Possible meniscus lesion associated to MCL sprain in a football player

Patient

Q: I suffered a knee injury nearly five months ago when my knee collapsed inwards playing football I visited the MIU and was told that I had sprainedy medial collateral ligament and that it shouldn't take more than a month to heal. During this time the knee has got better but seems to be progressing no more. When I attempt to straighten my knee it often locks just before full extension if I continue to straighten I feel a popping sensation and then I am fully able to straighten the leg. Also I have never regained enough motion to fully bend my knee giving me problems bending down. I have been visiting a sports therapist to try and find out what the problem is as everytine I've been to hospital they seem to just say its my mcl. The sports therapist mentioned my medial meniscus may be damaged as well and that I should of been offered an MRI scan when I injured the knee. Could this be a problem as I'm 5 months down the line now? Any response will be greatly received.

Doctor

A:   Sometimes, depending on the severity of the blow in the knee, the MCL or ACL gets sprained but also the meniscus may be injured at the same time, probably this is your case. Meniscal injuries are a common problem in sports and in young active individuals; they are the most frequent injury to the knee joint. The menisci are C -shaped fibrocartilaginous structures attached to the tibia and their main functions to enhance the contact between the two articular surfaces of the knee: femur and tibia ones.  I strongly recommend an evaluation by an orthopedic doctor or sports medicine specialist including physical and MRI, to determine the current status of your knee problem and accordingly apply the best treatment. I suggest , in the meantime, while you wait for the doctor’s appointment, that you protect your knee reducing loads by postural corrections, activities modification and wearing adequate footgear,  some doctors consider the bracing useful for reassurance and psychological effect, but the results on the efficacy of knee bracing are very variable; you could use the knee taping  or “sleeve”also, but the most important at this time for you is prevent new injuries, exercise to strengthen/stretch quads/hamstrings and avoid , by all means, rotational and abrupt movements that may injured ligaments, meniscus or capsule of the knees.

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