One of the common knee injuries is an MCL tear. The MCL or medial collateral ligament can end up overly stretched or even tear a ligament in the knee. This ligament is responsible for keeping the leg and thigh bone in proper alignment along the side of the knee. This is also the structure that prevents the knees from buckling.
An MCL tear can occur in various sports. The healing process for this injury usually depends on the degree of sprain and takes 6 weeks or more. An injury to the MCL necessitates further assessment by a doctor so that proper care can be provided.
Measures in dealing with an MCL tear
- The individual should take an anti-inflammatory medication and carefully follow the dosage instructions given by the doctor. In some cases, a prescription medication might be given to alleviate the swelling or an over-the-counter variant such as ibuprofen.
- Apply an ice pack over the affected knee. This is essential right after sustaining an MCL tear to minimize the swelling and pain. A tear on the ligament can trigger tenderness and pain on the interior side of the knee. Make sure that the ice pack used is wrapped in a towel and apply for 10-15 minutes on the interior knee every 2-3 hours after the injury.
- Raise or elevate the affected knee if there is evident swelling above the level of the heart. The doctor can advise when the individual can start moving around again.
- Utilize a brace over the affected joint for added support. The ligament is responsible for keeping the bones straight and prevents it from buckling. The brace will also help reinforce the area until the tissues starts to heal.
- The individual should walk using crutches to avoid placing unwanted weight on the knee if instructed by the doctor. The crutches must be used until the knee is capable of supporting the weight without triggering any pain or limping.
Considerations to bear in mind
As long as allowed by the doctor, the individual should exercise to help increase the strength in the affected knee. In most injuries, it might require the services of a professional trainer or therapist for the rehabilitation period.
The exercise might include strength building and range of motion. The range of motion exercises keeps the joint flexible. As for home exercise routines, the doctor can provide recommendations. If the knee is re-injured, it will prolong the healing period and might require surgery to correct the ensuing issues. In addition, exercises must include routines that establish strength to the thigh muscles as well as provide more support to the weakened knee.