Sometimes the ligament is injured from external impact such as the wave hitting the surfer. This is common when a tubing wave pinches onto the back of the surfer, compressing the body down through the back leg and hinging the knee open at the MCL.
At other times, the MCL may be injured through the internal forces of the surfer executing a maneuver with the MCL in a vulnerable position.
Ligament sprains and tears are graded in severity from I-III. Minor sprains can resolve within a couple of weeks, however MCL sprains that are grade II and above, require a period of hinged knee bracing and often take more 12-weeks to completely recover with effective Physiotherapy rehabilitation.
MCL injuries can prove debilitating and often indicate a long and slow rehabilitation process before getting back into high performance surfing maneuvers, so our aim is really to prevent them occurring in the first place.
Stay tuned for part 2, where I’ll outline my tips for preventing MCL injuries in surfing.