or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

mcl strain and leg brace

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I had an MRI and have an mcl strain. My knee is swollen and there is some pain. I still do some skiing and have little discomfort while skiing. The question is this: Will a knee brace allow me to continue to ski? Thanks.
post #2 of 15
I have heard two versions about knee and leg braces. First they do help. Second version, they mask a worsening situation which can only be solved by rehab.

Suggest you seek a sports medicne expert familiar with skier injuries.

Happy New Year....

[ January 01, 2003, 06:43 AM: Message edited by: wink ]
post #3 of 15
Ice your knee for 20 minutes, wait for 2 hours and repeat. This works wonders. If it's only strained the mcl will heal itself. Imo a leg brace works more on your head than on your knee.
post #4 of 15
Get to the gym. Strengthen the muscles around it. You'll be fine.
post #5 of 15
Can only tell you what happened to me with same.

Sports medicine doc who worked at our Australian Institute of Sport said that unless you go TOP of line custom made knee brace - yeah the REALLY expensive suckers - you can forget it - too much movement available. Tape it - with the heavy duty sports tape. Ouch - but yeah it works & I undrwrap with mefix/fixomull. get a sports physio to show you how to tape.

The other necessity is exercise - I spent weeks kicking up & down a pool with a kick board. & riding bikes & doing 1 leg knee bends & etc - Get someone to do an assessment & give you exercises.

From memory I had to have about 4 weeks off snow & rehab HARD & then they let me back but I was taped ALL season.

Again from memory - but that ligament will always be a little loose(compared to before) - so you should make sure you keep leg strong to support the knee area
post #6 of 15
Hi Dan,

From what Ive heard, braces prohibit some of the movement that strains the knee...ACL anyway, however, in most cases, any serious injury occurs before the brace even engages.

I spoke with my Dr. about this after an ACL tear. he suggested and wrote a scrip for a brace. I told him that in the circles i ski in, that braces are considered ineffective and more confidence-booster than anything else...he gave me the "Weeelll, yes, but, im going to write you a script anyway..."

I have heard of people who wear a neoprene brace anyway, not for stability but for warmth....I dont as I hate anything that restricts my natural movement.

this was after I had a reconstruction. you may need the extra support to ski with an injury though, I would find a good physical therapist who specializes in jsports and have him/her give you an opinion, also, a good routine to strengthen and stabilize the knee before skiing again.

I guess im just trying to say dont rely soley on a brace to help...you need to strengthen the muscles surrounding the area so they can stablilze..check out all the good posts on ACLs and MCLs in the fitness and health section...LOTS of good advice there....
post #7 of 15
I have had a complete tear and a partial tear of my MCL. The treatment was the same for both. Forthe full tear, my leg was put in a solid brace to keep me from bending my leg. I wore it for a month and then started rehab. For the partial tear, I wore it for about two weeks and started rehab. I had also tore both my ACL's, so it is hard to say what the rehab time is, but my doc isolated my MCL before fixing my ACL's. I would not ski for a couple of weeks and let the thing heal, and go see a sports med. doc to see exactly what he/sh recommends to do.
post #8 of 15
I'm confused. Can ACLs heal on their own? I thought that they can only be "repaired" through surgery.
post #9 of 15
ACLs are like rubber bands stretched really taut...once partially torn, or fully severed, they CANNOT heal on their own, due to this tension. your options are live without, or repair, and anyone with an active, athletic lifestyle are reccomended to be repaired.

just an FYI for anyone who cares...TODAY is exactly ONE YEAR to the day that I had my new ACL installed..... (that was the beginning of the most horrific three months of my life)

I think ill leave work and go skiing to celebrate....
post #10 of 15

I'm no expert, but think of the mechanics.

If the tear is "partial" the repair can be preformed by the body. It may not be as good as new, because ligs. are like that.
Immobilization will speed the process with minimum scaring and retearing.

If the tear is complete, the lig. has separated from the bone, or parted in it's middle. Who knows where it has ended up? The ligament end could be balled up somewhere in the back of your knee. Balled up, it may fuse to it's self and become useless as a repair part for future surgical action. Flopping around, it may get caught in the workings of your knee joint. Not good!

The chance of that situation finding a repair path on it's own is about as good as getting 3 alternating snow days with bluebird days on a weeks ski vacation.

The body is an amazing thing, and could provide you with a miracle!

post #11 of 15
The ACL is one of the main stabilizing ligaments of the knee. The ACL helps stabilize the knee by preventing excessive forward movement or rotation of the shin bone (tibia) on the thigh bone (femur). If the ACL is significantly damaged the knee can feel "unstable" or it may "give out". Depending on the type and severity of the injury, other structures in the knee may be damaged in addition to the ACL. There may be injuries to the "shock absorbing" cartilage (menisci), the collateral ligaments (MCL or LCL), the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) or to the bones of the knee. The degree of injury to the ACL may vary. In some cases the ACL may only be partially torn or in more serious cases the ACL may be completely torn. Unfortunately, the ACL does not have the ability to completely heal once it is injured.
read the rest of the article and much more info here:

Knee pain info

Find a good DR. that will take the time to discuss all your options.

consider the rubber band....take one and stretch it taut. now, take a razor blade and put a little nick in one side. What happens? Now, consider this a moving joint, and its skiing. up, down, up down, tighten, release, tighten....now you hit a bump, a quick motion....what happens to the nick now? it wont take long until it is in two peices.

Ive posted this before and again, not for those who dont have a strong stomach. but the first pictures show the two peices, and the last show a repaired complete ACL....

yucky knee surgery pics

most drs. (in my not-an-expert experience) consider a partial tear to be the same as a complete tear, the thing is gone, and useless.

BUT see a dr! one whose done this before! and undeerstands your need for an ACL!

[ January 03, 2003, 09:02 AM: Message edited by: LindaA ]
post #12 of 15
While the ACL cannot heal on its own when completly torn, the MCL can and does not require surgery, only immobilization. This is because their is a much better blood supply to the area around the MCL, while the area around the ACL has very little blood supply. This topic got off track a little bit. The injury in question is a strained MCL, not an ACL injury. Your best bet is to see a sports doc for several reasons:

1. Because your MCL is damaged, your knee is put into a more jeopardizing situation. Even a small fall in the wrong way can completely tear the MCL at this point. The other ligaments in your knee are not designed to do what your MCL does and cannot handle the increased strain placed on them by a degraded MCL.

2. Continuing to use the knee as you are runs the risk of the MCL never healing properly and would require a surgery to repair it. The ligament can reattach to the wrong spot, become more elastic, or never heal at all.

3. Missing a full January is a lot better than missing a full season of skiing, I kniow, I've had to do both before.
post #13 of 15
Crew cut

The Australian Institute of Sports doc that I saw says immobilising an MCL strain/tear is out now.

I was encouraged to get in the pool from about 3-4 days post injury. (Note - pool - non-weight bearing) Also to attempt to straighten the knee as much as I could each day - without hurting.
He emphasised doing NOTHING that put a strain on the leg sideways. NADA. Hence freestyle kicking ONLY in pool etc etc.
post #14 of 15
Oh & that advice matches with what our AFL footballers do.
I checked with a sports physio who works with them(they get a LOT of knee problems - jumping(onto another guys shoulders) running & twisting on uneven grass surfaces. I worked with a whole floor full of doctors at the time & they FREAKED when I was sent to the pool - so I checked it out.
post #15 of 15

Good to hear. I guess my MCL injuries were different because of other ligament tears due to the same accident, that's probably why I was put into an immobilization splint.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav: