Medial collateral ligament (MCL) injuries are the second most common injury resulting in player lost time in elite-level ice hockey. To determine the incidence and injury characteristics of knee MCL sprain in male collegiate ice hockey players. Case control. Athlete exposure data demographics, mechanism of injury, player position, time of injury occurrence (game vs practice), grade of MCL sprain, concomitant injuries, and lost time for cases were extracted from a computerized injury database of 8 college hockey seasons at 1 university. MCL injury rates were calculated. Injury characteristics were descriptively summarized. Simple linear regression was utilized to determine the relationship between the grade of MCL injury and player lost time. There were 13 MCL injuries in 10 players. The overall incidence rate was 0.44 injuries per 1000 athlete exposures. Two players suffered reinjuries. Defensemen and forwards were equally represented. Contact with another player or the ice was the mechanism of injury in 77% of players. Grade 2 injuries were most common. The grade of injury predicted time lost from play (P < 0.01). The lost time relates directly to the severity of injury.
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