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Knee Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) Injury Physiotherapy
Our medial collateral ligament (MCL) is the most commonly damaged
ligament in the knee that leads to knee pain.
The MCL can be sprained or torn as a result of
blow to the outer side of the knee
- by twisting the knee or
- by quickly
changing directions while walking or running
MCL injury most often
occurs in athletes, although of course nonathletes can also be affected.
Our senior physiotherapists treats an MCL sprain or tear to
What is the Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) Injury?
The MCL is a small, thick band of tissue on the inner side of the knee
joint. It connects two bones—the thighbone and the shin bone—and prevents the knee from bending inward toward the other knee.
When the knee is hit
on the outer side of the leg (eg, the left side of the left leg), or if
the knee is twisted violently, the MCL can overstretch resulting in a
partial or complete tear.
MCL injuries commonly occur in football
players who get "clipped" or hit on the outer side of the knee.
causes may include
- twisting and turning while skiing
- blows received on
the soccer field
- trauma experienced in a car accident or
turning the knee sharply while the foot is planted on the ground
Healing times vary from a couple of weeks to a couple of months,
depending on the severity of the injury.
How Does it Feel?
When you experience an MCL injury, you may feel:
- Pain on the inner side of the knee
- Swelling and bruising at the inner side of the knee
- Swelling that spreads to the rest of the knee joint in 1 or 2 days following injury
- Stiffness in the knee
- Difficulty or pain when trying to bend or straighten the knee
- An unstable feeling, as though the knee may give out or buckle
- Pain or difficulty walking, sitting down, rising from a chair, or climbing stairs
Signs and Symptoms
With an MCL injury, you may experience
- A "popping" sound as the injury occurs
- Pain and swelling in your knee
- Difficulty moving your knee
- Difficulty bearing weight on your leg for walking or getting up from a chair
How Is It Diagnosed?
If you see our senior physical therapist first, we will conduct a
thorough evaluation that includes taking your health history. We will also ask you detailed questions about your injury, such
- Did you feel pain or hear a "pop" when you injured your leg?
- Did you turn your leg with your foot planted on the ground?
- Did you change direction quickly while running?
- Did you receive a direct hit to the leg while your foot was planted on the ground?
- Did you see swelling around the knee in the first 2 to 3 hours following the injury?
- Does your knee feel like buckling or giving way when you try to use it?
We also will perform special tests to help
determine the likelihood that you have an MCL injury. We
will gently press on the outside of your knee while it is slightly bent
as well as when it is fully straight to test the strength of the
We will also check the inner side of your knee for
tenderness and swelling and measure for swelling with a tape measure.
The therapist may use additional tests to determine if other parts of
your knee are injured, and will also observe how you are walking.
To provide a definitive diagnosis, we may collaborate
with an orthopedic doctor or other health care provider. The
orthopedic physician may order further tests, such as magnetic resonance
imaging (MRI), to confirm the diagnosis and to rule out other damage to
The MRI scanning will also help to determine whether surgery is required.
is not required in all cases but may be ordered to determine the severity of the medial collateral ligament injury or if there is any other secondary/additional structures that are damaged.
We or your
doctor may recommend
- a knee brace
- a knee immobilizer or
reduce pain if the MCL injury is severe.
how our senior physiotherapists can help
We will work with you to design a specific
treatment program that will speed your recovery, including exercises and
treatments you can do at home. Physiotherapy will help you return to
your normal lifestyle and activities.
The First 24-48 Hours
Our senior physiotherapists may advise you to:
- Rest the area by avoiding walking or any activity that causes pain.
Crutches and a knee brace may be recommended to reduce further strain on
the MCL when walking.
- Apply cold therapy to the area for 15-20 minutes every 2 hours.
- Compress the area with an elastic bandage wrap.
- Consult with a physician for further services such as medication or diagnostic tests.
We may use different types of treatments and
technologies to control and reduce your pain, including
We will choose specific activities and
treatments to help restore normal movement in the knee and leg. These
might begin with passive motions that we will do for you to
gently move your leg and knee joint, and progress to active exercises
and stretches that you do yourself.
Certain exercises will aid healing at each stage of recovery; your
physical therapist will choose and teach you the correct exercises and
equipment to steadily restore your strength and agility.
- cuff weights
- stretchy bands
- weight-lifting equipment
- and cardio-exercise equipment such as treadmills or stationary bicycles
Regaining your sense of balance is important after an injury. We will teach you exercises to improve your balance
Speed Recovery Time
Normal healing of time is a few weeks to a few months, depending on
which tissues are injured and how severely they are injured. We're trained and experienced in choosing the right
treatments and exercises to help you heal, return to your normal
lifestyle, and reach your goals faster than you are likely to do on your
Return to Activities
We will discuss your goals with you and use them
to set your work, sport, and homelife recovery goals. We
will design your treatment program to help you reach those goals in the
safest, fastest, and most effective way possible.
We will apply hands-on therapy, such as massage, and teach you
exercises, work retraining activities, and sport-specific techniques and
drills to help you achieve your goals
If Surgery Is Necessary
Surgery is often not necessary in the case of an knee medial collateral ligament injuries but if a knee surgery
is needed, you will follow a recovery program over several weeks guided
by our senior physical therapist, who will help you
- minimize pain
- return to normal activities as quickly as possible
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Phoenix Rehab physio Services
Phoenix Rehab Group works with specialist
physiotherapists and rehab therapists who are highly
trained, qualified, experienced and passionate to provide high level of
expert care to our patients.
PHYSIOTHERAPY & PHYSICAL THERAPY
HAND THERAPY & SPLINTING
Patients who sustained injuries to their elbows, forearms, hands, wrists
(sprains and fractures) and fingers, and requires Hand Therapy to increase the function of their hand
following injuries or post-operations as well as custom made hand splints.
Commonly treated hand pain injuries includes
CLINICAL PILATES & WELLNESS PILATES
Clinical Pilates is a form of physical exercise that focuses on posture,
core stability, balance, control, strength, flexibility, and breathing. It is a system of safe and effective exercises, which
meet specific individual needs, to treat a wide range of injuries
You may do Pilates as matwork or with the reformer or both, and every session will be customized 100% to your fitness, injury and tolerance.
TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE (TCM)
All our allied health therapists and TCM physicians are fully insured and registered with Allied Health Professions Council (AHPC) and Traditional Chinese Medicine Board (TCMB).
See our entire team here with introductions and their specializations.
At the first session, our specialist physiotherapists will carry out a thorough
assessment, helping them to select the most appropriate treatment to
help you recover as well as provide treatment in the same session.
Follow up sessions are inline to provide
expert treatment for your pain as well as prescribing specific
exercises to reduce your risk of re-injury and giving you a long term
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