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The Unhappy Triad II


Last week, we talked about the 3 structures involved in the unhappy triad: the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), the medial collateral ligament (MCL), and the medial meniscus. We also talked about the mechanism of injury. This week, we will talk about the symptoms and the treatment option for this injury.


Symptoms of a sprain injury in the unhappy triad include

· severe pain in the inner side of the knee

· excessive swelling after the injury

· knee stiffness

· difficulty weight bearing


The treatment for the unhappy triad injury depends on the severity of the injury and the damage to the surrounding tissues.


If the severity is mild, treatment generally involves education, the use of modalities or knee brace, manual therapy, and strengthening exercises. If the surrounding tissues are involved, surgery might be needed. Although there are 3 structures involved in the unhappy triad, there are usually 2 that need surgery: the ACL and the meniscus. MCL usually heals on its own and does not require surgery.

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