CNY Orthopedic Sports Medicine, PC: Treatment: Medial Collateral Ligament Injury
Injuries and Conditions: Knee: Medial Collateral Ligament Injury: Treatment Options
An injured MCL rarely requires surgery for a full recovery. Differences in the severity of the injury will effect the treatment as well as the activity level of the patient. MCL injuries may range from minor sprains to complete tears of the ligament. A majority of injuries will heal on their own; even complete tears. Non-surgical treatment consists of protective bracing and physical therapy. Occassionaly, however,a torn MCL may not heal, and surgery will be required to reattach or repair the ligament.
Treatment options:
Conservative Treatment of MCLMedial Meniscectomy Surgery

Non-Surgical Treatment: Conservative Treatment of MCL

Physical therapy is designed to restore strength, stability and range of motion through exercises, stretching and muscle stimulation.

  • The initial goal of therapy is to re-establish a full range of motion in the knee.
  • Ongoing therapy rehabilitates the quadriceps and hamstrings, the surrounding muscles which add strength and control to the joint.
  • Partial or complete tears will require bracing to provide stability to the inner aspect of the knee while the ligament heals.

  • Non-Surgical Product Considerations

    Knee: Compression Sleeves
    Knee compression sleeves give added support, increasing stability and helping to reduce swelling in an injured knee. Patients that have light sprains may be directed to use a compression sleeve during the early stages of rehabilitation. Other patients that have ongoing knee problems or chronic conditions may be recommended to use a sleeve on a daily basis. These sleeves are less restricting than most other knee supports and can be worn under loose fitting clothing.

    Knee compression sleeves can be used to treat:

  • Light swelling.
  • Light knee strains.
  • Chronic inflammation.
  • Degenerative joint disease.

  • Knee: Support
    A knee support is a sleeve-like support that fits firmly around the knee. The support is used to reinforce the joint during motion and provide compression to aid healing and reduce pain and swelling. Patients suffering from knee strains or inflammation will usually be directed to use a support during daily activities.

    The thin and flexible construction of the support allows for normal movement of the knee and also allows the support to be worn under loose fitting clothing. To prevent harmful pressure to certain structures, the support applies differing compression around the knee. The sides of the joint receive intermittent pressure to help stimulate blood flow while the rear of the support fits relatively loose to prevent constriction of circulation. The kneecap is aided in positioning, but remains free of compression to allow its natural movement.

    Knee supports can be used to treat:

  • Strains
  • Sprains
  • Inflammation
  • Chondromalacia patella
  • Knee Braces
    Knee braces are used to help control movement in an injured or rehabilitating knee. Patients that have suffered ligament injuries will usually be required to wear a brace during the different stages of recovery. If the injury requires surgery, then the patient may initially be required to wear a post-operative brace. This type of brace is designed to minimize motion during the early period after knee surgery or a knee injury. During this time, the knee is attempting to heal and undesired motion could be harmful.

    Upon return to sports requiring contact or side-to-side motions, a functional or ligament knee brace may be prescribed to provide support and protect the injured/reconstructed knee. These braces can be purchased as "off-the-shelf" or "custom-fit" braces. The "off-the-shelf" brace can be sized appropriately, so that the fit will allow the knee to move freely and comfortably with the knee's own natural motion. Custom fit braces are also available for the more difficult to fit patients.

    Knee braces can be used to treat:

  • Pre-operative ACL/PCL ruptures or injuries
  • Non-surgical ACL/PCL injuries
  • General knee instability
  • Pre/post joint replacement with ligament instability
  • Grade II or III ligament sprains.

  • Surgical Treatment: Medial Meniscectomy Surgery
    The torn piece of the medial meniscus is removed, and the remaining surface is smoothed. The residual meniscal cartilage continues to serve as a natural shock absorber for the knee.

    Surgical Product Considerations

    NSAIDs (Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) are a group of drugs used to control pain. This category of medications includes both prescription and common over-the-counter painkillers such as ibuprofen. NSAIDs are effective for many types of pain that can occur because of inflammation of muscles, joints and bones. The drugs work quickly and people often notice some benefit within a few hours of taking the tablet. However, the complete effectiveness of the drug may not be realized for up to four weeks. For each individual, some varieties of NSAIDs are more effective than others. Often, patients will find that one or two varieties are helpful whereas others may not be as effective in controlling symptoms. It is usually necessary to try several brands and continue with the one that is most suitable. NSAIDs can be used to treat:
  • Pain resulting from inflammation or swelling.
  • Pain after injury.
  • Joint pain and arthritis.

  • Knee: Cold Therapy
    Cold therapy is used to reduce pain and swelling and is a convenient method to apply cold to an injured or rehabilitating extremity, such as a knee or shoulder. A cuff fits like a sleeve around the extremity and utilizes cold water supplied by a connected thermos or canister to chill the extremity. Water flow into the cuff can be controlled by different mechanisms. The simplest way is gravity; elevating the canister fills the cuff and controls the amount of pressure against the extremity. Water flow may also be controlled by a pump which will automatically circulate the cold water to and from the cuff. After surgery or immediately following an injury, the canister should be refilled with cold water every one to two hours to maintain a proper temperature. The cold therapy may also be used during rehabilitation, especially after physical activity, reducing the inflammatory heat from exercise.

    Cold therapy can be used to treat: Knee, Shoulder, Elbow, Wrist and Hand, Back, Hip, and Foot & Ankle Injuries.

    Knee Examples include:

  • Pre-operative ACL/PCL injuries.
  • Non-surgical ACL/PCL injuries.
  • General knee pain or swelling.
  • Soft tissue injuries.

  • Surgical Hardware Considerations
    This condition does not require surgical hardware.

    Factors in Transplant Source
    This condition does not require the transplanting of any tissue.

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