MCL strain/tear

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INJURY TITLE

MCL strain/tear  (Medial Collateral Ligament)

 

INJURY OVERVIEW

This usually occurs due to a stress from the outside of the knee to the inside when the knee is partially bent.  This force can place the ligament under a lot of stress so damage can occur.  It is seen a lot in downhill skiing, and contact sports.  Often the injury (when it happens can have the appearance of an injury to the ACL)

 

INJURY IN-DEPTH INFORMATION

The MCL is a large thick and strong ligament on the inside of the knee.  It connects the thigh bone to the shin bone and helps to ensure that the knee only bends forwards and backwards.  Because of the way it attaches to the knee joint (it is stuck completely down), it is linked to a few other structures.  At this, any injury to the ligament can certainly aggravate other parts of your knee too.

 

Injury to the ligament is graded according to severity from grade 1 -3.

 

 

COMMON SIGNS & SYMPTOMS

Grade 1 – small amount of the ligament involved. Local tenderness. Not much swelling.

Grade 2- More extreme injury.  Increased tenderness.  Increased swelling.

Grade 3 – Severe injury with complete tearing of the ligament. Because the tear is complete the [ain afterwards can vary (depending upon the extent of other tissue damage).

 

HOW IS IT ASSESSED

  • Clinical testing to clear involvement of other structure and grade any laxity in the knee joint.
  • U/S and MRI can be used to determine the extent of the injury but with limited accuracy.

 

GENERAL TREATMENT

  • Initially treatment aims are to control pain and swelling (ice and anti inflammatory meds)
  • Depending on the grade of the injury surgery may be required, but many cases treated conservatively have managed to return to sport just as well as surgical cases.
  • What ever the grade, treatment must aim to prevent any further injury, so comprehensive rehabilitation is needed.
  • Rehabilitation can extend from 6-15 weeks depending upon the grade and severity.
  • During rehabilitation pain should not really be used as a measure of success, its more about what the knee can functionally achieve.
  • Also looking at core , hip and ankle strength to help provide support both above and below the injured joint.

 

Exercise Videos: i.e.

  • Rotator cuff strengthening
  • Pec stretch
  • etc

 

WHICH HEALTH PROFESSIONAL TO CONSULT

PHYSIO     X

MEDIC     X

PODIATRY     

 

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