MCL Injuries In Athletes

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MCL Injuries in Athletes

Playing any type of sports may be a lot of fun, but if you’re an athlete, you know yourself that having injuries is a part of it. If you do contact sports such as rugby, soccer or football, you are most likely familiar with MCL injury, or in layman’s term, a knee sprain.

MCL stands for “medial collateral ligament.” This is one of the ligaments of the knee, a thick band of connective tissue located at the medial (or inner) side of the knee which protects and stabilizes your knee joint, and allows it to rotate.

Though your medial collateral ligament functions to protect your knee joint, it is also one of the most commonly injured part of your knee; hence, sustaining an MCL injury.

Understanding MCL Injury and Its
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You have the feeling of your knees giving out due to a torn ligament.

How to Apply First Aid to an Athlete with MCL Injury?
If you’re an athlete, it is necessary for you to learn how to apply first aid to someone with an MCL injury. You can’t probably do this to yourself if you’re the one injured, but having this knowledge greatly helps if one of your teammates sustained this type of knee injury.

For minor MCL injury, you can always follow the RICE method:

R - Rest. Aside from calling medical help, one of the first things you need to do is to have the patient rest the affected area. Stop any activity and protect the athlete’s knee from being moved unnecessarily.

I - Ice. To reduce the athlete’s swelling knee and to reduce the pain, apply an ice pack. Roll over the ice pack on the sore area for about 10-20 minutes.

C - Compression. This is another way to prevent further swelling of the athlete’s MCL injury. Wrap the knee with an elastic bandage or any clean cloth if an elastic bandage is not available. Don’t wrap it too tightly.

E - Elevate. Elevate the athlete’s leg on a pillow so that his leg will be higher than the level of his heart. This helps stop the bleeding and
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If you want to get back on the field and recover earlier, coordinate with your physical therapist. Diligently do what your therapist asks you to do such as:

Massaging the affected area. If you are already in the rehabilitative stage, your physical therapist might ask you to massage your injured yet recovering knee. This helps lessen the stiffness of your knee, reduces pain and releases unnecessary pressure.

Changing the bandage regularly. For a speedy recovery, always change and adjust the bandage of your knee, not too tight and not too loose.

Doing passive and active exercises. Always perform the type of passive and active exercises that your physical therapist advises you to do. These exercises help you strengthen your knees and give you back your sense of balance.

Fully recovering from an MCL injury can take up to a few months depending on the severity of the injury. To prevent future knee injuries, make sure that you put on your knee braces, knee sleeves and other types of knee supports. Also make sure that you always perform regular balance and agility exercises to strengthen your knees.

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