During Sunday’s NFL matchup between the New England Patriots’ and the Cleveland Browns, tight end Rob Grownkowski suffered an ACL and MCL tear in his right knee.

Whenever there is a combination ACL and MCL together, the physical exam and the MRI findings must be synthesized to best determine the treatment for this injury. In some patients, where the MCL may be torn and retracted, a combined ACL and MCL reconstruction can be performed with an early rehabilitation program to make sure the knee does not become stiff. In the majority of patients, a rehabilitation program of 4 to 6 weeks is carried out to let the MCL heal, followed by staged a ACL reconstruction. Obviously, the treatment depend upon the injury pattern and the physical exam, so these must be analyzed to be able to determine which treatment program is necessary. It is very important to recognize that if an MCL tear does not heal and an ACL reconstruction is performed, there would be a significant amount of stress on the ACL graft which could result in it stretching out and failing. Thus, it is an important decision to decide up front if the MCL does have a good potential to heal or if needs to be reconstructed at the same time as the ACL reconstruction.

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