Tennessee suffered two losses on Sunday. They loss to the Los Angeles Rams, who have been great, and they loss running back DeMarco Murray for the rest of the game. He took a blow to his right knee when he was attempting to cut back in a lane. It was initially thought of as a knee sprain, but MRI confirms he as a Grade III/Third degree MCL Tear. Which means he tore his MCL.
Originally it was being reported as an LCL sprain, given the nature of the way the helmet hit the knee it’s more likely the MCL and even the medial meniscus would be damaged, but that doesn’t mean the LCL couldn’t be affected.
Head Coach Mike Mularkey says that DeMarco is day-to-day which itself is confusing but he knows a lot more than what I do. Since he in constant contact with the athletic training staff.
The medial collateral ligament (MCL) or tibial collateral ligament (TCL) joins the medial femoral condyle to the medial tibial plateau. It is the ligamentous connective tissue that supports the knee.
It’s main function is to prevent excessive valgus stress on the knee, assist in prevention of anterior translation of the tibia and excessive hyperextension. In Demarco’s case, he had high impact valgus force on his knee. Not only the valgus force but with his leg firmly planted into the ground, that only made it more likely that his knee would be injured.
Since it’s a synergist and assists the ACL in prevention of hyperextension, damage the to the MCL places more stress on the ACL in it’s function.
Typically MCL Complete tears, need to be confirmed with an MRI. Second it’ll require surgery to repair and thus surgery likely has him out at least 8 weeks.
What Could I Do?
Well for starters, traditional chiropractic work won’t be putting his MCL back together. He is going to get daily treatment to assist in inflammation and pain management. But non-traditional chiropractic treatment can help. A lot of manual work is going to be the route of choice in terms of passive care.
I would work a lot of the quadriceps, distal hip adductors, hamstrings, medial meniscus and other medial knee structures. The goal is assist in treatment of the soft tissue. To help stimulate new blood flow.
Also, strengthening the quadriceps and hamstrings will be important. Protecting the knee from hyperextension and eccentric loading is going to be very important in hopes of the knee not being further damaged.
I can understand why Demarco Murray wants to play. The team is fighting for a playoff spot. First, he is going to have to be able to deal with the pain. A tear in the ligamentous structure is painful and it’s a complete tear. Second, he is going to have to trust his knee. His knee may feel less stable when goes to cut lateral, stop and start, or to cut up field.
I think if he does play, he’ll be extremely limited. He won’t know how limited he is until the start of the game. Because his running style (downhill-one cut runner), he needs time to get going and pick up speed. He’s not a shifty, quick change of direction type of player so he may struggle this weekend, even moreso, with trying to avoid defenders and change directions because of his injury. The MCL’s ability to stabilize the knee and allow that lateral cutting ability has been reduced to zero since it’s completely torn. I think the pain will ultimately limit his effectiveness.
For his sake, hopefully they win to allow him an extra week of treatment to test it out for the following week. I believe his season is over. He’ll get surgery and start the physical therapy part to get ready for the 2018 NFL Season.