Collateral Ligaments and other non-cruciate tendons & ligaments around the knee :
Help! MCL won't heal - - Posted by kgerasimon (kgerasimon), 13 April 2004
I've been reading this boad for some time but this is my first post, and i'm hoping someone can give me some advice. I injured my knee playing tennis back in November and was diagnosed with a grade 1 MCL strain. For the first two months I rested it and did almost no activity. After 2 months I started swimming and biking. Now, five months later I still have pain over the medial side of my knee (feels like it's bruised). I can walk around without pain most of the time. But every time I attempt to jog or play tennis again my knee aches like crazy and the next day I can hardly walk. It seems like 5 months is an abnormally long time for a grade 1 MCL strain to heal. I've been to see a 4 doctors and all agree that I have not torn or broken anything in my knee and that I don't need an MRI - I just need to be patient.
Does anyone have any experience with an MCL taking this long to heal? I seems like something is not making sense here..... and i ran out of patience a couple weeks ago. Please help!
Posted by Beauzer (Beauzer), 19 April 2004
Sorry. I just found this post. Typically MCL sprains heal without any problems. Occasionally, however, they don't. On rare occasions, when they don't heal and cause ongoing instability, they need to be reconstructed.
I tore my MCL and medial joint capsule (and medial meniscus in 1999). It didn't heal. After a year of intensive rehab, with my knee getting progressively more unstable, I had to have a medial plication to reconstruct the MCL and joint capsule. In my case, they thought it didn't heal because of the extent of the tear (capsule as well as MCL) and the fact that I slipped and tore everything just two weeks post-op from a scope, when everything was still healing and swollen anyway.
You'll probably need to rehab for up to 12 months before anybody would even think about trying to reconstruct the MCL (if necessary, that is). You would also need to find someone experienced in the procedure, as it's not very common. The surgery was brutal, I was locked in extension in a brace for nearly 3 months. I had to sacrifice a lot of joint flexion in order to get a stable knee.
It's hard, but don't be in a hurry. I've been there before and know that it sucks! Do you have a brace that you can wear for activities? I'm talking a real one, not just a kneesleeve?
Just message me if you have any ??
Posted by aejohns (aejohns), 12 May 2004
Hi. My reply is late, but my situation bares a slight resemblence tto yours:
My injury which includes an MCL tear is really slow to heal also. My PT has allowed no exercise except his little leg lifts and rubber band stuff. It's been 11 weeks and he's only now allowing me to swim; he freaks if I even say the word "jog." He and the OS say that it's still a "recent" injury and I need to be patient and let it heal; they're still talking weeks until real exercise can resume. So, maybe yours isn't so unusual... On the other hand, the OS only diagnosed my MCL sprain, but my PT pushed hard for the MRI one month later and it showed a torn ACL and MCL as well as bone bruising. Make sure you're not understating your symptoms; insist on the MRI if needed. At least you'd know whether to be worried or not.
Updated Thu Apr 29 2010