MCL Tear or Medial Collateral Ligament is a knee injury that is common in professional athletes wherein a major ligament fiber is inside the knee. Since the knees are made up of bones, ligaments, tendons, and cartilage wherein they can be damaged or torn due to excessive movement or shock, most professionals who suffer MCL tears are from hockey, basketball, and football, wherein there is a constant movement and collisions with other players that are sometimes excessive which puts a lot of pressure on the knees of the athlete tearing down the ligament fibers. Some of the world-renowned athletes that have suffered from MCL tears is the former NBA superstar the late Kobe Bryant, Stephen Curry, Derrick Rose, and Kevin Durant. Depending on the level of MCL tear it can be classified according to grades 1,2, and 3, the 1st grade determines that there only 10% of the ligament fibers have been torn, while the 2nd grade determines that the athlete has a moderate tear of the ligaments wherein the knee is loose and longer has stability and the 3rd grade is the considered to be severe wherein the ligaments are completely torn apart and will have difficulty standing and walking.
The most common causes of MCL tears among professional athletes are excessive movement and collisions during games, more specifically dunking, awkward landings, and the intense physicality of the game wherein it puts a lot of pressure on the knees despite having proper training and protection. But most of the athletes that had to suffer from MCL tears are those who had already passed their primes or aging wherein their knees are starting to get weaker despite all the training and medical treatments being given by their teams, among the certain causes of MCL tears such as collisions, excessive movements there can also be a factor of genetics wherein the hereditary of genes can lead to weaker knees that can easily cause MCL tear despite not being a professional athlete, they can easily get injured by just doing everyday tasks such as jogging, walking, and even lifting. Diagnosis of a person that has suffered an MCL tear can be done by conducting a physical exam on the knee by a licensed physician and treatment of MCL tears can vary depending on the grade of damage this can be rest with ice compression, elevation method and most notably wearing a knee brace for MCL tears.
Causes of MCL Injury
1. Hyperextension of the Knee
this is due to the over-stretching of the knees giving pressure to the fiber ligaments which can slowly be torn apart.
2. Lifting Heavy Objects
Working-class people who are working on construction sites have a tendency to lift heavier objects that can put a lot of stress on their knees and even on their backs.
3. Repeated Stress Movement
Occurs if the person is always exceeding his/her physical limitations such as sudden movements, and lifting heavy objects.
4. Physical Contact or Collision
Aside from being a professional athlete physical contact can also occur during vehicle accidents, slipping or failing from higher ground.
5. Awakward Landings
These normally occur in professional athletes who are attempting an acrobatic move while in the air and landing wrongfully on the ground wherein the shock can really put a lot of stress and pressure on the knee's ligaments.
The Knee Brace is perhaps one of the most revolutionary medical tools that can help protect and treat a person with an MCL tear since it keeps the knee in a stable position preventing any more unwanted injuries in the long run. Most knee braces are made from fiber-like materials, foam, plastic, thin metal, and durable straps. All of these materials are combined to be able to create the proper knee brace wherein it would be strapped on the injured knee depending on the grade level of injury it can be worn for days, weeks, or even months if the injury is really severe. This is perhaps the best benefit of having a knee injury strapped by a knee brace because it allows it to heal in a much safer and more efficient way without comprising the safety of the user because outside factors can also worsen the injury such as infection, accidental collisions, and even prevention of sudden movements that might prolong the injury itself in the process. It also relieves the person from pain, and pressure especially during movements regardless if they are slow or fast.
Benefits of Knee Brace for MCL
1. Reduces Pain
The MCL injury can really be painful which is why wearing a knee brace helps ease or lessen the pain, especially when moving
2. Shifts Weights
Relieving the injured of the weight pressure especially if the person has a massive weight.
3. Allows Limited Movement
Provides a limited-time movement that can be used during physical therapy
4. Keeps the Knee in a stable position
Ensuring that the injured knee will be in a stable position preventing additional injury.
5. Promotes Proper Blood Flow
The wearer might experience blood swelling when being injured which is why a knee brace with an ice cap can help reduce the swelling and inflammation of the injured knee.
At present more and more people are wearing knee braces, not just professional athletes because of the benefits it gives to the users such as protection and relieving the knee from pressure. Wearers of knee braces can now be seen in everyday living these can be people who are walking and jogging in the park, and working-class people who work in physically demanding workplaces. Especially now that we live in a fast-paced working environment wherein quick movements are necessary in order to be able to keep up and be productive, knee braces have also become an in-demand accessory for athletes and average people because it now has various designs that can also be a fashion accessory, this is why professional athletes despite not having any knee related injury they still prefer to wear knee braces during their games as a way of protecting themselves in case of any accidental collisions. Senior citizens who have knee problems also wear knee braces to have better stability during their everyday living because at their age they are more prone to knee injuries as well as having difficulty moving.
Things to keep in mind when using a knee brace
1. The Material used in making the knee brace
Various materials are being used in making knee braces which is why it is important to clearly identify the material being used since it has delicate functions and that is to keep the knee secured and safe.
2. The Type of Knee Brace
There are various types of knee braces depending on the grade level of the injury of the patient since the different types have also different functionalities and safety features.
3. Cleaning and Maintenance of the Knee Brace
Maintenance is always a great way in keeping your knee brace durable and can still withstand the test of time.
4. Brand and Manufacturer
There are various manufacturers of knee braces but be sure to buy only from reputable stores since there are many counterfeits flooding the market today.
5. Durability of the Knee Brace
Always go for quality and durability since it can be very costly to suffer another knee injury just because of the weak material of the knee brace.