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MCL Injury

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MCL Injury

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MCL Injury Treatment in Dubai at Emirates Hospitals Group. Our Orthopedic Department is staffed with some of the best orthopedic surgeons in Dubai having UK and German board-certifications ensuring the highest standards of treatment and patient care. Among the various knee injuries we treat, Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) injuries are common and require expert attention for effective recovery.

Understanding MCL Injuries

The MCL is a strong band of tissue connecting the shinbone (tibia) to the thighbone (femur) on the inner side of the knee. It helps prevent the knee from bending inwards excessively. MCL injuries typically occur from a forceful blow to the outer side of the knee, often during sports activities like football or skiing. A sudden twisting motion can also cause an MCL sprain.

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Symptoms of an MCL Injury

The severity of an MCL injury determines the intensity of your symptoms. Here’s what to watch out for:

  • Pain: Pain along the inner side of the knee joint is the most common symptom.
  • Tenderness: The area around the MCL will be tender to the touch.
  • Swelling: Swelling may occur within a few hours of the injury.
  • Stiffness: The knee may feel stiff and have a limited range of motion.
  • Instability: In severe cases, the knee may feel unstable, especially when trying to bear weight.

When to Seek Medical Attention

While mild MCL sprains often heal on their own with conservative treatment, some situations require immediate medical attention from the Knee Injury Clinic at Emirates Hospitals Group:

  • Severe pain: If the pain is unbearable and interferes with daily activities, a doctor’s evaluation is crucial.
  • Significant swelling: Excessive swelling can indicate a more serious injury.
  • Instability: Difficulty bearing weight on the injured knee or a feeling of instability requires immediate medical attention.
  • Inability to bend or straighten the knee: Loss of movement in the knee joint warrants a doctor’s visit.

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Diagnosis of MCL Injuries

Our experienced doctors at the Knee Injury Clinic will conduct a thorough evaluation to diagnose an MCL injury. This typically involves:

  • Detailed Medical History: Your doctor will inquire about your symptoms, the mechanism of the injury, and your activity level.
  • Physical Examination: The doctor will assess your knee for swelling, tenderness, range of motion, and stability. Specific tests may be performed to check for ligament laxity (looseness).
  • Imaging Tests: X-rays are usually used to rule out bone fractures. In some cases, an MRI scan may be necessary to confirm the severity of the MCL tear and assess other potential injuries.

Treatment Procedures

Non-Surgical Treatments

Most MCL injuries can be treated non-surgically, especially if they are mild to moderate:

  • Rest and Activity Modification: Resting the knee and avoiding activities that aggravate the injury are essential. Modifying activities to reduce stress on the knee helps in the healing process.
  • Ice Application: Applying ice to the injured area helps reduce pain and swelling.
  • Compression and Elevation: Using a compression bandage and elevating the leg can further reduce swelling.
  • Physical Therapy: A structured physical therapy program focuses on strengthening the muscles around the knee, improving flexibility, and restoring normal function.
  • Bracing: Wearing a knee brace provides additional support and stability during the healing process.

Surgical Intervention

Surgery is considered when the injury is severe or when non-surgical treatments fail to provide relief:

  • Surgical Repair: In cases of severe tears, surgical repair of the MCL may be necessary. The procedure involves stitching the torn ends of the ligament back together.
  • Reconstruction: In some instances, reconstruction using a graft from another tendon in the body may be required.

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Recovery Process and Protocols

The recovery timeline for an MCL injury can vary depending on the severity of the sprain. Mild sprains may heal within a few weeks, while moderate injuries can take 4-6 weeks. Severe MCL tears with significant ligament damage may require a longer recovery period, potentially involving bracing and physical therapy for several months.

Frequently Asked Questions

MCL injuries are typically caused by a direct blow to the outer side of the knee or by a severe twisting motion. They are common in sports that involve sudden changes in direction, such as football, soccer, basketball, and skiing. Athletes participating in these sports are at higher risk of sustaining an MCL injury.

Our orthopedic specialists diagnose MCL injuries through a combination of a detailed physical examination and advanced imaging techniques. During the physical exam, the doctor will assess pain, swelling, and knee stability. Imaging tests, such as MRI and X-rays, help determine the extent of the injury and rule out other associated conditions.

Non-surgical treatments for MCL injuries include rest, ice application, compression, and elevation (RICE), along with physical therapy and bracing. These methods aim to reduce pain and swelling, improve knee stability, and restore range of motion. Physical therapy plays a crucial role in strengthening the muscles around the knee and promoting healing.

Surgery is considered for severe MCL tears or when non-surgical treatments fail to alleviate symptoms and restore knee function. Surgical options include repairing the torn ligament or reconstructing it using a graft. Our orthopedic surgeons will thoroughly evaluate your condition and recommend the most appropriate treatment plan.

The recovery process varies based on the severity of the injury and the type of treatment received. For non-surgical treatments, recovery typically involves several weeks of rehabilitation, focusing on regaining strength and flexibility. Post-surgical recovery includes a structured rehabilitation program with phases targeting pain reduction, range of motion restoration, strength training, and functional exercises. Full recovery can take several months, and our team will provide a personalized rehabilitation plan to ensure optimal results.

Last update date: 27-06-2024

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