MCL Tear and Workers Compensation Benefits

The medial collateral ligament, or MCL, is a band of tissue that connects the thighbone to your lower leg from behind the knee. Not only is it a connective tissue, but it prevents your knee from bending inwards. A tear in the MCL is very painful, interrupting your walking ability.

Sudden and severe pressure to the front of the knee, such as falling onto all fours onto a hard surface, is the most common cause of this type of knee injury. Often, it is accompanied by other injuries, including an ACL tear. If you injure your MCL in an accident at work, you will notice pain and swelling almost immediately, which will slowly grow in intensity as it becomes harder to move your knee.


If you have suffered such an injury from an accident at work, your employer is responsible for covering the cost of medical care to repair it. Workers’ compensation works like no-fault insurance, taking care of injured employees regardless of how the injury occurred. If you are unsure how to file a claim or think that your employer is not paying the full benefit that you are entitled to, schedule a consultation with James M. Hoffmann. Having helped hundreds of Missouri employees with knee injuries in the past, he has the knowledge needed to ensure that you are receiving the benefits you deserve.

Who is at Risk for an MCL Tear?

MCL tears not only occur from a workplace accident. Many workers who spend extended amounts of time on their knees can also develop an overuse injury to the ligament, causing an MCL tear. This would include plumbers, carpet layers, and contractors who install decking and flooring. With an overuse injury, the pain may develop slowly over time, masking that you have developed an injury to the knee.

If you are at risk for this type of injury and find it increasingly difficult to walk without over-the-counter pain medications, talk with your employer about having your knee examined. They should provide you with a list of medical facilities and doctors within their workers’ compensation network that will give you a complete examination and treatment if necessary.

Diagnosing an MCL Tear

Knee swelling, pain, and locking of the joints are all common symptoms of an MCL tear. After asking questions about your occupation and the circumstances of the accident, if relevant, the physician will check your range of movement in the knee and look for signs of swelling. They may also order an imaging exam to check the extent of the damage and see if any other knee areas have been affected.

Reduced activity, ice, and anti-inflammatory medication are the typical treatments for an MCL tear. You may need to use crutches and wear a brace on the knee until the physician finds that the injury has healed. It may mean that you cannot work for a while. Surgery is only required with severe tears accompanied by other injuries to the knee joint. Under those circumstances, your employer’s workers’ compensation would also cover the cost of the operation and subsequent rehabilitative therapy.

MCL Tears and Your Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Whether from a sudden accident or overuse in conjunction with your occupation, your employer’s work comp carrier is responsible for paying for all of the medical treatments for an MCL tear. This includes a percentage of your wages lost as you are treated and recover from the knee injury.

James Hoffmann has practiced workers’ compensation law for over 20 years. We have represented clients who have suffered all types of work-related injuries and have a strong history of helping injured workers get medical attention and financial compensation that they need.

Contact our St. Louis, Missouri workers compensation law firm to ensure that your rights are protected. Please call us at (314) 361-4300 or complete our Online Case Evaluation Form.