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Knee Injuries - Medial Collateral Ligament Injury

Knee Injuries are a topical subject in the aftermath of Ireland’s Six Nation’s Match against France. We focus on Medial Collateral Ligament Injuries in this blog post

The weekend brought about a brave effort but yet a very disappointing result for the Irish Rugby team in France. A 17-17 draw was not the outcome either team would have anticipated or desired and continues Ireland’s record of only one win in France in the past forty years. With two more big matches against Scotland and England remaining, Ireland will look to finish this year’s Six Nations on a high with wins against Scotland in Dublin and against England in Twickenham on St Patrick’s Day.

The draw was further marred by two injuries to key personal. Paul O Connell suffered medial collateral damage to the ligament in his left knee after twisting it awkwardly during the second half of the game. It is expected that the captain (in Brian O’ Driscoll’s absence) will be out for 4-6 weeks. Scrum half Conor Murray also suffered a knee injury after landing painfully from catching a high ball. Murray has suffered from bone bruising on the joint of his knee and is expected to be out for up to a month. This rules the two players out of the rest of this year’s competition.

These types of knee injuries are very commonly seen, especially in individuals involved in sports. Knee injuries are one of the most frequently seen sports injuries by doctors, physiotherapists and specialists. Medial ligament sprain or medial collateral ligament injury is damage to the ligament on the inside of the knee often caused by twisting or an impact to the outside of the knee.  These MCL injuries range from Grade 1 to Grade 3 in terms of its seriousness, with grade 1 being the mildest injury.

Treatment for Medial Collateral Ligament Damage.

What can the athlete do?

  1. Apply the R.I.C.E. protocol (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) to the injured knee.

  2. Rest from training is highly recommended.

  3. Knee braces support the joint, especially for grade 2 and 3 injuries.

  4. Heat retainers help after the acute phase for minor injuries.

  5. Try to keep the knee mobile.

  6. Consult a Sports Injury Professional such as sports doctor or physiotherapist.

What can a Sports Injury Professional do?

  1. Physiotherapists can apply sports massage techniques to speed up rehabilitation.

  2. Physio’s can also prescribe a rehabilitation programme to maintain leg muscle strength and mobility.

  3. Ultrasound or laser treatment techniques can be used.

  4. MRI scans and the possibility of surgical reconstruction for severe ligament tears.

  5. Operate in particularly unstable injuries.

  6. Prescribe a rehabilitation programme to maintain leg muscle strength and mobility.

The good news is that if you have suffered a Medial Collateral Ligament injury, With proper rehabilitation and physio, a full recovery can be expected following most MCL tears.

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