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knee blog
Matt Hardy

Treatment for a Knee Ligament Injury – a client case study

Hi Everyone, welcome back to the blog.

This blog is a continuation of the case studies I’ve been putting out recently. Please have a read of an example of how I treat people who have had knee ligament injuries. Always remember though, everyones journey is slightly different…

Who was the client?

A lady in her 40’s

Why did they come to see me?

She had slipped on the stairs and twisted her knee 2 weeks before she saw me. Her knee was still swollen and painful but she was able to walk on it. She had some mild bruising but this was settling. She hadn’t had an injuries to that knee previously and she wanted to get back to normal as she was a walker and has a job where she is on her feet. There were no predisposing factors to the injury, it was a pure accident

How long did we work together?

10 weeks

What did we do?

Her rehab was split into 3 sections. The first being her assessment and early rehab. At her assessment we ran through the story of the injury. We found out it was a rotational injury, she reported some clicking of the knee and a giving way feeling but no locking. She had noticeable swelling and some resolving bruising that had spread down her leg.

The assessment pointed us towards a mild grade 2 medial collateral ligament sprain. This meant that she had torn less than 50% of the ligament and was likely to reach full recovery in about 3 months.

As she was around 2 weeks post injury our first objective was to maintain muscle strength and to assist the body in its healing process. As you may have seen from my social media I am not an advocate of using ice for helping with the healing process and reducing swelling. To reduce swelling we need to get the fluid into the lymphatic system so it can be transported to the kidneys. Rest and Ice don’t do that. So, we advised her to keep moving the leg as much as possible, I used a technique called voodoo flossing, this helps to reabsorb fluid swelling that is left over at the end of the inflammatory phase of healing. This combined with exercises that promote lymphatic drainage (any exercise!) was really effective in reducing swelling over the first week. She continued this for a couple of weeks then came back to see me.

At 2 weeks (of seeing me) we moved into the main strengthening phase of treatment. At this point she was able to stand and walk with only a mild limp and was getting around really well. We started with weight bearing strengthening exercises for the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes and calves. We were able to do this as it was tolerable within a pain range of 0-4/10. If we couldn’t do this without getting pain of 5 or greater we would have regressed the exercises. She continued these for another 2 weeks.

At this point she was doing generally well. She did have a set back at the end of the first week where the pain peaked for a day or so. After talking on the phone we advised she had a couple of days where she reduced her reps and took an extra recovery day from the exercises. This allowed her to calm the knee down to push forward again.

At the next session we were able to progress her strengthening exercises and by the time we got to the 4th session at 10 weeks we were able to start doing impact exercises (hopping and jumping) and change of direction drills. We outlined a plan for her to build the miles back up she needed to for her walking.

With some guidance via phone and email she was able to return to normal

What can we learn from this?

Knee ligament injuries are a relatively serious injury that can, if not properly rehabbed be a problem for a long time. We should also learn that set backs in a rehab process are normal and happen often. We have to change and tweak things to fit the individual. But all in all lets remember that injuries happen. Often when least expected and with the right work we can get back to normal following them.

If this has encouraged you to give rehab a chance, please feel free to call or email me. You can also book online via the links on the site.

Thanks again for reading

Matt