Ligament injuries are extremely painful, take a long time to heal, and have a higher risk of re-injury. More importantly, they can happen suddenly, out of the blue, even with sudden twists and movements of the knee. In short, medial collateral ligament injuries are notorious.
Undoubtedly, ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) injuries are the most popular of the lot. But medial collateral ligament injuries are the ones that often fly under the radar. They account for 40% of knee injuries,” says the top orthopaedic doctor in Mumbai, Dr Chirag Patel.
Most people do not even know of ligaments before the injuries happen, so they naturally lack awareness of these severe injuries. Today’s blog will help you understand Medial Collateral Ligament Injuries, pain relief options, and treatment options. Read on to learn more about them:
What are Medial Collateral Ligament Injuries?
Medial collateral ligaments are bands of connective tissue that run across the upper thighbone and inner surface of the lower leg bone. They help stabilize the knee joint by keeping the lower leg bone in place and preventing it from moving too far to the side. And injuries to these bands of connective tissues are termed Medial Collateral Ligament injuries.
How do the Medial Collateral Injuries happen?
Because it is also essential for rotational stability of the knee, it can get injured due to sudden and excessive rotational forces or trauma injury to the outer part of the knee. The most common cause of MCL injuries is valgus force, where the knee is forced to bend inward, usually when the land awkwardly lands on the knee. Repeated stress caused by excessive running or cutting (soccer or basketball) for an extended period may also lead to MCL.
Pain inside the knee, bruising, swelling, instability of the knee, difficulty in walking, popping or clicking sound, numbness & weakness in the knee, feeling of the knee giving way & problems in straightening the knee. The symptoms can vary based on the severity of the ligament injury. “The damage to the ligament is usually progressive. So even in the mildest injury cases, a qualified orthopaedic surgeon must be immediately consulted for MCL knee pain relief”, says sports injury specialist and orthopaedic surgeon Dr Chirag Patel.
Treatment for Medial Collateral Injuries:
Treatment for medial collateral ligament injuries depends upon the severity of the damage. RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) is used for MCL pain relief for mild injuries. Physical therapy is also used to improve mobility and range of motion. In torn ligament cases, surgery is performed to repair the damage and restore the function of the ligament.
“Ligament injuries can be serious, sudden, and recurring, but by adopting a few best practices, their risk can be reduced. We recommend proper warm-up before physical activity, proper footwear, regular stretching, avoiding activities with sudden twists, and being mindful of the landing areas,” says the best knee replacement surgeon in Mumbai, Dr. Chirag Patel.