What started as routine futsal practice with the full GanForHire All-Stars futsal team, fizzled out to a disappointing, painful, premature exit with torn bits in my left knee. The Corbis cup defending champions’s top striker limped out just after 20 minutes into the game.
It happened as I was taking a shot at goal. As I proceeded to unleash a left foot shot, the opponent’s defender approached in a semi-sliding position from the left. Our shins met with force as I struck the ball. My left knee must have buckled from the force from the outside because the pain was instant, although it did not feel overly serious at that point.
I sat out the entire game with my swollen knee. Walking was excruciating, especially when it involved changing directions, or twisting.
I consulted a sports doctor in Subang Jaya the next morning. After some questions about how it happened, he proceeded to run some physical exercises to diagnose the injury. It was obvious that something was torn, the question was – how serious was it? The injured bit was the Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL), the largest ligament on the inner part of the knee.
The medial collateral ligament spans the distance from the end of the femur (thigh bone) to the top of the tibia (shin bone) and is on the inside of the knee joint. The medial collateral ligament resists widening of the inside of the joint, or prevents “opening-up” of the knee.
MCL is usually injured when the outside of the knee joint is struck. This action causes the outside of the knee to buckle, and the inside to widen. When the medial collateral ligament is stretched too far, it is susceptible to tearing and injury. This is the injury seen by the action of “clipping” in a football game.
The doc was concerned if the meniscus (cartillage) was injured as well. A damaged meniscus would mean internal bleeding and fluid in the knee. An x-ray exam was done, then an ultrasound performed after. The x-ray showed no bone damage or fractures, so that was good.
The ultrasound confirmed partial ligament tears which also included my hamstring. Through the digitised images, doc showed me comparisons of my normal right knee against the injured left. It was swollen twice its size. He showed me the tears in my MCL. Thankfully, my meniscus was intact. No damage whatsoever.
In conclusion, I will be out for 6 weeks at least. No moving about for the first week. I have to wear a spleen, and move about in crutches. Totally uncool. And to think that it was just a ‘minor knock’ initially.
I was given a 30-minute physiotheraphy session with ultrasound, vibration and ice pack treatment. Souvenirs to bring home included anti-inflammatory steroids and cream which was pretty much the only thing I could take, taking into consideration my aspirin allergy. Many painkillers include aspirin, and the doc did not want to risk me have a reaction.
The only good thing to come out of this – a 1-week MC! I’ve never had a 1-week MC before. Hah. Not that I can go anywhere. I’d be bored to death mostly, being immobile and all. Driving isn’t much of a problem, but getting in and out of the car is. My semi-bucket Recaros don’t help matters much either.
See you online, a lot, I guess?