Grade 2 MCL Sprain Rehab Phase 1

Phase 1 begins immediately following injury and usually continues for 4 weeks. The aim of phase 1 is to control swelling, be able to fully straighten your knee and bend it to 90 degrees, and begin early-stage strengthening exercises.


  • Rest from all painful activities.
  • Use crutches if necessary, non-weight bearing to start with, then partial weight bearing from week 2.
  • Aim to be walking normally by the end of week 4.
  • Wear a hinged or stabilised knee brace to protect the medial ligament.

Cold therapy

  • Apply cold therapy and compression.
  • Apply ice/cold therapy for 15 minutes every 2 hours for the first 2 days and gradually reduce the frequency to 3 times a day over the next week.

Sports massage

  • Sports massage (gentle cross frictions) may be possible from day 2 but allow a week for more severe injuries.

Stretching exercises

  • Pain-free stretches for the hamstrings, quads, groin and calf muscles in particular.
  • Mobility exercises should be done in the knee brace.

Strengthening exercises

  • As pain allows, static quads and hamstring exercises, double leg calf raises, hip abduction and extension.
  • Knee extension mobility should only be to 30 degrees though.

Maintaining fitness

  • Maintain aerobic fitness on a stationary cycle as soon as pain allows.

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This article has been written with reference to the bibliography.