A Grade 2 MCL Tear

by Hockey Girl

I recently had a hockey injury (two days ago). I am a 25 year old female. I saw a sports doctor the day after. Now I am wearing a brace and using crutches.

Here is my story & question:

I was playing in a game and chased a puck into the corner with an opposing player. She leaned on me, and my knee felt like it "POPPED" inwards of my left leg.
I went down with more of fear than pain. I sat a few shifts then finished the game with minimal pain, maybe my adrenaline was pumping and I couldn't feel the pain? Once the game was finished, I sat down and felt immediately pain. I could hardly put any weight on it. By 4am the next morning I was in so much pain, and couldn't put any weight on it. That's when I went in to the Sports Doctor. She concluded it was a Grade 2 MCL Tear.

My questions are: Does a MCL heal completely? Or does it depend case by case? If I was a "typical case" what would be approx time frame for me getting back on the ice? Will I need lots of Physio after and is there anything I can do now to help (exercises for hips?)?
Thank you for you time,
Hockey Girl

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Apr 11, 2016
Grade 2 MCL tear from ski injury NEW
by: Anonymous

I thought I'd add a comment as I've been finding reading other people's comments pretty helpful.

I'm nearly 7 weeks into healing from a grade 2 MCL tear after a skiing accident in Japan. I don't know about anyone else but sometimes it's hard not to feel like you'll never be active in the same way again (hence wanting to read other people's experiences).

I got physio straight away and have been going every couple of weeks, which is super helpful.

I was recommended to wear and so wore a hinged brace for 4 weeks which helped me get around while my knee was healing HEAPS! I highly recommend getting a good one as it doesn't just make a difference to your mobility while healing but also impacts how your MCL heals (I don't know about you guys but I'm keen to get back to as close to 100% as I can).

For the next 2 weeks I wore a compression brace which helped me learn to walk again but I found my knee hugely relied on it so I've tried to stop wearing it, which is proving super hard because I can't walk normally without it on, my knee feels so stiff & unstable when I walk - any tips with how to loosen my knee would be AMAZING!

I've been riding a stationery bike for 2 weeks now and am hoping to start going to the gym one day this week and slowly increasing but I'm not that positive - I really feel so far from normal. Does this feeling just subside overtime so that one day I just forget it was like this? Would love to hear any similar experiences just to keep me going with recouping & any tips of what helped others in this situation get back to full exercise/sport

Nov 21, 2015
mcl "sprain" NEW
by: bobby

i got knocked off a step ladder at work and as i landed i twisted my left knee, the result according to the hospital ( without x-ray or a scan) was an mcl sprain between the medial meniscus and the tibial attachment. i have been having physio, and my doctor said to wait for one year to pass,and 10 physio sessions. i have now waited 12 months and the nhs physio says that i do not need an operation on the ligament because of the amount of control i have in my knee, but i still get times when it feels like the ligament is on fire, not all the time - but quite often.
after having pain for a year i believe i do need the operation, should i still be getting pain, aching and that burning sensation in the ligament.
any ideas??

Jun 29, 2011
grade 2 mcl
by: Anonymous

i suffered a grade 2 mcl sprain. it is now 7 weeks since it happened and the pain is still very bad. Went for physio but my therapist said it cant be done till the pain has subsided. Get a terrible burning pain under the knee cap also and there is still swelling. Also when i lie down in bed the pain sometimes gets worse. Going back to orthopaedic surgeon in 3 weeks time. Any suggestions why it is taking so long to heal and for pain to go. Thanks jan

Apr 08, 2011
mcl grade 2
by: ak

I am into week 4 of my stage 2 MCL injury. it was from a jiu jitsu grappling and rolling .

I have no pain and twisting doesn't hurt. what I do have is scar tissue on my ligament that is limiting my range of motion...particularly straightening out my knew. Range of motion in the other direction is not a problem...

no pain though...just a weird tugging feeling when I straighten my knee.

contact me to see how i got onn itsmeyoo83@hotmail.com

Sep 16, 2010
Hockey Boy
by: Hockey Girl

Well in April of 2010 I joined my Roller Hockey Team(inline hockey)and my knee was sore and tender at first but the more I played the better it felt.

I also was given a MRI and they saw the MCL tear, but it was healed. No other tears were seen.

In a few weeks I'll be starting ice hockey, we'll see if that goes well too.

Thanks for your comment.

Sep 16, 2010
MCL tear
by: hockey boy

Well if you are still experiencing pain after 16 weeks you may have a torn miniscus as well. Hockey players are known for getting them. Also as a fellow hockey player who tore his mcl i must note i did the rehab and had a grade two tear and i was on the ice before 16 weeks.

Jul 02, 2010
Grad2 MCL Recovery
by: Anonymous

I am into week 8 of my stage 2 MCL injury. I just participated in some jiu jitsu grappling for the first time since I was injured training for a tournament.

I have no pain and twisting doesn't hurt. what I do have is scar tissue on my ligament that is limiting my range of motion...particularly straightening out my knew. Range of motion in the other direction is not a problem...as a matter of fact I can bring my heel to by butt!

no pain though...just a weird tugging feeling when I straighten my knee.

Feb 22, 2010
Update & Question
by: Hockey Girl

Well now its been 16 weeks and I'm still having pain in left knee from the 2nd degree Sprain of the MCL.
I have been doing EVERYTHING the Doctors and Physios say for exercises. I haven't played any sports since my injury either.

I do go to the gym regularly to build up my muscles. But I still have pain when my knee is twisted.The forward motion I have no pain.

Is there any reason for this? Did the doctors miss an injury in my knee, maybe there was something else that was torn? I never had a MRI done as they figured they knew what it was.

Now I am second guessing and think I should schedule an MRI asap. Whats your take?

Nov 06, 2009
mcl healing
by: Bart - SII

The MCL does heal on its own. In fact, there is literature that suggests that it actually heals better without surgical intervention.

Soft tissue healing occurs on a continuum, with the three primary phases overlapping each other to a certain extent. The inflammatory phase lasts for approximately 10-14 days. This is the time that the body prepares the area for healing. During the 2-8 week time, the body is laying down scar tissue in a process referred to as fibroplasia. After that, the body goes through a scar maturation phase, where the intial scar tissue is replaced with stronger scar tissue, and the tissue is remodeled to align the fibers based on the stress placed on the tissues. Scar maturation can last for several months up to a year, however, most of the time injuries are healed well enough for activity before the process is actually complete.

A grade II MCL sprain has the potential for good healing in a "perfect" case. Everyone is a bit different, depending on their bodies, rehab, and activities. A general timeline for return to activities safely is likely 2-3 months, depending on your rehab and specific case.


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