Aim: To evaluate the effectiveness of a novel injection technique in the management of recalcitrant medial collateral ligament (MCL) injuries of the knee.
Materials and methods: The injection, comprising 10 ml local anaesthetic with 25-50 mg hydrocortisone, is directed beneath the periosteal attachment of the MCL. Twenty-eight patients who received the intervention were asked to complete a questionnaire, a visual analogue scale (VAS) and the International Knee Documentation Committee (IKDC) subjective knee form to quantify symptoms pre-injection and at follow-up. Data were assessed using descriptive statistics. Further analysis was conducted using the Wilcoxon signed-rank test and Fisher's exact test.
Results: Sixty-eight percent (n = 19) of patients responded. Three patients were excluded according to the exclusion criteria. Of those studied, 37.5% (n = 6) were professional athletes. At follow-up, patients reported a mean improvement on the VAS of 75.5% (SD = 23.6). There was a significant improvement in IKDC scores (mean difference 42%, SD = 14.2) pre- and post-injection (Wilcoxon signed-rank test, p <0.001). No residual symptoms were reported by 50% (n = 8) of patients, and a further 37.5% (n = 6) of patients had improved. Of those patients who played sport, two-thirds (n = 10) had returned to their previous level of sport at follow-up, including all of the professional athletes.
Conclusion: Periosteal high-volume image-guided injection is a useful treatment for recalcitrant MCL injury. Results are encouraging, particularly amongst the professional athletes studied.