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MCL vs. ACL: What’s the Difference?

Posted on by Brandon Bowers, PT, DPT, Astym Cert.

When talking with a healthcare provider, medical jargon can quickly become alphabet soup. The knee, for example, houses the anterior cruciate ligament, posterior cruciate ligament, medial collateral ligament and lateral collateral ligament. The ACL, PCL, MCL and LCL respectively. Huh? What do those words and acronyms even mean? What do these structures do for the knee anyway? In the absence of an explanation, this jargon can become confusing or overwhelming for patients. Let’s take a deeper look at two of the major ligaments in the knee and make some sense of the alphabet soup, shall we?

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