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Author Topic: Self diagnosis and therapy: Believed MCL sprain, ROM questions, etc.  (Read 757 times)

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Offline fintip

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Short version:

I think I have a recovering MCL sprain. It's been 12 days. I can now walk normally, though I could not walk at all on day 1. My main limitation seems to be a deep crouch/squat, which matters to me, because in BJJ this position is a constant.

How to go about extending that range of motion? My reading seems to indicate basically just: hold it as far as you can painfully tolerate for 15 minutes at a time repeatedly every day. Is that it?

What else should I be doing to make sure I'm covering all the bases?

I have no doctor, no physio, no insurance, so it's all on me. Just want to make sure I don't miss anything in my own rehab  design here.


So, 12 days ago, I was in a Judo class, and went for a throw against an opponent that was trying a little too hard not to get thrown... Though he is higher ranked than me, I beat him at a state tournament the week before, and he was clearly trying to vindicate himself a bit.

This resulted in me, in turn, also trying a bit too hard.

The combination resulted in a knee injury. At the time, the feeling reminded me of an ankle sprain, but in the knee. (I've never had a hint of knee injury in my life, so this was my speculation). Intuitively, it felt like it bent laterally in a way it shouldn't, but not too far. No snapping or popping. I was able to walk immediately afterwards, and even help put the heavy exercise mats away. I seemed to have complete range of motion, which I checked slowly and carefully on the floor before standing again.

However, over the next three hours a limp developed, and in the middle of the night I woke up thirsty, but the weight of the covers on my foot was providing enough rotational force on the knee to... cause it severe discomfort. I had to move the covers carefully off it, by hand--just moving my leg through the covers to the side of the bed was out of the question.

By the next morning, I could not walk, and had to crawl to the bathroom, carefully dragging my leg behind me on a pillow.

I have no insurance, but I'm pretty good at research. By day three I could hobble around decently. Rotational force seemed to be my limitation. I ran into two friends who uses to be in sports medicine in high school and college, and got two basic tests: lachman for the ACL, which seemed fine (not a 100% guarantee of ACL continuity, since I probably have very tight knees from general good physical shape, as I maintain 14% body fat and do martial arts 5x a week competitively), and the 'grinding tibia into femur' meniscus test (can't remember name?) which gave me no pain, which suggests good things there.

My MCL is the site of soreness/tenderness, and everything else seems fine as far as I can tell, so it looks like I got lucky.

What's crazy is how fast I've recovered. I can lightly jog, go up stairs, down stairs, squat, balance on one foot, whatever pretty well already. I just have very small, subtle pain/soreness related to obscure movements--but my gait is 100% normal already.

All that remains, it seems, is pain from a deep crouch, and pain from inner sweeping movements against force (and even that is ok as long as the force is very light--think passing a soccer ball... if the ball was unmoving and it was a light kick, no problem, but a quick or hard pass on a moving ball would be painful).

So, as I posed above:

Does my diagnosis seem correct,
Is there anything else you can think that I should check,
Is my healing speed really as unusually fast as it feels,
How should I properly go about extending my range of motion and full recovery at this point?

If it helps, I can post video of anything needed to demonstrate.