Fast Five Quiz: Are You Able to Diagnose and Treat Common Football Injuries?

Craig C. Young, MD; Heather S. Anderson, MD


November 24, 2014

The goals of therapy are to decrease pain, restore range of motion, and regain strength. Crutches are used until weight-bearing is comfortable. Range of motion exercises are performed in a cold whirlpool. Quadriceps strengthening is started with quad sets and is progressed to closed-chain exercises as tolerated. Running is allowed when weight-bearing is comfortable and is progressed to more narrow S-shaped patterns, until pivoting is comfortable. At this point, sport-specific exercises and drills are added and advanced until the athlete is ready to return to the sport. Return to play is allowed when sport-specific agility testing is performed comfortably. People with grade 1 and 2 injuries usually return to play within 2-3 weeks. People with grade 3 injuries frequently require 6 or more weeks before return to play.

For more on the recovery from a medial collateral knee ligament injury, read here.


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