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Old     (lchamaschuk)      Join Date: Feb 2002       08-20-2004, 9:12 AM Reply   
I strained my MCL 3 weeks ago on a crash on a simple hs w2w jump. It is just a Grade 1 strain, nothing too serious. The doctor told me I'd be out for 2 weeks, which I could handle. I started physio immediately, and I told the physiotherapist what the doc told me - 2 weeks. He didn't disagree, and just said 'lets get started'. After 2 weeks, I told him it's not better yet, and he said 'I never told you it would be 2 weeks'. Then he said it would be another couple of weeks. I said that it better be fixed by then because I was leaving for a one week vacation where I'd be spending every day boarding. I'm now one week away from that vacation, and I can tell that it's not going to be ready. I also now have tendonitis, probably cause by compensating, or maybe from the other exercises I've been doing.

I'm getting really frustrated. If they had told me straight out it would be 6-8 weeks or whatever, I would have accepted that my season was over, and might not have planned the week getaway. Now I've got this vacation coming up, and I'm going to have to make a decision. Do I go anyway and see what happens, and if the knee blows again, the season is over anyway? Or do I keep the 4 week investment in physio, not board, and hope to still get a few weeks in Sept/Oct before the boat comes of the water?

How long have you guys been out with MCL strain? After 4 weeks, should I be close to recovery?
Old     (flux)      Join Date: Jun 2003       08-20-2004, 9:35 AM Reply   
I tweaked my MCL snowboarding pretty darn badly, it hurt for a long time, but I did ride a bit after about a month, nothing heavy though. I bought a cheap brace and that helped a bit later on in the injury.

The biggest problem is that the knee was "loose", in that it had some wiggle and I think that did some cartilige (sp?) damage. I was riding snowboards every day and waiting tables at night to make coin, so I could not rest my knee too much. It healed up great once the poundings were over when I left the mountain and went back to school.

If it's just MCL, you will find that certain motioins cause pain, like subtle twisting and lateral movement. Knowing when you are ready is up to you. You did a good thing by strengthening right away. While I can't say if you should ride or not, but if you are set on your plans and can handle some pain and fight the fear of your knee being weak, then you will be fine.

Best advice if you wanna keep riding is to get one of those burly full on carbon brace that I see everywhere. They will prevent your knee from twisting and definately against the lateral movement that caused the sprain in the first place. If anything it will boost your confidence a bit.

I rode after six weeks on a really bad ankle, never should have done it, but when there is butter right in front of you, how can you say no?? I did take that time to do a ton of switch riding and work on butter slides and such, fundamentals that helped me out this year alot.

If you feel pretty ok about your knee, go get a hinged brace to protect it and keep riding. Only you know when you are ready though.

Old    ricktrav            08-20-2004, 9:42 AM Reply   
get a wakeskate atake it easy and see how far you can lanch without the board. here's me last winter.
Old     (lchamaschuk)      Join Date: Feb 2002       08-20-2004, 10:25 AM Reply   
I had been thinking about getting a brace. Where do you get them? From the doctor or a medical supply store?

Yeah, I thought about the wakeskate, then I read the Shawn Murray link... I don't know that wakeskating would be any easier on my knee.

And that picture is pretty much what caused the MCL strain in the first place... except I still had a board attached.
Old     (cocheese)      Join Date: Jul 2004       08-20-2004, 10:32 AM Reply   
I am also interesed in getting a good brace, but don't really care to see the doctors. Everything I have seen so far, the good ones require measurements from a doctor.
Old     (antbug)      Join Date: Jul 2004       08-20-2004, 10:42 AM Reply   
you guys should do a search on knee braces in this site. There are allot of good braces out there. I use one by Innovation Sports http://www.isports.comcalled the CTi2 Vapor Sport. It's a custom brace that is made from a mold of your leg. A sale rep can come to your house or job and measure your leg and answer any of your questions.

Great company, good CS, not bad prices. I have been very happy with mine so far.
Old     (flux)      Join Date: Jun 2003       08-20-2004, 10:48 AM Reply   
If your sprain is not too bad, moderate support will help it alot. There are some neoprene based braces that have hinges and are only like 100 bucks, the carbon fiber stuff goes 300. Do a web search for MCL BRACE, you will see plenty of stock stuff that can work for you.

PS- good luck and heal quick.
Old     (cowdoc13)      Join Date: Aug 2003       08-20-2004, 11:04 AM Reply   
I tore MCL completely doing the same thing. Had my feet "ducked" all the way out. Landed in a deep knee bend. The board was trying to slip out and then my rear fin caught. Felt something pop in the inside of my knee.

I could not get an appointment with an orthpedic specialist for 5 weeks. Middle of football season and he is the team doctor the university and the local high schools. I am a veterinarian, and pretty much figured out what was wrong on my own. The pain was in one spot on the inside of my knee. There was no fluid on my knee at all, and I could feel that there was no ligament where one should have been. A couple of hours after it happened, I could walk without much discomfort and I could run in a straight line with very little discomfort. It only hurt when I would twist my knee or went into a really deep knee bend.

I did not ride at all for the next two weeks. The third week my knee felt much better. I got a knee brace and decided to see if it hurt when I got up on a board. I adjusted my stance on the board to neutral. It bothered me a little getting up, but not bad at all, so I just rode around carving the board in the water. Never tried to jump or do anything else. I just enjoyed the ride. The minute I felt tired, I got off the board. The 4th week I did some one wake jumps. It felt fine so I took one wake to wake. Landed in the flats in a deep knee bend without meaning to. My knee hurt like $#%* for about 5 minutes, then it was fine. Thought I had torn it again at first. Went to the specialist the next week. He said there was no damage other than the MCL. Suggested a brace. Told me it was healing, but it would take 6 - 8 weeks to grow back together and begin to have some strength, and 4 - 6 months to completely heal. He said occassionally I would do something and make it hurt like $*&%. But, the pain would go away in 5 minutes or so. I told him, "been there, done that". He said that was just the adhesions breaking down and the scar tissue remodeling. Essentially the same as I would expect an animal to heal a similar injury.

No two people are the same and no two injuries are the same. I know it is unusual to only damage the MCL of a knee. It is far more common to damage the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament), meniscus (cartilage) and the MCL (medial colateral ligament) all at the same time. I would go for a recheck and ask your doctor to re-evaluate the knee and see what he recommended. I would still go on vacation. I would just swim, enjoy being gone, and limit my activities acording to the doctors suggestions. If there is more damage in your knee than origianlly thought, you need to find that out now. The last thing I think you would want would be to start boarding and do more damage. The person that can offer you the best advice on your knee is your doctor.
Old     (lchamaschuk)      Join Date: Feb 2002       08-20-2004, 11:16 AM Reply   
Yeah, I've already started searching on MCL braces.

The doctor who checked me out did check to see if I had damaged the meniscus, and she said I hadn't. Only the MCL. But this was a clinic doctor near my house, not my regular doctor, and you're right, I should probably get checked out by him too.

Adjusting the stance on the board is a good idea. If I decide to go, I'll try that. Although that will feel awfully wierd - my feet are naturally ducky and it feels like I'm pigeon-toed when I line them up straight.
Old     (midwesttex)      Join Date: Jul 2004       08-20-2004, 11:37 AM Reply   
I scored a nice Level 1 MCL tear/sprain last labor day on a heelside front roll. The damn thing hurt really bad for a long time. Most of the pain was off and on. Finally got to doctor and then got into the physical therapist. They gave me six weeks of therapy and said that I should be good after one season(3 months). I purchased a McDavid knee brace, you can get them at a sports store for like $75. I ended up going snowboarding over x-mass and the knee gave me some trouble so I took it easy and enjoid the trip. Most of the pain would happen when I would twist my legg to get in my bindings or during a fall. I could tell how much weeker it was.

Regarding wakeboarding, my knee is just now starting to feel normal again but I have been wakeboarding all summer without many problems. I use my brace on occation. I did move my stance in a bit in width and angle. Check out the article in wakeboard mag about knee problems and yoru stance, think it was a few months ago.

Anyway, I would say stay off it. The last thing you want to do is make it worse. I would also suggest doing alot of balance work in the gym when your rehab is done.


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