Advertisement - Hide this advert





Author Topic: grade 3 MCL tear  (Read 9491 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Will__K

  • MICROgeek (<20 posts)
  • *
  • Posts: 16
  • Liked: 0
grade 3 MCL tear
« on: June 29, 2009, 02:23:48 PM »
Hi All

During sports I tore my MCL 16 days ago - I had to weight 12 days before seeing an orthopaedic Dr - he seemed very confident that it is a grade 3 - complete tear of the MCL - the doctor  sent me to another department to get a hinged knee brace put on; locked at 15 degrees and told me i'd get a letter giving me an MRI appointment in a week or two.

the question I have is this - with a grade 3 mcl tear - 2 weeks after incident - should I be taking my hinged knee brace off a few times a day to exercise the knee to maintain range of motion? or should I just leave the damn thing to stifffen up like a conrete block day after day of imobilisation? I'm semi-weightbearing the knee as well (little or no pain) while using crutches; not sure if i should be doing this either?
any advice would be great.
thanks for your help
Will

Offline Hope83

  • MINIgeek (20-50 posts)
  • **
  • Posts: 25
  • Liked: 0
Re: grade 3 MCL tear
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2009, 08:35:59 PM »
Hello Will-

I feel your pain because I had a complete MCL tear while playing basketball. This was a very painful injury, as you know, so PT was very difficult. That being said, they started working on my range of motion the next day because they didn't want me to lose ROM and have unneeded scar tissue developing. As you know probably know, the MCL has to scar over to heal itself...so if ROM isn't worked on...there is the potential for the scar tissue to get too fibrous.

I would be a little concerned if you haven't moved your knee in 2 weeks...especially if it is locked at 15 degrees. Do you take it off the work on your motion at all? I would wear the brace when not working on range of motion because while your MCL is still healing, your leg is very unstable and if it opens up, it could cause damage.

I hope this helps. You could also google protocol for complete MCL tears, and I'm sure you will see the schools of thought on getting motion back quickly and what not. Have you voiced your concern to your doctor? do you have a PT?

Good luck! Let me know if you have any more questions!
Oct 2006- ACl Tear, MCL complete tear, Lateral meniscus partial tear. -GO TRIAD!
Dec 2006- Patellar ACL recon, Lateral meniscus repair
June 2007- plica resection, arthrofibrosis scar resection surgery,cartilage debridement
Oct 2008- diagnostic scope and debridement
June 2009- awaiting cart transp

Offline Will__K

  • MICROgeek (<20 posts)
  • *
  • Posts: 16
  • Liked: 0
Re: grade 3 MCL tear
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2009, 11:12:13 AM »
thanks for your reply, I take it off a few time a day and rock my knee slowly forward and back (around 30 degrees - at which point it gets very stiff) - to be honest im based in London and the system of seeing doctors, surgeons, getting mri scan etc in extremely slow so there's nobody to ask until my appointment next week. I'm thinking I should try to slowly increase ROM by myself up to maybe 120 degrees or whatever - bit by bit - without causing too much pain obviously. I'm just afraid that my doctor ordered the brace locked at 15 degrees for a good reason and on that basis I'm reluctant to exercise my knee much further than 30 degrees? maybe the 15 degree lock is just a safety thing to stop the joint giving way while im walking?

by the way - is it ok to fully weight bear 17 days after the accident  if there's hardly any pain?
thanks again!

Offline Hope83

  • MINIgeek (20-50 posts)
  • **
  • Posts: 25
  • Liked: 0
Re: grade 3 MCL tear
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2009, 05:20:20 PM »
Eeww, that stinks that it takes awhile to get into your doctor...but at least you are getting in!

I would think that because you don't have a bone break of some sort and because it has been over two weeks, that you would be able to full weight bear with your brace--especially if you don't have pain with it. This will help your quad muscle to regain strength---but that is only if you don't have bone issues, as those need to heal.

Yes, your knee is going to be VERY stiff when doing flexion, but you don't want your knee to lock up from being bent for a long time while also swollen.

Since you don't have a physical therapist helping you, something is better than nothing and I think that you are on the right track by gradually working on your flexion (bending). I would sit on the ground and do heel slides with or without a towel. It is where you slowly slide your foot on the floor towards your butt. If you hook a towel around your ankle and gently pull towards you...that is also helpful. 30 degrees is very minimal, it would seems that after 2 weeks, your doctor would expect you to have more ROM. The more you work on it, the better you will get. I would only do 2x a day and gentle though...you wouldn't want to over do it.  Ice afterwards for 20 min and take anti-inflammatories to keep it from getting aggravated:).

Do you have full extension? Is your extension identical to your other leg? If not... you should (with your brace off) put rolled up towels under your heel  while you sit on the floor and just let your leg hang. Sit there for an 30 min or so if it is comfortable....but less if it's not. If you don't have extension, it is the hardest to regain, and the most essential for everyday function (usually). You could also lay on your bed and let your legs hang off the edge of the bed.


I would increase your ROM in therapy...but as far as walking, I think that you should keep it pretty conservative until you see your doctor.

Also, are you doing quad sets? This is non-weight bearing and will help get your quad going!

I hope this helps! I am of course only going from what I know and what my dr's and therapists told me.

Good luck!
Oct 2006- ACl Tear, MCL complete tear, Lateral meniscus partial tear. -GO TRIAD!
Dec 2006- Patellar ACL recon, Lateral meniscus repair
June 2007- plica resection, arthrofibrosis scar resection surgery,cartilage debridement
Oct 2008- diagnostic scope and debridement
June 2009- awaiting cart transp

Offline littlemkygrl

  • MICROgeek (<20 posts)
  • *
  • Posts: 2
  • Liked: 0
Re: grade 3 MCL tear
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2009, 12:28:30 AM »
Do as much as you can.  I have received very poor care for my MCL injury.  It took 2 months before physical therapy, and in the meanwhile I tried what I could riding a stationary bike.  That really helped until I slipped in the shower and re-injured myself.  I didn't do any range of motion exercises, and lost the little bit of progress I did have.  Do what you can now, and it will make recovery a little easier.

Offline Will__K

  • MICROgeek (<20 posts)
  • *
  • Posts: 16
  • Liked: 0
Re: grade 3 MCL tear
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2009, 03:38:31 PM »
cheers for the replies folks, just got my MRI done 3 days ago but now have to wait 3 weeks before I get to visit doctor to get results - that will be a total of almost 2 months before my knee injury is properly diagnosed which is a bit slack to be honest. Anyway, in the mean time my knee seems to be coming on a lot - since I stopped wearing the brace 5 days ago I've now regained full flexion and extention and stopped wearing the crutches - the knee is still a bit stiff and the MCL is still quite tender at full flexion and extention but I can walk around weight bearing no problem and have even starting doing mini-squats and 1 legged squats to strenghten the muscles.

I'm starting to suspect that maybe it was just a severe grade 2 instead of the grade 3 the doc diagnosed - however the knee gave way a few days ago while at full extention; felt really unstable so I hope the ACL isn't damaged as well. And now I have the problem that my hip is killing me as I still havn't got out of the habit of walking funny to compensate for a painful knee (which aint painfull anymore). Anyway, gonna bring my MRI image to a friend of a friend for a second opinion as I can't wait 3 weeks for the appointment with the NHS doc.
thanks again















support