If you have ever torn your MCL (Medial Collateral Ligament), you know how much it can hurt, how frustrating the recovery can be and how important it is to properly rehabilitate. So, just how long does it take to recover from an MCL injury and how can you prevent further damage? Let's take a look.
MCL injury during sport
Two weeks ago, Sydney Roosters back-rower Angus Crichton had to leave the field during their game against the Canberra Raiders, with a now confirmed grade 2 MCL tear and it's likely he will be out of action for around 3-6 weeks.
This is a common scenario with impact sports and activities which involve frequent, and quick, turning and pivoting.
When it comes to recovery from a ligament injury, whether it’s MCL, ACL or something else, effective rehab and bracing not only speeds up recovery, but greatly reduces the risk of re-injury.
There are two key aspects of recovering from a ligament injury, whether you’ve just injured your knee or you want to be ready in case something happens.
Knee brace for MCL injury
While surgeons and physios take varied approaches to the recovery of a ligament, science shows clearly that using an effective range-controlled brace to manage such an injury, minimises pain, speeds up recovery of the joint and removes the necessity of surgery (in many cases).
Selecting the right brace is crucial, and Bauerfeind SecuTec Genu Knee Brace sets the standard when treating MCL and ACL injuries. The SecuTec Genu uses world-leading German design and medical engineering, refined over decades of research, and combined it with comfortable material for the perfect fit.
It has a simple-to-use fast buckle system and is made from lightweight aeroplane aluminium, the SecuTec Genu also allows you to 'step into' the brace, compared with others on the market which could potentially cause more damage and pain.
Additionally, the brace can be worn at all stages of recovery as it is adjustable while you are regaining movement in the knee. Here's what Roosters player Angus Crichton said when he first tried on the SecuTec Genu:
“This feels so good and comfortable, it’s way better than the other brace I was in, that old one kept slipping down and I still felt the pain.”
So if you tear a ligament, rather than sitting by and waiting for a long recovery, or using a poorly made brace that doesn’t help, try the SecuTec Genu. It will protect your knee to speed up recovery and allow you to get back into training.
Physio and strengthening for MCL injuries
Wearing a knee brace will help however is best done alongside targeted strengthening and training.
While you can’t strengthen the ligament itself, targeted exercise and strengthening of the muscles around your ligaments help to unload the pressure, and greatly help to minimise the risk of re-injury.
Targeting the glutes, quads and hamstrings with strengthening exercises helps a lot to allow the MCL to adequately repair.
So, how long does it take to recover from an MCL injury?
It depends on the severity of the injury, some minor tears can repair in a few weeks where moderate to severe injuries, such as Angus Crichton's, can take up to six weeks. Wearing a protective brace and seeing a physio can help get you back to sport sooner and can also protect from further damage in the future.
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Bauerfeind products are developed at our innovation and manufacturing facility in Zeulenroda, Germany. Based on years of scientific research, our award-winning braces and support garments are highly recommended by medical professionals and athletes worldwide.