Medial Collateral Knee Ligament Sprain

with Phase I Rehab

ExitCare ImageThe medial collateral ligament (MCL) of the knee helps hold the knee joint in proper alignment and prevents the bones from shifting out of alignment (displacing) to the inside (medially). Injury to the knee may cause a tear in the MCL ligament (sprain). Sprains may heal without treatment, but this often results in a loose joint. Sprains are classified into three categories. Grade 1 sprains cause pain, but the tendon is not lengthened. Grade 2 sprains include a lengthened ligament, due to the ligament being stretched or partially ruptured. With grade 2 sprains, there is still function, although possibly decreased. Grade 3 sprains involve a complete tear of the tendon or muscle, and function is usually impaired.

SYMPTOMS

CAUSES

An MCL sprain occurs when a force is placed on the ligament that is greater than it can handle. Common mechanisms of injury include:

RISK INCREASES WITH:

PREVENTION

PROGNOSIS

MCL tears usually heal without the need for surgery. Sometimes however, surgery is required.

RELATED COMPLICATIONS

TREATMENT

Treatment first involves the use of ice and medicine, to reduce pain and inflammation. The use of strengthening and stretching exercises may help reduce pain with activity. These exercises may be performed at home, but referral to a therapist is often advised. You may be advised to walk with crutches until you are able to walk without a limp. Your caregiver may provide you with a hinged knee brace to help regain a full range of motion, while also protecting the injured knee. For severe MCL injuries or injuries that involve other ligaments of the knee, surgery is often advised.

MEDICATION

HEAT AND COLD

SEEK MEDICAL CARE IF:

EXERCISES

PHASE I EXERCISES

RANGE OF MOTION (ROM) AND STRETCHING EXERCISES–Medial Collateral Knee Ligament Sprain Phase I

These are some of the initial exercises that your physician, physical therapist or athletic trainer may have you perform to begin your rehabilitation. When you demonstrate gains in your flexibility and strength, your caregiver may progress you to Phase II exercises. As you perform these exercises, remember:

ExitCare Image RANGE OF MOTION–Knee Flexion, Active

Repeat __________ times. Complete this exercise __________ times per day.

ExitCare Image STRETCH–Knee Flexion, Supine

Repeat __________ times. Complete this stretch __________ times per day.

ExitCare Image RANGE OF MOTION–Knee Flexion and Extension, Active-Assisted

Repeat __________ times. Complete this exercise __________ times per day.

ExitCare Image STRETCH–Knee Extension Sitting

Repeat __________ times. Complete this stretch __________ times per day.

*Your physician, physical therapist or athletic trainer may instruct you to place a __________ weight on your thigh, just above your kneecap, to deepen the stretch.

STRENGTHENING EXERCISES–Medial Collateral Knee Ligament Sprain Phase I

These exercises may help you when beginning to rehabilitate your injury. They may resolve your symptoms with or without further involvement from your physician, physical therapist or athletic trainer. While completing these exercises, remember:

ExitCare Image STRENGTH–Quadriceps, Isometrics

Repeat __________ times. Complete this exercise __________ times per day.

ExitCare Image STRENGTH–Quadriceps, Short Arcs

Repeat __________ times. Complete this exercise __________ times per day.

OPTIONAL ANKLE WEIGHTS: Begin with ____________________, but DO NOT exceed ____________________. Increase in 1 pound/0.5 kilogram increments.

ExitCare Image STRENGTH-–Quadriceps, Straight Leg Raises

Quality counts! Watch for signs that the quadriceps muscle is working, to be sure you are strengthening the correct muscles and not "cheating" by substituting with healthier muscles.

Repeat __________ times. Complete this exercise __________ times per day.

ExitCare Image STRENGTH–Hamstring, Isometrics

Repeat __________ times. Complete this exercise __________ times per day.

ExitCare Image STRENGTH–Hamstring, Curls

Repeat __________ times. Complete this exercise __________ times per day.

OPTIONAL ANKLE WEIGHTS: Begin with ____________________, but DO NOT exceed ____________________. Increase in 1 pound/0.5 kilogram increments.