Reconstruction of medial collateral ligament tears can be very complicated. If there's been a long history of pain before the operation, the ligament can be scarred and fibrotic. The nerve can get bound down in the soft tissues as well.
The same thing can happen after a primary (first) surgery. Pain, numbness, and tingling are the first symptoms of a nerve problem. Surgery to free the nerve requires meticulous dissection. Nerves covered in scar tissue can be damaged trying to remove the fibrotic tissue from around them.
The surgeon will try to use the same incisions as in the first surgery. This will help reduce further scarring. If there are any bone spurs pressing on the nerve, these will be removed. Most often, the nerve is transposed (moved) so that nothing is pressing on it or compressing it.
It is possible to return to play after surgery of this type. Recovery may include physical therapy to help with painful symptoms. The therapist will instruct the athlete in exercises that will keep the tendons and nerve gliding freely and smoothly.