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Author Topic: MCL sprain questions  (Read 930 times)

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Offline RVM

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MCL sprain questions
« on: October 30, 2009, 03:20:11 AM »
I have a couple of questions concerning my MCL.

Let me give a brief history.

March 2008
Took a nasty fall while snowboarding.  Hurt my right knee but was able to get down the mountain.  Rode for a couple more hours then stopped for lunch.  Took a nap and upon waking couldn't put any weight on the knee.  Went to the emergency room, doctor took a XRay, pronounced a minor MCL sprain, gave me some ibuprofen and said to take it easy for awhile.  It never felt "unstable".

I did just that, no PT or anything.  A couple of months later my knee felt good and I forgot all about.

March 2009
Snowboarding again.  Twisted my right knee while at the same time flexing it.  Knee moved medially, I felt and heard a "pop" and I went down.  I stopped for a few minutes then rode down the mountain and went home.  Pain gradually increased, though it never was as intense as the pain from the first injury.  Gave it rest, ice and elevation.  After a few days I started working on extending and flexing my leg.  Full extension hurt bad, but flexion felt fine.  I didn't feel any instability at all.  After about 10-14 days I was able to limp on it, though the medial side of my knee was very stiff.  I started doing a basic bodyweight workout.  Lunges, pushup, pullups etc. and that really helped a lot but there was still a bit of pain here and there, especially with external rotation of the tibia (that's how ritwas rotated at the time of injury).  Upon advice of a fellow snowboarder I started riding a stationary bike 2-3 times a week for about 30 minutes each session. 

I saw an orthopaedist at this point, maybe about 6-8 weeks after the injury and he bent and twisted my knee in lots of directions and said I was fine and to keep up with my workout.  He never took any xray or MRI.  Well, around August (5 months after injury) I trusted my knee well enough to start a more intense workout routine.  My MCL sometimes felt tight in the mornings, especially after a training day, but walking around for 30 seconds normally resolved this.  I still felt occassional pangs of pain on the medial side of my knee at what appears to be the spot where the MCL connects to my fibula (the thigh bone yes?), which is where I felt the majority of the pain.  This pain was especially acute when my foot was rotated externally.  It felt solid and stable, however, so I went ahead with the more intense workout.  This workout included very heavy deep squats and deadlifting.  My knee has felt solid since I started the routine in August, and no pain at all during my workouts.  I squat 3 times a week.

Well, here it is nearly November and I still have a bit of pain on the medial side of my knee.  It's not very bad, feels more like a light bruise, and it isn't there all the time.  Any kind of side to side movement of my knee, whether medially or laterally tends to make this pain a little worse, though not greatly so.  External rotation of the tibia can causes acute pain, though not nearly so bad as it was just a few months ago.

So my question is this: is there anything I should be concerned about?  I am in the US and was laid off so I have no insurance, that's why I am asking here.  My last ortho said (and everything I have read says the same) that pain should be gone aftera few months.  Yet here it is almost 8 months later and I still feel some discomfort and occassional pain, especially when doing dynamic activities such as running or plyometric workouts.

I really want to go back to snowboarding again this winter but frankly I am petrified at the thought of injuring my knee a third time.  It feels strong and stable but the nagging pain scares me.

I am trying to get an appointment at the county health clinic with an ortho but in the meantime I was hoping for some advice.