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Had the dreaded "knee pop;" MCL injury?

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  • Had the dreaded "knee pop;" MCL injury?

    The other night in a game, I went to make a long stretch across the crease to stop a shot. Felt/heard a very loud pop in my left knee on the inside of the leg. Leg basically was useless after that. I couldn't even finish the game, had to leave the ice at the end of the first.

    Now basically any sort of twisting/moving of the leg from putting on my socks to getting in and out of my car is painful. I can walk fine, it's just any sort of twisting/turning of the leg that causes discomfort. There has not been any swelling of any kind since the injury occurred. Good/bad? After some googling and searching here, I imagine this is an MCL injury. I have a doctor's appointment on Tuesday to get it checked out (was the earliest they could see me, QQ).

    Positive encouragement until I see the doc? Based on my search results here on the board, quite a few guys have gone through this type of injury and have returned to playing. Here's to hoping I can do the same.

  • #2
    Positive? well the leg does not need to be amputated.

    It does sound like a MCL tear. Recovery depends on the severity of the injury and the agressivness of the treatment. When I blew mine, 2nd degree tear, I did physio and TENS treatment, 3 times a week. After 6 months, the doc cleared me to play baseball with a brace, and when I returned to the ice 9 months later, summer interfered, I did not need any support.

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    • #3
      Has your ice game returned to normal or have you faced any difficulties/issues after your recovery in terms of playing how you used to?

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      • #4
        Welcome to the club Gort. There is really not much you can do except give it time to recover. I had the exact same injury this past winter, and it took nearly 3 months to heal. I still feel the odd twinge, but then I'm old (52).

        I saw a knee surgeon, and the way he determined that it wasn't torn was simple. Have someone hold your leg still, and try to push from side to side. If you feel pain, that is a bad sign.

        Stay off the ice. You can only compound the problem by continuing to play.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Smokey 32 View Post
          Welcome to the club Gort. There is really not much you can do except give it time to recover. I had the exact same injury this past winter, and it took nearly 3 months to heal. I still feel the odd twinge, but then I'm old (52).

          I saw a knee surgeon, and the way he determined that it wasn't torn was simple. Have someone hold your leg still, and try to push from side to side. If you feel pain, that is a bad sign.

          Stay off the ice. You can only compound the problem by continuing to play.
          Yep I don't have any plans to play hockey until I see the doctor and get some advice. I wouldn't have any confidence in trying to perform any save other than a standup save anyways.

          I'm 26 so hopefully the recovery isn't too bad and I can resume playing eventually.

          Thanks for the replies. I've never been more anxious to see a doctor, I hate not knowing wtf is going on.
          Last edited by gort; 06-04-2010, 11:12 AM.

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          • #6
            I've had the same sort of thing happen too many times, and it probably is an MCL sprain. Everyone around me heard it pop, and it was on the same knee that I had surgery on a couple of years back to remove the meniscus, so I was a little alarmed, to say the least.

            Depending on the grade, it could be anything from 2 to 4 months. When mine happened in January, I took about a month off, then came back. My doc did the same stuff that someone else referred to (testing to see if there was pain when jerked side to side, etc), and said that while I probably wouldn't damage anything by playing, it would prevent it from healing. I finally felt good again toward the end of April.

            I used to have these happen when I first started playing in my 20s to a smaller degree and came back pretty quick.

            Good luck!

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            • #7
              I tore my MCL (grade II) doing the same motion - stretching across the crease.

              I did physio, had TENS treatments, and did a lot of stationary cycling. Being over 40, I wanted to make sure I was healed before I came back, so I did it slowly. After about 6 months I started goin to public skates , and was back to my normal routine playing goal in about 9 months.

              That was last spring. I've played the last 12 months pain free. Well, my MCL is pain free. I also damaged my cartilage, and that gets sore sometimes. I didn't know about the cartilage until the harsher pain from the MCL cleared up.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by gort View Post
                Has your ice game returned to normal or have you faced any difficulties/issues after your recovery in terms of playing how you used to?
                My game is pretty much back to normal.

                The first game back was reallt scary though. Went away after the first few saves, but...

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                • #9
                  Sounds like a slight MCL tear. I was actually run and a guy landed on my leg while I made a kick save and it popped.
                  Stay off of your leg. Wear something that will help with stability. I've really been slacking off when it comes to lower body work outs. So my leg will sometimes give out when I walk and make me stumble. An MCL injury is something you'll have to nurse for almost the rest of your life. You have to work out to strengthen the muscles by your knees. Because once the MCL is stretched, it doesn't contract.

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                  • #10
                    Positive encouragement? It's possible that it might not be the MCL. I had a similar sounding injury and it turned out not to be the MCL..........

                    ...............It was a complete tear of the ACL and after surgery, I was out of commission for a year and a half! But no MCL, that's good news, right?

                    Actually, long term the good news is that my knee is 100% now. I don't even wear a brace.

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                    • #11
                      lol how encouraging.

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                      • #12
                        I tore my left ACL and 2.5 months later I was playing again without surgery and three years later I have still not had surgery. I also sprained my Left MCL at that time too and that healed nicely.

                        Now I sit on the sofa resting a right MCL Sprain suffered 2.5 weeks ago.

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                        • #13
                          staxx has some really good advice. Before I went to see the knee surgeon, I spent 2 weeks with my physiotherapist. He prescribed the RICE treatment package that included suggesting a good quality neoprene knee brace for stability. Once the pain subsided after a few weeks, I started the knee strengthening in the gym by working all the muscles in that area. I found light running on the treadmill actually aggravated the knee at first, so I just concentrated on the machines.

                          It's been 6 months since I heard the "pop", and I am now back to playing 2-3 times a week. You will find it amazingly frustrating, but don't rush back!

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                          • #14
                            I agree with what everyone else has said. I had the same thing happen to me back in June but it was discovered to be my meniscus. Since I wasn't out long for this, my only advice is once you're back from the injury, invest in a really good pair neoprene sleeves for your knees. I've found that they have helped me out a ton. Also, I now force myself to workout my lower body when in the gym and by running alot. By strengthening all the muscles around my knee, I've had fewer and fewer problems with my knees from playing goal. Just my 2 cents. Hope you have a speedy recovery.

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                            • #15
                              I've had 2 knee surgeries (both not playing hockey). It sounds like it could be a few different things. Your best bet is to stay off it, ice it, and not make any judgments until you see the doctor. Once you see him do EXACTLY what he tells you and DO NOT RUSH BACK. I can't emphasize that enough. I tore the ACL and meniscus on my right knee and the meniscus on my left knee, had surgery on both (about 4 years apart) and I can play just fine now. I hope yours in nothing serious but if it is your best bet is to get it fixed, suck it up for the rehab, and get back out there when you are able. And lastly, don't be stupid. You will want to walk for the rest of your life and messing with a knee injury will seriously jeopardize that. Hope some of that helps.

                              Jim

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