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how long does it normally take for a MCL sprain to get better?

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Author Topic: MCL sprain, 3 months later  (Read 14331 times)

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Offline robedwards86

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MCL sprain, 3 months later
« on: July 08, 2009, 12:47:10 PM »
hi everyone, im rob and im 19.
i sprained my medial collateral ligament on the 4th of april this year playing rugby and it still has not fully better.
it happened when i was running to catch the ball, looking up in the air at it, not looking where i was going. the pitch was hard and uneven and as the ball went out of play my right knee landed in a fully extended position. if felt a crunch in my knee and heard a kind of popping sound. i imediately fell to the ground in agony and it started to swell straight away. i was obviously unable to continue the game. i was able to walk on it for the rest of that day, with a massive limp, and booked an appointment at the doctors the next morning. that night i didnt get much sleep as i was in so much pain. the next day i could not put any weight on it and the swelling had increased. the doctor diagnosed it as a MCL sprain, gave me a perscription for pain killers and anti inflamitorys and referred me to the physiotherapist. the physio confirmed it as an MCL sprain and gave me a few leg excercises to strengthen the knee, but did not see the need for an MRI scan. the knee slowly got better after about two months so the physio told me to keep doing the excercises and sent me on my way. the knee still didnt have full flexion or extention but i thought it would be ok to run on it. i went on a slow, 4 mile jog and the knee was fine untill 5 days after the run, the swelling increased but thre was little pain. i took the anti inflamitorys again and after 4 days the swelling had gone down but i was unable to sleep again because of the pain. booked an appointment at the physio again and he just thought i was a delayed reaction from the run. i am a little worried that there could me some cartilage damage or a tear in the miniscus. i still havnt had an MRI. a month after the run ( 3 months after the original injury), i still dont have full extention or flexion but the pain has almost gone, appart from when im standing or sitting in the same position for over 10 minutes. it is also stiff and painful in the mornings and if the knee twists at all.
thanks for reading, has anyone got any ideas as to what i should do now (get a second oppinion or get an MRI), or how long it will take to fully recover. thanks, rob.

Offline Will__K

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Re: MCL sprain, 3 months later
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2009, 04:36:03 PM »
Hi, I'm new to the MCL tear game myself (got a grade 3 tear three weeks ago) but I have read widely in the mean time and consulted several medical people. I would say you need to get a second opinion AND an MRI - the mri is the most important; a 'sprain' should be better in around a month - sounds like you had a severe grade 2 tear or even a grade 3 and were under-diagnosed, I've already got full extention of mine and the flexion is improving day by day and after only 3 weeks
Good Luck

Offline littlemkygrl

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Re: MCL sprain, 3 months later
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2009, 12:23:54 AM »
Hi Rob,
I injured my knee in April.  I received a kick to the side of my knee when it was bent at a 90 degree angle.  It popped, immediately swelled and bruised, and I had absolutely no stability in my knee.  I couldn't weight bare either.  Unfortunately, it was during a military training session at another base, and the base doc made me wait until I went back to my home base for an MRI which was a month later. In the mean time, I received a prescription for pain meds to ease the pain, but nothing else.  Since then, the 1st MRI showed nothing.  I've attended physical therapy, but still can't straighten my knee after 14 weeks.  I have received a 2nd MRI that I had to fight for.  I received the results today, and was told I have an MCL sprain and a sprain to the medial portion of my calf muscle.  Basically, the 1st MRI missed the injury, and I've been doing physical therapy (the answer to all military injuries) which has caused complications b/c the physical therapist was told by the doc that I had a flexion contracture.  They were treating the wrong problem.  Bottom line...get the MRI ASAP, and be sure to get a second opinion.  MCL sprains may heal on their own, but you want to be sure they diagnose the problem and get it right.  Also, it is common to have a torn meniscus with MCL & ACL injuries.  This can keep you from having full extension and flexion.  As for the recovery, its going to take time, but the main thing right now is get the right diagnoses so they can give you the right treatment.  One last thing, be proactive in your recovery.  Make sure you demand the MRI.  Otherwise, your doc is going to try the least evasive route which could prolong your recovery.  Hope this helped!