Treatment Of Grade I Mcl Tears
Grade I tears of the MCL often resolve within a few weeks.
Treatment consists of:
- Resting From Activity: This means you won’t be playing the sport where you sustained the injury while you recover.
Patients with a grade I MCL tear may be able to return to sports within one or two weeks following their injury.
Rest Ice Heat Compression And Elevation
Doctors recommend a combination of rest, ice, compression, and elevationcalled the RICE regimenfor one or two weeks after diagnosis. The time frame for RICE treatment varies depending on the severity of the knee injury and is determined by your doctor.
Resting the affected ligaments, tendons, muscles, and cartilage gives the knee time to heal. Your doctor may provide a cane or crutches to help you keep weight off the affected knee for about a week. After the swelling starts to subside, most people can walk while wearing a knee brace.
During the first 3 days after the injury, your doctor may recommend applying ice to your knee 3 times a day for 15 minutes at a time to reduce swelling. After this, applying a heating pad or another heat source, such as a heat wrap, can increase blood flow to the injured area and speed healing. Elevating the knee 3 times a day for 15 minutes at a time may also help reduce swelling.
Until the inflammation fully subsides, doctors recommend avoiding the activity that caused the injury, as well as other activities that put stress on the knee. Returning to work or sports too soon greatly increases the risk that a knee injury may heal slowly or worsen or that another injury may occur.
Your doctor determines when your knee has healed based on relief of your symptoms.
Whats Better To Treat Your Knee: Ice Or Heat
Ice and heat are the best treatment combination for you if:
- Youre looking to boost the natural power of pain relief and healing in your body.
- You dont want to repeatedly pay the cost of injections, medications, hospital visits or surgery.
- You want to help reduce the risk of re-injury, pain or swelling in your knee.
- You want to control your own treatment and healing at home, on your own time.
- Youre looking for a tried, tested, and true method of healingthats been used for centuries and has worked for countless other knee pain sufferers.
How to Use Superior Temperature Treatments to Heal & Relieve Pain from Your Knee Injury!
Combining cold and warmth is a simple yet effective way to get immediate pain relief and promote long-term healing. In your lifetime youve probably had your mom, family doctor, nurse, surgeon or physical therapist tell you to use ice right after youre injured and something warm from time to time once the swellings gone down. Its a simple yet very effective way to relieve pain and promote healing in your knee.
Knee injuries can happen to anyone, right now there are thousands of doctors and physical therapists dealing with patients that require a solution to treat their knee injury fast and heal it .
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How Does Heat Work
When I say heat, what I mean is a warm compress, hot water bottle or wheat cushion applied to an area of skin around an injury. You could also get these effects from a hot bath or shower, but this would be a less targeted way of treating your knee.
Heat works roughly in the opposite way that ice works. It, too, has a number of effects to the body when applied around an injury:
- Heat causes an effect called vasodilation to the blood vessels around an area which means a widening of the vessels, increasing blood flow to an injured site. You wouldnt want to use heat on a recently sprained ankle
- Heat doesnt affect the nerves like ice does, but it does increase healthy blood flow to an area, which can speed up healing in some injuries . It also helps to flush away the nasties within the blood that invade an injured area.
- Heat has an effect on the surrounding muscles and joints whereby it loosens them up by making the soft tissues more elastic. This basically means you get more flexibility in a body part just by heating it up! Try to stretch a muscle in the cold, then try to stretch the same muscle after a hot shower youll find you can stretch much further after the heat treatment.
A Summary Of How Ice & Heat Affect Your Blood Flow
Imagine youre standing in your living room at home. When the air in that room is at normal room temperature , your body is in a comfortable state. Your heart rate and blood pressure are normal .
Imagine the air has cooled down to freezing
When the room becomes cooler your heart rate begins to slow down and your blood pressure increases. Your body does this automatically to retain heat in your body. At this time your soft tissue will also start to squeeze on and contract all of the veins in your body carrying blood flow. This also helps to decrease the amount of blood flowing throughout your circulatory system and retains the heat.
When cold is applied to a knee injury, all of your soft tissue will squeeze on the veins to slow down your blood flow. This in turn clamps down on the amount of fluid leaking into your injured tissue, decreasing your swelling. This is why cold is used immediately to treat newer knee injuries or re-injuries. The cold slows down your body to stop the amount of damage happening to your tissue and decrease your swelling. This cold also has a nice side benefit of numbing the nerves in and around your knee injury thereby decreasing your pain.
In the medical world this is something called Vasoconstriction.
Now, imagine the air has warmed up enough that you start sweating
When the room becomes warmer your heart rate speeds up and your blood pressure decreases. Your body is trying to increase your blood flow to cool down your body.
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Mcl Or Lcl Sprain Diagnosis
To diagnose an MCL sprain or a LCL sprain, your doctor will take a complete history of the injury and assess your symptoms.
He or she will ask you:
- How the MCL or LCL sprain happened.
- What type of movement caused the knee injury
- Whether you heard a pop.
- Where and how much your knee hurts.
- Whether the knee feels unstable.
- Details about any prior knee injuries.
Next, your doctor will perform a physical exam of the knee to check the stability of the ligaments.
He or she may also order imaging tests such as x-rays and MRI scans to get a precise picture of the extent of damage to your MCL or LCL.
You Misjudged Its Severity
When you first hurt your knee, maybe you didnt think it was so bad and kept on keeping on.
Failing to rest from exercise when there is severe pain often causes an injury to progress from mild to severe, Bayes says. Simple rest alone will heal many knee injuries.
Listen to your body, and never push through knee pain, Schulz adds.
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What Is Knee Ligament Repair
Ligaments are bands of tough, elastic connective tissue that surround a joint to give support and limit the joint’s movement.
When ligaments are damaged, the knee joint may become unstable. Ligament damage often happens from a sports injury. A torn ligament severely limits knee movement. This results in the inability to pivot, turn, or twist the leg. Surgery is a choice to repair a torn ligament if other medical treatment is not effective.
There are 4 major ligaments in the knee. The ligaments in the knee connect the femur to the tibia , and include the following:
- Anterior cruciate ligament . The ligament, located in the center of the knee, that controls rotation and forward movement of the tibia .
- Posterior cruciate ligament . The ligament, located in the center of the knee, that controls backward movement of the tibia .
- Medial collateral ligament . The ligament that gives stability to the inner knee.
- Lateral collateral ligament . The ligament that gives stability to the outer knee.
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What Are Complications Of Knee Injuries
Knee injuries are rarely life-threatening, though severe injuries may be disabling. Some knee injuries lead to chronic, irreversible damage to the knee and may result in complications such as long-term dysfunction. Knee-joint dislocations can cause blood vessel injuries and can lead to severe disability.
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What Is A Ligament
Ligaments are strong connective tissues that connect bones to other bones. They are not to be confused with tendons which connect the ends of muscles to bones. Ligaments are meant to anchor bones and restrict movement. They often hold a joint tightly and are therefore likely to tear if subjected to sudden high impact force.
Medical gallery of Blausen Medical 2014. WikiJournal of Medicine 1 . DOI:10.15347/wjm/2014.010. ISSN 2002-4436. , from Wikimedia Commons
Use Heat To Treat Chronic Stiffness In Arthritic Joints
Heat encourages blood vessels near the surface of the skin to expand, increasing blood flow and relaxing muscles. When you wake up with sore joints, or if you feel stiff after a period of inactivity, a heating pad or a hot shower or bath will stimulate blood flow to your joints and help to make them feel more limber. A heat treatment is also a great way to prepare arthritic joints for exercise or activity.
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What Are The Symptoms Of A Cruciate Ligament Injury
Often, a cruciate ligament injury does not cause pain. Instead, the person may hear a popping sound as the injury occurs, followed by the leg buckling when trying to stand on it, and swelling. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently.
The symptoms of a cruciate ligament injury may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your doctor for a diagnosis.
Why Are Knee Sprains So Common
Compared to other joints in your body, the knee joint is fairly vulnerable. It is a modified hinge joint, with your femur resting on top of you lower legs bones . Your knee cap which you can feel on the front of your knee is called your patella and is held in place by muscles on the top and bottom.
The groove that your femur sits and rotates in however is not very deep. Instead of being a ball and socket joint like your hip, the end of your femur bone sits in between a mesh of soft tissue and the top of your tibia. This is why the knee is referred to as a compound joint as well. Instead of being able to flex and extend your knee joint you can also rotate it inwards and outwards.
This ability to rotate the joint and the open groove means the whole area is open to movement. The only thing that stops your knee dislocating isnt the bone or joint itself but the pattern of the tough ligaments running around the joint.
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Ice Vs Heat For Treating Your Knee Injury
When dealing with a knee injury its hard to know what treatment will work best for you. You might be wondering if ice and heat will work for you. Or maybe even which will work better ice OR heat.
Icing and heating are 2 of the most natural treatment options available. Compared to medications, surgery and other treatment methods icing and heating have been around for centuries and have always been used for knee injury healing as a means to soothe and heal.
We understand that it can get pretty confusing to figure out what conservative treatment method will work best with all of the treatment options available to you today. To get started, you should think about the benefits youll get from using these therapies.
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Muscle Tendon Injuries Mcl And Lcl Injuries Acl Injuries And Meniscus Tears
Muscle Tendon Injuries
Almost all of these strains are treated with ice, elevation, and rest. Sometimes compression with an Ace wrap or knee sleeve is recommended, and crutches may be used for a short time to assist with walking. Ibuprofen or naproxen can be used as an anti-inflammatory medication.
The mechanism of injury is either hyperextension, in which the hamstring muscles can be stretched or torn, or hyperflexion, in which the quadriceps muscle is injured. Uncommonly, with a hyperflexion injury, the patellar or quadriceps tendon can be damaged and rupture. This injury is characterized by the inability to extend or straighten the knee and a defect that can be felt either above or below the patella . Surgery is usually required to repair this injury.
Except for elite athletes, tears of the hamstring muscle are treated conservatively without an operation, allowing time, exercise, and perhaps physical therapy to return the muscle to normal function.
MCL and LCL Injuries
Bringing It All Together
When it comes to knee rehabilitation, taking things slow is always encouraged. Running back into the gym after a meniscus tear or an ACL injury is not a good idea, especially if your doctor advises you to rest.
But, taking things slow and stopping altogether for 6 months are two very different things. You should still be training in the gym, moving your joints, and definitely stretching as soon as possible post-injury. Doing so will help to speed up the recovery process, keep you from gaining weight, and will help strengthen the muscles around your knee to prevent injury in the future.
I often wonder if I could avoided my second injury if I had followed this advice ten years ago. Let my injury experience be a warning and motivator for you to take care of your knees right now.
How A Sprained Knee Is Diagnosed
The doctor will test the ligaments by stressing the individual ligaments to see if theres any instability or if the joint is stable.
If you injure your knee, see a doctor as soon as possible. This is especially important if you cant stand up, feel as though your knee will collapse, or your leg looks swollen or bulgy.
The doctor will examine your knee, look for swelling and bruising, and ask you to move it around to determine your mobility. Theyll compare it to your uninjured knee.
Theyll also want to know what you were doing when the injury happened, whether you heard a pop, and how long it took to become painful.
You may also be given imaging tests. An X-ray will show if theres a broken bone, but other imaging methods allow the physician to see different, non-bony structures inside your knee. This includes the ligaments and other tissues that support it.
Knee sprains are rated by severity. An overstretched ligament is grade 1. A partially torn ligament is grade 2. A ligament thats severely torn or separated is considered grade 3.
The treatment your doctor recommends will depend on the severity of your injury and what part of your knee was damaged.
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Knee Strain Or Sprain Treatment
After consulting a doctor, you can generally treat mild knee sprains and strains at home, by:
- Resting, icing, compressing and elevating the joint
- Taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatories, as needed
- Following a physical therapy routine, provided by your doctor
Severe sprains may require additional measures such as surgery to repair the damaged tissues.
The Heat Is On Your Knees
Heating pads, warm baths, and other heat-based treatments tend to be best before activity. Applying heat to your knee before you hop on the treadmill or head out on a shopping excursion will improve blood flow, relax your muscles, and get your joints primed for action.
Wrap a moist heating pad in a towel and place it over your knee or knees for 15 to 20 minutes before exercise. For a do-it-yourself heating pad: Place a wet washcloth in a freezer bag and heat it in the microwave for one minute. Electric heating pads are another option for treating knee pain, provided they are not too hot.
Other ways to tap into the healing effects of heat include:
Warming your clothes in the dryer before getting dressed.
Turning your electric blanket up for a few minutes before getting out of bed.
There is one caveat to keep in mind when using heat therapy: Do not burn yourself. Avoid this by using heating pads for less than 20 minutes at a time and filling heating bottles with hotnot boilingwater.
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Risk Factors For A Knee Strain Or Sprain
- Contact sports participating in contact sports such as football, basketball and soccer put you at a higher risk for knee sprains or strains.
- Prior knee strains or sprains prior sprains or strains to the knee make you more likely to suffer another knee sprain or strain.
- Improper footwear wearing improper footwear can put additional pressure on the knee joint and cause a knee strain or sprain.
Why Might I Need A Knee Ligament Repair
The anterior cruciate ligament is located toward the front of theknee. It is the most common ligament to be injured. The ACL is oftenstretched and/or torn during a sudden twisting motion . Skiing, basketball, andfootball are sports that have a higher risk of ACL injuries.
The posterior cruciate ligament is located toward the back of theknee. It is also a common knee ligament to be injured. However, the PCLinjury usually happens with sudden, direct impact, such as in a caraccident or during a football tackle.
The medial collateral ligament is located on the inner side of theknee. It is injured more often than the lateral collateral ligament ,which is on the outer side of the knee. Stretch and tear injuries to thecollateral ligaments are usually caused by a blow to the outer side of theknee, such as when playing hockey or football.
Early medical treatment for knee ligament injury may include:
A knee ligament tear may be treated with the following:
Protective knee brace
Knee ligament repair is a treatment for a complete tear of a knee ligamentthat results in instability in the knee. People with a torn knee ligamentmay be unable to do normal activities that involve twisting or turning atthe knee. The knee may buckle or give-way. If medical treatments are notsatisfactory, ligament repair surgery may be an effective treatment.
There may be other reasons for your healthcare provider to recommend a kneeligament repair.
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