Expert Interview Medial Knee Ligament Injury

Premiership Physiotherapist Neal Reynolds talks exclusively to sportsinjuryclinic.net about medial collateral ligament injuries.

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MCL injuries are one of the most common at all levels of football. It is usually done in a block tackle, causing the knee to open up on the inside.

There is instant pain on the inside of the knee, although walking usually isn't a problem. Swelling with develop quite quickly so ice, compression, elevation should be applied. Try not to fully straighten or bend the knee very far as this stresses the ligament.

It is important after a couple of days that you do start to get the knee moving again. This helps to model the scar tissue.

Electrotherapy may be used by a physio, e.g. ultrasound and laser. Some light massage may be used to sweep all the waste products away. Breaking down the scar tissue and realigning it to 'organise' the fibres. A better quality scar is less likely to cause pain and further injury later on. In the mid-stages, friction massage can be used to improve the quality of the scar.

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In the later stages, functional and strengthening exercises are used. The hamstring and quad muscles act like guy ropes to support the knee, following this injury. Initially exercises are done in straight lines to avoid over stressing the ligament. The late stages are where twisting and turning movements are introduced.

Side-passing a ball can be an issue for footballers even 6 or more weeks after injury. Neal advises that this is ok and normal as long as the pain clears quickly and doesn't last.

Premiership Physiotherapist Neal Reynolds talks exclusively to sportsinjuryclinic.net about medial collateral ligament injuries.

MCL injuries are one of the most common at all levels of football. It is usually done in a block tackle, causing the knee to open up on the inside.

There is instant pain on the inside of the knee, although walking usually isn't a problem. Swelling with develop quite quickly so ice, compression, elevation should be applied. Try not to fully straighten or bend the knee very far as this stresses the ligament.

It is important after a couple of days that you do start to get the knee moving again. This helps to model the scar tissue.

Electrotherapy may be used by a physio, e.g. ultrasound and laser. Some light massage may be used to sweep all the waste products away. Breaking down the scar tissue and realigning it to 'organise' the fibres. A better quality scar is less likely to cause pain and further injury later on. In the mid-stages, friction massage can be used to improve the quality of the scar.

In the later stages, functional and strengthening exercises are used. The hamstring and quad muscles act like guy ropes to support the knee, following this injury. Initially exercises are done in straight lines to avoid over stressing the ligament. The late stages are where twisting and turning movements are introduced.

Side-passing a ball can be an issue for footballers even 6 or more weeks after injury. Neal advises that this is ok and normal as long as the pain clears quickly and doesn't last.