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Treat Your Own World Cup Medial Knee Ligament Injury

The medial collateral ligament of the knee is relatively frequently injured in vigorous activities and sports such as the football we are all watching in the World Cup. A collateral ligament injury can be minor or be very severe and require medical management, but most injuries just need proper treatment to resolve over several weeks. The medial knee ligament is a wide strap of ligamentous tissue which runs down the inside of the knee joint and holds the femur and tibia together on that side. This knee ligament prevents the knee being forced into the knock knee posture unless the forces are high, such as in a tackle, when the ligament might suffer a tear or a rupture.

Knee ligament injuries are immediately obvious, there is a sudden and sharp pain over the inside of the knee during the tackle or fall and you know they have done something. Afterwards the injured part throbs and may interfere with normal walking to some degree. If the ligament is ruptured and the knee feels unstable then medical review should be sought. Along with pain there may be knee swelling although this usually takes some hours to come up, being more obvious the next day. Initial treatment is to prevent further stresses through the knee and a knee brace can be useful to stop this occurring. The knee should be rested for a few days with regular practice of maintenance knee exercises.

Ice or cold therapy and compression are important techniques to manage and ease acute knee pain and knee swelling, with the compression applied as soon as possible by a bandage and the knee kept firmly strapped for several days whilst watching the leg circulation is OK Physiotherapy knee exercises will include quadriceps contractions to keep the major muscle working and the knee may be splinted or kept in around 30 degrees of bend where all the structures are most relaxed.

Once the pain reduces the knee can be bent gently to the beginnings of pain and the quadriceps exercises progressed to a straight knee position. You should have as normal a gait as possible and progress your knee exercises to using small weights, then going up small steps, then using larger steps and standing up and sitting down from a chair without arm assistance. Final work included balance and joint position sense and sport practice before return to normal activity once the knee has full range, power and no pain.


Author: Jonathan Blood-Smyth

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