Iliotibial Band Syndrome, Rugby Injury
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MCL Knee Ligament Injury& Rugby




The Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) is the knee ligament situated on the inside of the knee and it links the thigh bone to the shin bone. When a rugby player suffers a twisted knee then this ligament can be damaged. Depending on the level of damage you can class MCL injuries as first, second and third degree sprains.

With a first degree sprain only a few muscle fibres are affected.
A second degree sprain is characterized by greater damage to the muscle fibres but the ligament is still intact.

A third degree MCL sprain would leave a player in agony. A complete rupture of the ligament is involved and due to the extent of the damage, other structures such as Meniscus (Cartilage) or the Anterior Cruciate Ligament can also be affected.

Rugby players can suffer from this condition in two ways, either you receive a heavy tackle to the outside of your knee or you get your studs caught in the grass and as you have tried to turn or twist you damage the MCL.

MCL Knee Ligament Injury Signs & Symptoms

A first degree MCL sprain will result in pain when the player's knee is touched. This pain can be reproduced when the player stands up from a chair.

In the case of second degree sprains the player will complain of substantial pain when the knee is touched. There may be swelling present but this can take up to 24 hours to appear.

A third degree MCL sprain is when the ligament is completely ruptured and the knee joint becomes unstable. Running and walking will be near impossible and blood and fluid will flow into the knee joint.


MCL Knee Ligament Injury Treatment

For a 1st and 2nd degree sprain the PRICE treatment method should be followed - Protection, Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation.

The player should prop up the knee in an elevated position and walk only when necessary and with the aid of crutches. A physiotherapist may a apply compression bandage to prevent excessive swelling of the knee.

It is recommended that a reusable ice pack should be applied to the knee every 2 hours for 20 minutes. This will help reducing swelling and pain. Never apply raw ice to the skin.

In the case of a first degree sprain, rugby training should not be done for around 3-4 weeks.

For second degree sprains, the player should refrain from rugby training for 6-8 weeks. It is important that you seek advice from a physiotherapist before returning to sporting activities.

In the case of a third degree sprain most rugby players will opt for surgery. As the ligament is completely ruptured it is important to reconstruct the ligament so that the knee is stable again.

Players should use a knee support/ brace if you they have suffered from a MCL injury. The support will take pressure away from the MCL during rehabilitation and when sleeping. Running in a swimming pool, using a buoyancy aid, is an ideal method of maintaining fitness while the ligament is healing.


What you can do

  • Consult a physiotherapist
  • Use compression bandage to control swelling
  • Wear a knee brace for support & protection
  • Apply ice packs/cold therapy

Reusable hot and cold pack


  • Use a buoyancy aid for pool exercises

Click here to view buoyancy jackets for water therapy



Rugby Rescue Recommends Knee Supports

5 Star Rating

Excellent medial and lateral support ideal for footballers. This wrap around design knee brace is suitable for cases of knee instability due to knee ligament injuries.

How does it work?

This high quality knee brace is lightweight and comfortable, with lock-stitch taped seams and fully trimmed edges for durability. The flexible spiral stays and dual criss-cross elastic straps create firm medial and lateral knee support which reproduce the effect of a tape job to support the medial collateral ligament (MCL) and lateral collateral ligament (LCL) of the knee.

The upper and lower Velcro fasteners act as 'anchors' and knee stabilisers to maintain maximum support. This provides support without compromising mobility and may be more suitable for those engaged in activities that would be overly compromised by a hinged support.

When can I use it?

*Extremely effective in relieving knee pain by taking the stress off knee ligaments that may be injured. *Perfect for injuries to the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) or Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL).

*Also provides knee pain relief and knee support following a Cartilage injury or when there is mild Arthritis in the knee.

*Ideal knee brace when you require good knee support but maintain full movement.

Excellent medial and lateral support ideal for footballers. Multi-tiered, plush-lined elastic body with wraparound design.




The Knee sport strap is designed to simulate knee joint strapping techniques used to support the collateral knee ligaments and restrict joint rotation but still enable running


playing rugby


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