to get?

To get the right fit, measure your knee carefully. Measure the size around your thigh and calf, and the length from the middle of your knee to your calf. Then, use the sizing chart from the brace maker to pick the correct size based on your measurements.

Can I wear my MCL knee brace during sports?

Yes, you can. MCL knee braces are made for sports and other activities. They help support and steady your knee, reducing the chance of more injuries. Just make sure to follow the instructions that come with your brace and ask a doctor how much activity is safe with the brace on.

How long should I keep my MCL knee brace on?

The amount of time you wear the brace depends on how bad your MCL injury is and what your doctor tells you. They might say to wear it for a few weeks or months. Every person’s recovery is different, so listen to your doctor and slowly use the brace less as your knee gets stronger.

Can a brace stop all knee injuries?

Braces help support your MCL and keep it safe, but they can’t stop all knee injuries. They’re meant to protect and support the MCL only. Remember, other parts of your knee can still get hurt. To lower the chance of knee injuries, make sure to use the right techniques, warm up before activities, and follow safety rules.

Do I need a doctor’s note to get an MCL knee brace?

Usually, you don’t need one. But if your MCL injury is serious or you’re worried about your knee, it’s a good idea to talk to a doctor or an orthopedic specialist. They can give you a proper diagnosis, recommend the right treatment, and help you pick the best brace for your situation.