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knee ligament stuff

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
(posted for those interested in healing time for such injuries)

I had the pleasure of experiencing a grade 2 tear of the left MCL on The Last Run of the Day at Baldy, last March 6, when, after grabbing some TINY!!!! air, I landed, kept going, but the skis stayed put.

I was on crutches for a week, hobbling for a couple more weeks, then walking with a limp a couple months. (I'm guessing; I didn't keep exact tabs on rate of progress, which was steady but quite slow.)

It was not the wisest thing to do but I skied Mammoth in early May and got away with it.

Since then, much bike time, and the degree to which I can extend my knee has steadily increased. Leg strength is back to 100%, though extension tops out at about 95%. When I wake in the morning and stretch, the knee sort of quivers (like it has to wake up, too), and I don't know when I'll be able to squat completely. (I do leg presses and hamstring curls in the gym.) I'd guess, based on current rate of progress, maybe mid-0ctober, perhaps sooner.

I'm guessing I'll feel it in the knee, too, when the first cooler (and damper) weather hits, as I felt it before summer came along.

post #2 of 3
Ryan sorry to hear about the knee....

I did mine a few years back.... quite by luck (& a little persistence with phone calls) I found a sports medicine doc from our Australian Institute of Sport.....

He prescribed almost the opposite to your story & that link.....

1) Ice 10mins/hour (not long term as in tghe link) for 24-48 hours... along with Rest Compression Elevation (yes RICE)... remember the rest is relative not complete... then alternate heat/cold & antiinflammatories

2) NO CRUTCHES.... he said I had to keep trying to walk on that knee to regain movement range.... no running but no crutches.... I worked with a whole floor full of doctors & they ALLL freaked out at the lack of crutches but it seems that is the go if teh knee is not unstable....

3) Exercise... I saw him 4 days after the accident & started work in tghe swimming pool the same day.... (Kick board freestyle & backsttroke only)
1 leg squats started the same week as did bike work.... yes the exercise was most uncomfortable - but yes he insisted on it...... I was made to do those damn squats so many times a day it was not funny & he forced them to be low - with knee coming further forward than toe....

4) Tape - knee got taped once it got "let out" of the intense workout phase... & he said forget the knee brace unless I wanted to spend BIG dollars .... tape ran around mid thigh & calf & then 2 strips ran connecting those rings. the 2 strips crossed at the MCL....
post #3 of 3
I tore the MCL in my right knee a few years ago, and here was my experience:

1. I actually skied with a brace two weeks later. (Not smart, but it worked out OK--I could ski, I just couldn't walk.)

2. It was painful every day for about a year, then intermittently painful for a year after that, now it only occasionally hurts.

3. Got full strength and full movement back--if you're going to tear a knee ligament, it's the one to tear, since it grows back. Spent a little money on physical therapy and iced it after exercise. Ice and ibuprophen are your friends, as they combat swelling

4. Be careful not to screw up your walking gait--I had other knee pain, and finally figured out that it was because I walked with my right foot splayed out. Once I corrected my walk, that pain went away.

5. The advice I got was to strengthen all the muscles around the knee to avoid re-injury, so I've spent a lot of time in the weight room since. (Which is OK, since I'm a recreational ski racer. I find (A) I'm a lot stronger now than I was when I hurt it; (B) I still tweak it and get minor pain occasionally (probably a little meniscus damage in the same crash; but (C) my knee hurts a lot less with regular exercise than it does when I don't work out regularly; and (D) since most of my exercises are quad-oriented (squats, lunges) I work my hamstrings on isolation machines to avoid muscle imbalances.
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