It’s Not Fun to Have a Sprained M-C-L. It’s Not Fun to Have a Sprained M-C-L.
Yes, the title of this blog posting should be sung to the tune of YMCA.
On Wednesday night at hockey, I twisted my knee. I’d like to say that it was in some heroic act, like scoring the game winning goal in overtime, but alas it was by running into my own defencewomen in a playoff game that we would ultimately go on to lose, thus being eliminated from the playoffs. I went flying one way and my knee went flying the other way and now I’m pretty sure I have a grade 1 sprain of the medial collateral ligament (MCL).
As far as knee injuries go, this is one of the better ones to have. If you twist your knee and hear a popping sound and if your knee can’t bear weight after that, you’ve likely damaged your anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and that can require surgery. A torn meniscus, or an actual tear in the MCL or its partner from the other side of the knee, the lateral collateral ligament (LCL), or a tear in the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), or a fractured patella (a.k.a., knee cap) are all other ways one could injure their knee in worse ways than this.
I happened to already have a massage appointment booked yesterday, and I also talked to one of the trainers at my gym, and both agreed with my self-diagnosis that a grade 1 sprain of the MCL is likely what I have. It’s a stiff knee and some pain on the medial (inside) of the knee, most bothersome when going down stairs (as you load the weight onto the knee in such a way that that ligament bears a lot of your weight). The recommendation for a sprained MCL is to keep the knee moving, but take it easy1. And it should get better in a week or two2. The massage therapist also worked on the muscles around that knee that are working overtime to compensate for the MCL, especially this one muscle in the back of the knee (the popliteus) and my adductor muscles that were insanely tight. So once the knee feels better, adductor stretches are going to be added into my workout warm ups and cool downs for sure!
- Diagram of the ligaments of the knee is from
- Diagram of the muscles of the hip is the work of Beth Ohara, who has shared it via a Creative Commons BY-SA 3.0 license in Wikimedia Commons.
- And to be careful to avoid limping. And since I’m well aware of the dangers of limping around on an injury I am being very deliberate in planting my foot with every step and walking as normally as I can. [↩]
- So the silver lining to both of my teams getting knocked out of the playoffs on Wednesday night is that I know have a few weeks off from hockey so that my knee can heal before the start of summer season. [↩]