Barnhart, MO

Barnhart, MO

Axes Physical Therapy will get you back to the activities you love most

MCL Injury | Barnhart, MO Physical Therapy

MCL Injury in Barnhart, MO. For many people who maintain an active lifestyle, feeling that sudden “pop” in their knee creates a lot of doubts: Did I injure my MCL? Is it significant? How long will it take to recover? Will I have to permanently give up the things I love doing? At Axes Physical Therapy in Barnhart, MO, all of our physical and occupational therapists are committed to positive patient outcomes. While we’d like to be able to magically fix your MCL, we can help ensure you get back to feeling like yourself with safe, evidence-backed treatments. Physical therapy has proven to be an essential aspect of any treatment plan for MCL injuries. Our physical therapists in Barnhart, MO are all licensed and average more than 15 years of individual experience. For lasting and meaningful recovery, call the Axes location most convenient for you you or schedule an appointment online.

The Anatomy of the MCL

MCL is an abbreviation for “medial collateral ligament.” A ligament is a tough, flexible of connective tissue that connects bone to bone and helps hold structures with the musculoskeletal system together. The MCL connects your upper shin bone to the inner surface of the bottom thigh bone, running along your inner knee, and helps keep your knee stable and functioning normally. Its functions to guard against valgus stress, or the knee being forced too far towards the other one. It combines with three other ligaments that work together to support normal function and stability:

  • ACL (anterior cruciate ligament), which goes through the middle of your knee and provides rotational stability and prevents the knee from bending inward
  • PCL (posterior cruciate ligament), which crosses the ACL in the middle of the knee and prevents excessive posterior translation of the tibia relative to the femur
  • LCL (lateral collateral ligament), which runs along the outside of the knee from the femur to the fibula (the smaller bone the small bone behind the tibia) and provides stability to the outer knee

The knee is one of the most complex joints we have. A healthy knee relies on surrounding bone and muscle, and the tendons and ligaments in order to provide support and function properly. There are numerous knee injuries that can have tremendous consequences for your mobility and compete like you’re used to, or just live a pain-free day-to-day life. Specific physical therapy exercises and other treatment modalities, prescribed by a doctor, have been proven to help those who have suffered an MCL injury manage their symptoms and return to optimal mobility.

MCL Injury Barnhart, MO | Sports Rehab | Injury Prevention | Physical Therapy Near Barnhart

What Types of MCL Injuries Are There?

In general, an MCL injury either involves a sprain, which stretches the ligament farther than is naturally, or a tear, where the MCL may fray partially or entirely separate from the bone. There are three grades to MCL injuries:

  • Grade 1 — A grade 1 MCL injury refers to a sprain, or a tear where less than 10% of the the fibers in your ligament are torn. These are not generally severe, and don’t result in much instability. Your knee will feel tender, and you may also experience mild pain.
  • Grade 2 — This injury is when the MCL suffers more significant tearing, usually to the middle layer of the MCL. You will probably lose some stability in the joint, and the knee will likely be loose when moved by hand. Symptoms of a grade 2 MCL injury generally include much more noticeable pain.
  • Grade 3 — This occurs when your MCL is entirely torn, both the superficial and deep parts. Your knee will be significantly unstable. You will likely experience intense pain and a wide array of symptoms. Grade 3 MCL injuries often occur alongside other knee injuries such as ACL tears.

Whatever grade MCL injury you have, the team of expert Barnhart, MO physical and occupational therapists at Axes can, in concert with your physician, develop a comprehensive and customized plan aimed at returning you to the life you’re used to safely.

How Do MCL Injuries Occur?

40% of all knee injuries involve damage to a ligament, and the MCL is the most commonly injured ligament. Most MCL injuries occur due to physical trauma on the exterior of the knee. MCL injuries can also occur if the knee is rotated more than the ligament can stand. They can also take place when landing or unnatural bending, such as if a cleat is stuck in grass while you’re moving.

MCL injuries are common in athletes in contact sports and in athletic events that require a lot of torque being placed on the body such as football, soccer, skiing, basketball, and tennis. They can also occur in people who have to squat and lift heavy objects, either for athletic training or in the course of their employment.

Common Symptoms of MCL Injuries

If you suffer an MCL injury in Barnhart, MO, you’ll likely notice the pain right away. Other symptoms may include:

  • A sudden “pop” on the inside of your knee
  • The knee being unstable
  • Not being able to put any weight on the knee
  • Bruising
  • Tenderness on the inside of your knee
  • Inflammation, either on the inside of the knee or the entire knee joint

Sometimes your knee may feel like it’s wobbling when you walk, even if walking doesn’t hurt, while other times the knee feels too stiff. Any time you feel pain or instability in your knee, do not participate in any more strenuous activity and schedule a physical examination in order to get a diagnosis.

Diagnosis and Treatment of an MCL Injury in Barnhart, MO

MCL injuries are diagnosed in a physical examination. The exam will usually start with a doctor or physical therapist in Barnhart, MO asking how the injury occurred. They’ll then bend your knee and apply slight pressure to the outside of it, noting your pain level and if your knee feels structurally sound. They’ll also gently feel for swelling, and may compare your injured knee to the healthy one.

Most physical therapists or physicians that specialize in the musculoskeletal system in Barnhart, MO will be able to diagnose an MCL injury with a physical examination. A phsycian may also order the following imaging tests to check the severity of the injury and whether or not you have suffered other damage to the knee:

  • An MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), which uses a magnetic field and radio waves to produce detailed images of the inside of your knee
  • An ultrasound, which uses sound waves and can help determine the grade of your injury
  • An X-ray, which, while it won’t show the MCL or other ligaments, may be ordered for a severe MCL injury to ensure there are no broken bones

You can also schedule and appointment with the Axes location nearest you for a free, no-risk injury screening. While we will be able to diagnose your injury, Missouri Revised Statute §334.506 requires that physical therapy be prescribed by a physician.

How MCL Injuries are Treated in Barnhart, MO

Right after your MCL injury, you should start with basic first aid: reducing swelling, easing pain, and utilizing the R.I.C.E. Method of Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. For sprains or slight tears, the R.I.C.E method, over-the-counter pain relievers, and some time with limited activity may be sufficient to get mostly back to normal.

Grade 2 or 3 injuries will require professional physical therapy in order truly recover from your MCL injury and get back to the activities you love. You’ll also need time off your feet to allow your body to heal safely. Your Axes physical therapist in Barnhart, MO can fit you for a knee brace in order to prevent your knee from bending too far inward while your MCL is still healing. With physical therapy, you’ll still continue icing your knee and taking anti-inflammatory pain medication.

Surgery is typically only needed with severe grade 1 MCL injuries, or if the MCL tear is accompanied by an ACL tear or other damage to the structures of the knee. The surgery is performed by using a graft, either from your hamstring or from another person, to reattach the torn sections. The surgery is an outpatient procedure. If you do require surgery in Barnhart, MO, our physical therapists will be able to treat you with pre- and post-surgical rehabilitation, which ensures that your knee will be healthy enough for the operation, and you’ll safely restore, strength, flexibility, and range of motion after.

How Can Physical Therapy in Barnhart, MO Treat My MCL Injury?

The objective of physical therapy, when dealing with any injury, is to create safe, targeted, and evidence-backed treatment methods based on each patient’s specific injury and the lifestyle they want to get back to. Physical therapy slowly and effectively improves strength in the strength in the muscles that power the knee, flexibility of soft tissue, and range of motion to the joint so you can get back to what you love most and prevent further injury. Depending on you and your injuries, your treatment plan may include:

At Axes Physical Therapy in Barnhart, MO, all of our treatment plans are as unique as each patient, and created in concert with your physician, in order to deliver you the best client experience and get you back to doing what you love to do most.

Other services we offer in Barnhart, MO include:

MCL Injury Barnhart, MO | Athletic Training | Sports Training | Physical Therapy Near Barnhart

Schedule an Appointment With an Axes Physical Therapist in Barnhart, MO for Your MCL Injury

An MCL injury is scary and anxiety-inducing at first, especially if you’re used to being physically active, but there’s no reason it has to put you on the sideline forever. We know our clients trust us with their recovery, so we repay that trust with safe and effective treatments that are backed by evidence. We also strongly believe in patient education so you can stay as healthy and active as possible. For meaningful and lasting recovery from your MCL injury in Barnhart, MO, call the location nearest you and request an appointment online.

Services Offered

Services Offered
  • Physical Therapy
    • Pre/Post Surgical Rehabilitation
    • Acute Injury Management
    • Chronic Injury Management
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Advanced Work Rehabilitation
  • Work Conditioning/Hardening
  • Functional Capacity Evaluations
  • Certified Hand Therapy
  • Vestibular Therapy/Concussion Management
  • Trigger Point Dry Needling
  • Sports Physical Therapy
  • Pediatric Orthopedic Physical Therapy
  • Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization
  • Spine Specialty – Certified Manual Therapy
  • Free Injury Screenings
  • Kinesio Taping®
  • Blood Flow Restriction Therapy

Our Team

Stephen Brunjes
OTR/L, CEAS
Mary McKinney
Front Office
Helen Ziegler
Front Office
Kaila Mikesch
PT, DPT, CMPT
Ryan Knuckles
PT, DPT, Astym Cert., Dry Needling Cert.
Ernie Goddard
Clinic Director, PT
Natalie Carter
PT, DPT, Astym. Cert.
Emma Witte
PTA, ASTYM Cert.

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Injuries and pain shouldn’t keep you from moving and doing the things you love.