My Knee Injury and the Road to Recovery

I tore my MCL (Medial Collateral Ligament) on my left knee on March 9, 2009 while practicing take-downs at my Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class.  It was the Monday night class.  We had done our warm-ups and had just got started.  This wasn’t the first time this had happened to me.  About 7 years ago I tore something in the same knee far worse while playing indoor soccer.  I had a good idea of what to start doing right off.

  1. Rest
  2. Ice
  3. Elevation
  4. Compression

R.I.C.E is the acronym and it has helped me remember it throughout the years.  I think my first aid has made all the difference in my recovery time.  I started by stacking pillows up to put my leg on, wrapping the knee with a ACE Bandage and putting ice on it.  I also took some ibuprofen for the pain and to help get the swelling down.  After about 3 days the swelling went down.  I was on my back nearly the whole time.

It has been a month this Monday since the knee injury.  I can walk but my knee doesn’t want to bend beyond 90 degrees.  If I leave my knee bent or straight for too long it is hard to get it out of that position.  It is as if there is fluid in the knee and it needs time to push it to some other location.  Last night my left leg was stiff from lack of use and I flexed it in my sleep.  Oh, mama!  That hurt.  This morning my wife suggested I lay on my back and do a peddling motion.  It worked great!  The peddling motion got a nice burn in my leg muscles and I was even able to get my knee to bend beyond 90 degrees.  I’m going to do it throughout the day to help increase my flexibility and exercise the muscles without causing greater injury.

I have purchased a book to help me called Treat Your Own Knees – Simple exercises to build strength, flexibility, responsiveness, and endurance.  I will let you know how it helps in my recovery.

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