About medial collateral ligament injury and our treatment for it

Medial Collateral Ligament injury summary

The Medial Collateral Ligament is one of the four vital ligaments that works to keep the knee stable. It is often injured when a direct force is experienced on the outside of the knee or when twisting the knee and is a common injury in sports.

 

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WHAT IS MEDICAL COLLATERAL LIGAMENT INJURY?
The medical collateral joint is vital to the support of the knee joint, controlling excessive movement within the joint. This particular ligament runs along the inside of the knee and ensure that the knee joint stays closed and tight. If the ligament becomes overstretched it can result in inflammation and pain to the inside of the knee. In severe cases this can cause damage to the cartilage and other ligaments around the knee.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF MEDICAL COLLATERAL LIGAMENT INJURY?

The most common symptom is pain on the outside of the knee, accompanies with bruising and swelling. The knee joint will feel tender and particularly painful when bending the knee.

HOW LONG WILL MY SYMPTOMS LAST?

Minor injuries can be resolved within 3 weeks, with moderate damage taking a little longer – up to 6 weeks. If the ligament is completely ruptured, surgery may be required and the recovery period will stretch as long as 3 months.

WHAT IS THE CAUSE OF MEDICAL COLLATERAL LIGAMENT INJURY?

The cause is generally a direct impact to the outside of the knee, often when the knee is slightly bent. For this reason, it is a common injury among many sports, from contact sports to swimming in breaststroke. The ligament on the outside of the knee becomes stressed and can tear, causing the pain.

WHAT IS THE TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL COLLATERAL LIGAMENT INJURY?

The initial treatment recommended involves RICE therapy – Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. Once 72 hours have passed, the patient can move into the rehabilitation stage which includes gentle exercise and gentle stress to ligaments which will in turn allow the scar tissue to form in a uniform way that promotes healing and full repair. The exercises you will be prescribed will start with moving the knee in a structured straight line before moving into more fluid motions to increase range of motion and ultimately regain strength in the muscles. Heat treatment may also be recommended further down the recovery line to promote healing.

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT FOR ME TO DO PRESCRIBED EXERCISES?

The individual exercise program will gradually stress and exercise the ligament – this is very important in ensuring a strong repair of the ligament by ensuring the scar tissue is laid down in a uniformed manner. Failure to do this may result in a poor repair that can prolong the injury and predispose you to the injury recurring.