Wednesday, 28 February 2007

Medial Collateral Ruptured!

She was running down the hill slope when she landed her foot into a small hole and felt something snap and felt a sharp pain in the inner part of her left knee. She fell over and grimaced in pain. Her athlete quickly took her by the shoulders and helped her up to the clinic at the sports complex.

Elaine knew that her knee was in bad shape. She could hardly stand properly and the knee seemed to be twisted outwards. 10 years ago she had an injury to the same knee but she could still walk with little support.

"Looks like you've really torn your medial collateral ligament", I said to her. We quickly got her to ice the knee and prepared her file for physical examination. She had the full range of movement(ROM) which was quite 'pain-free' but she had severe tenderness and moderate swelling at the femoral attachment of the MCL. There was mobility of the leg when it was stressed outwards. Her tests for Anterior Cruciate and Posterior Cruciate ligaments were normal. She was lucky that there was no joint effusion (swelling in the joint due to accumulation of fluid e.g. joint fluid, blood, pus).

"Your MCL is complete torn clinically, but you should be back in 2-3 months time with rehabilitation if nothing else is torn", I said. She was given a functional knee brace and sent for an X-ray. Her X-rays came back normal except for the fluid shadow. We planned her for an MRI within the next 3 days to ensure that the other structures like meniscus and cruciate ligaments were not torn.

She was told to continue icing her knee every 4 hourly and focus on isometric exercises for her quadriceps and hamstrings for the next 1 week. Zul, the physiotherapist was quick to show her the rehabilitation chart. He told Elaine that she would need to progress in stages as she improves her strength, stability and function of her knees. he also planned hydrotherapy sessions for her to maintain her 'aerobic' fitness

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