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7 Best Knee Braces for MCL

by Amanda Ghosh May 19, 2017 0 Comments

Knee painAre you experiencing pain, swelling or tenderness in your knee related to your MCL? (The ligament that runs along the inside of your knee connecting your thigh bone to your shin bone). Then you've come to the right place. Wearing a knee brace for MCL tears or injuries is a smart option that offers stability, support and protection from injury and can even provide pain relief. Once you have spoken with your doctor and addressed any serious issues, you may choose to benefit from the support and protection an MCL brace offers. To assist you, we've put together a list of phenomenal braces worth purchasing. Take a look, take your time, & make your choice!

1. Reaction WEB Knee Support Brace by DonJoy 

DonJoy Reaction WEB Knee Support Brace with Compression Undersleeve


This may look a little like something that might appear on a Star Trek movie, but this futuristic brace reduces knee pain. The web design absorbs shock during activity and reduces pain in the knee by holding the patella stabilized in the proper position. It can be work all day and it has a universal fit. This brace is best for those recovering from an MCL injury who struggle with knee issues like patellofemoral pain syndrome, runner’s knee, jumper’s knee, knee osteoarthritis, and other anterior knee issues.

  • Keeps the knee aligned even during sports (including hiking, skiing, running, etc.)
  • Helpful after a hyper-extended knee injury
  • The webbing gives the MCL area a gentle massage that helps with pain management
  • Velcro straps tend to loosen throughout wear.

2. Universal Hinged Knee Brace by Soles

Soles Universal Hinged Knee Brace


The Soles brace is another somewhat bionic-looking brace that makes the list. The defining feature with this brace is its adjustability. An MCL injury can take several weeks to truly heal. However, as the knee heals, you gradually regain the ability to flex and extend it. This means you want a brace that can be worn through all stages of recovery. The Soles brace accommodates that need. Adjust the angle of the brace in 15 degree intervals as you get that knee back to normal.

  • Way better than the braces most hospitals offer after surgery when you’re heading out the door
  • Takes tons of pressure off the knee (super helpful after surgery)
  • Brace is incredibly breathable and doesn’t make the skin itch or sweat
  • Sizing can be difficult, especially if swelling is present

3. 422 Knee Brace with Dual Disk Hinges by McDavid

McDavid 422 Knee Brace with Dual Disk Hinges


This brace is an overall great brace. It offers a large amount of support and protection. It also sufficiently relieves pain. Able to be used on either knee, it certainly packs a punch. Plus, for those with a latex allergy, this brace is latex free. Use during recovery to lessen general knee pain.

  • Helps knee to move properly-- the way it is intended to move
  • Reduces pain immensely!
  • Super high quality. Doesn’t seem to have issues with threading or Velcro
  • Material tends to stretch with wear.

4. Knee Brace by Myrtle 2 Malibu Treasures

Myrtle 2 Malibu Treasures Knee Brace


Designed specifically for MCL issues this brace is super sleek and lightweight. It does a solid job of holding the kneecap in place and stabilizing the MCL. It also provides stability support for the ACL, PCL and LCL ligaments. A nice feature about this brace is that it uses anti-slip technology to hold itself in place.

  • Strap sizes allow for use on even the most muscular legs
  • Keeps your knee warm and cozy (not gross and sweaty)
  • Good for heavy lifts and the active individual
  • Velcro wears after time

5. Hinged Knee Brace by Vive

Hinged Knee Brace by Vive


This brace is a great value. It not only provides support for MCL strains, sprains and instability, it uses compression technology to give the knee and its ligaments, tendons and muscles plenty of support throughout the healing process. Perfect for MCL problems and reduces lateral movement of the knee with aluminum hinges. The design is versatile and also makes this a popular knee brace for torn ACL & general support. There’s a lot to love with this brace!

  • Stabilizes your knee and gives you a lot more confidence (worry less about a buckling knee)
  • Comfortable enough to wear all day (it’s washable, so wear it all the time!)
  • Totally wearable under jeans
  • Only provides light support for MCL

6. Knee Brace by TugSport

Knee Brace by TugSport


This is a good general brace that can help to address ACL and arthritis pain while supporting the kneecap. People with MCL injuries may like this brace as a way to get a bit more support than nothing at all in the recovery process, and they may find that having the kneecap held in place helps to stabilize the knee and relieve pain.

  • Fits under clothes well and doesn’t snag on your pant leg
  • Works as a knee stabilizer during yoga as well as other exercise classes
  • Wearing keeps knee pain to a minimum during and after exercise
  • Need to readjust it on your knee now and then

7. Knee Brace by Vive

Knee Brace by Vive


This brace is another terrific value considering what it offers. It provides general knee support for a variety of issues, relieves pain, and helps to manage and reduce swelling. Plus, the compression it gives helps promote healing by increasing circulation. And, the fastener lets you customize it to your ideal fit.

  • This Velcro is actually SUPER strong, it doesn’t have sticking problems like a lot of braces do
  • Brings swelling in the knee area down very fast (and might even reduce the need for icing your knee)
  • It covers a larger portion of the leg which can add a sense of comfort, security, and stability
  • Material is warm against skin, but wearing sleeve underneath can help reduce heat caused by friction.

When to Consider a Knee Brace for MCL

Your MCL plays a vital role in holding the knee in place and allowing it to rotate while preventing it from rotating too far inward. According to the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, the following symptoms are signs of a potential MCL injury:

  • Buckling knee or a sense that your knee is going to give out on you
  • Swelling in the knee area
  • Pain (doesn’t have to be a lot, but it might be)
  • Stiffness
  • Soreness or skin that is tender to the touch along the inside of the knee

If any of these symptoms sound like you, it is best to talk to a medical professional. Once you have addressed your problem with a qualified healthcare professional, a brace is a terrific way to stabilize, support and protect the knee and MCL. So, these symptoms are also signs your knee needs some love and it’s time to shop.

Maximize Brace Support

By getting a brace to support the knee and speaking to a doctor, you have taken a smart first step. Next, try maximizing the benefits that you get from your brace by adding the following steps to your knee-care routine:

  • Rest the knee as frequently as is needed
  • Ice the knee to reduce swelling, manage pain and even help with inflammation. Consider using one of these specifically designed ice packs for knees.
  • Use compression to promote circulation and speed up the healing process
  • Elevate the knee safely. Keeping a soft pill under the knee can help to keep it elevated comfortably
  • Stretch, build strength and attend physical therapy

Simple Exercises for MCL Injury

As you recover, you will want to regain your normal abilities. MyHealth, an expert in non-emergency healthcare information, suggests a few exercises that are helpful for MCL sprains. Remember to always consult with your doctor before beginning any recovery regimens!

  • Heel Slides on Wall (A great knee stretch)

Heel Slides on Wall Low impact stretches are a great way to regain strength in your knee and MCL ( Image Reference).

To perform this exercise arrange yourself in the position shown by the image. Start with both feet up along the wall next to each other. Slide your foot down the wall until you feel a stretch in the knee. Then slide your foot back up the wall. Only hold the stretch for 10-15 seconds. Stop if you feel pain or discomfort.

  • Short-arc quad (An exercise to strengthen and rehabilitate)

Short arc quadImproving the strength of both quadriceps and hamstrings positively affects knee rehabilitation ( Image Reference).

You need a foam roller for this exercise. Start with both feet on the floor. Lift one leg using your thigh muscles in that leg. You want to feel a squeeze in the thigh. Hold that position for about 5 seconds before lowering the leg down. Stop if you feel pain or discomfort.

Deciding on a Knee Brace for MCL Injuries

A knee brace is a smart idea for an MCL injury—be it a sprain, tear or something else. Recovering from a knee injury takes time and support. A brace is a great way to get that support and prevent additional injury. Bracing can be an effective treatment method for MCL injuries and it is possible your doctor has already recommended one, but it's always important to consult before making a decision. We have picked out quite a few for you in this article which should help cut down the time you spend researching. But, as always, spend some time figuring out what’s out there and what will help you, and when you’re ready (better soon than later) get a brace for that knee!


Cedars-Sinai Health



Amanda Ghosh
Amanda Ghosh

Amanda has a Masters of Science in Nutrition from Syracuse University which equipped her with courses applied to licensure as a dietitian. She also worked as a Program Director for the Wellness and Fitness Department for the YMCA. She is well versed in physical fitness, with a certificate from the National Academy of Sports Medicine in physical fitness training. She has taught numerous fitness classes, including college courses in the Athletic Department, as an adjunct instructor, at the SUNY University at Buffalo. She currently resides with her husband in the NYC area, and loves to put her knowledge of anatomy and physiology to use by being active. Both her and her husband are self-declared "foodies."

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