Bella Villa, MO

Bella Villa, MO

Axes Physical Therapy will provide you with safe, effective, and evidence-backed physical therapy

MCL Injury | Bella Villa, MO Physical Therapy

MCL Injury in Bella Villa, MO. For many athletes and physically active people, feeling that sudden “pop” in their knee creates a lot of anxiety: Did I injure my MCL? Is it significant? How long will I be sidelines for? Will this be the end of my athletic career? At Axes Physical Therapy in Bella Villa, MO, we are driven by positive patient outcomes. While we can’t, we can help ensure you get back to feeling like yourself with safe, effective treatments. Physical therapy has proven to be an integral component of recovering from any MCL injury. Our physical therapists in Bella Villa, MO specialize helping a variety of injuries and conditions in the musculoskeletal system heal. For treatment plans you know will be effective, reach out to the Axes location nearest you or contact us online.

How the MCL Works

MCL stands for “medial collateral ligament.” A ligament is like a strong, firmly attached rope that attaches bone to bone and provides stability. The MCL connects your upper shin bone to the inner surface of the bottom thigh bone, running along your inner knee, and maintains stability in the inner knee. Its functions to guard against valgus stress, or the knee being pushed unnaturally inward. It is one of four ligaments that help keep the knee stable, along with the:

  • ACL (anterior cruciate ligament), which goes through the middle of your knee and controls rotation and controls forward movement
  • PCL (posterior cruciate ligament), which crosses the ACL in the middle of the knee and the femur from sliding off the tibia
  • LCL (lateral collateral ligament), which runs along the outside of the knee from the femur to the fibula (the smaller bone between the knee and ankle) and prevents the knee from being pushed too far outward

The knee is one of the most complex joints we have. Healthy structure and function depends on surrounding bone, muscle, tendons, and ligaments. There are numerous knee injuries that can have tremendous consequences for your mobility and ability to do what you love most, or just complete basic tasks pain-free. Certain physical therapy techniques and other treatment modalities, prescribed by a doctor, have been proven to help patients mitigate pain and swelling and return to optimal movement health.

MCL Injury Bella Villa, MO | Sports Rehab | Injury Prevention | Physical Therapy Near Bella Villa

What Types of MCL Injuries Are There?

For all intents and purposes, an MCL injury is either a sprain, wherein the MCL is stretched beyond its normal range of motion, or a tear, where the MCL is either partially or completely torn or separated from the bone. There are three grades to MCL injuries:

  • Grade 1 — A grade 1 sprain or tear means that the ligament has been stretched, and less than 10% of the MCL has been torn. These injuries are typically not especially painful or debilitating, and your knee largely remains stable. Your knee will feel tender, and you may also experience mild pain.
  • Grade 2 — This is a more moderate tear, usually to the middle layer of the MCL. Your knee will be slightly unstable, and your joint may be loose when moved by hand. Symptoms of a grade 2 MCL injury generally include much more noticeable pain.
  • Grade 3 — A grade 3 tear is a complete tear, or separation from the bone. You will likely feel like your knee’s about to buckle. You will likely feel intense pain and several other 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 Bella Villa, MO physical and occupational therapists at Axes can, along with your physician, create an exhaustive and customized plan aimed at returning you to the life you’re used to safely.

How Do MCL Injuries Occur?

Ligament injuries account for 40% of all knee injuries, and most of the time that ligament is the MCL. People often suffer and MCL injury because of the knee suddenly being forced too far inward. MCL injuries can also by the knee rotating too forcefully. They can also take place when landing or excessive bending, such as if your foot stays in one place while the rest of your body moves.

MCL injuries are common in athletes in contact sports and in athletic events that require a lot of sudden movement such as football, soccer, skiing, basketball, and tennis. They are also common in those who have to squat and lift heavy objects, either for athletic training or in the course of their employment.

Common Symptoms of MCL Injuries

Most MCL injuries are accompanied by sudden, noticeable pain. Other symptoms may include:

  • Hearing or feeling a popping sound or sensation
  • The knee being unstable
  • Not being able to put any weight on the knee
  • Bruising
  • Tenderness where the MCL is located
  • Swelling, either of the MCL area or the entire knee joint

Sometimes you may feel a “wobbly” sensation, or in other cases the knee feels too stiff. If you experience any of the above symptoms, stop any strenuous activity immediately and schedule a physical examination in order to get a diagnosis.

Diagnosis and Treatment of an MCL Injury in Bella Villa, MO

Diagnosing an MCL injury requires going to a physical examination. In the examination, your Bella Villa, MO doctor or physical therapist will go over what led to the injury, will feel for swelling and how your knee is different from your healthy knee, and gently see if your knee is unstanble while bending inward, and your pain level.

Most physical therapists or doctors with knowledge of movement health in Bella Villa, MO will be able to diagnose an MCL injury with a physical examination. Other tests to check severity or to confirm may include:

  • An MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), which uses a magnet and computer-generated radio waves to create three-dimensional images of the knee joint
  • 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, to insure your femur, kneecap, tibia, and fibula have not been broken

Axes Physical Therapy also offers injury screening injury screenings at no cost or obligation to you. While we can offer you an evaluation, Missouri law requires that physical therapy be prescribed by a physician.

Treating an MCL Injury in Bella Villa, MO

Typically, treating an MCL injury begins with basic first aid: inflammation reduction, reducing 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, pain and swelling relievers, and a few days or week or two of rest may be enough for your body to heal itself.

Grade 2 or 3 tears 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 to refrain from most physical until your knee is strong again. Your Axes physical therapist in Bella Villa, MO can fit you for a knee brace to give your knee stability while it’s healing. Even with physical therapy, you’ll likely still continue the R.I.C.E. method and over-the-counter meds.

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 joint. During the surgery, a surgeon will use a graft, either from one of your other ligaments or from another person, to reconstruct the ligament. The surgery is an outpatient procedure. If you do require surgery in Bella Villa, MO, our physical therapists are experts at pre- and post-surgical rehabilitation, which ensures that your knee will be healthy enough for the ligament reconstruction, and you’ll build back strength safely after the surgery.

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

For recovering from any injury, a physically therapist will create safe, targeted, and evidence-backed treatment methods based on each patient as an individual. These treatments and exercises will, over time, build strength in the strength in the muscles that power the joint, flexibility of soft tissue, and range of motion to the joint in the interest of not only recovery, but injury prevention. A physical therapist may recommend and implement the following practices:

At Axes Physical Therapy in Bella Villa, MO, all of our treatment plans are as unique as each patient, and created alongside 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 Bella Villa, MO include:

MCL Injury Bella Villa, MO | Athletic Training | Sports Training | Physical Therapy Near Bella Villa

Call an Axes Physical Therapist in Bella Villa, MO for Your MCL Injury

An MCL injury can be painful and frightening, especially if you’re used to being physically active, but with our help, you can get back to how you used to feel. We know you place a lot of trust in your physical therapists, so the treatment method we plan for you will be safe and backed by evidence. As part of our program, we’ll educate you on your injury and the structures of the knee so you can stay as healthy and active as possible. For meaningful and lasting recovery from your MCL injury in Bella Villa, 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
  • Work Conditioning/Hardening
  • Functional Capacity Evaluations
  • Certified Hand Therapy
  • Sports Physical Therapy
  • Pediatric Orthopedic Physical Therapy
  • Geriatric Physical Therapy
  • Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization
  • Spine Specialty – Certified Manual Therapy
  • Trigger Point Dry Needling
  • Free Injury Screenings
  • Kinesio Taping®
  • Blood Flow Restriction Therapy
  • Certified Wellness Coaching

Our Team

Stephen Brunjes
OTR/L, CEAS
Brian Wahlig
Front Office Supervisor
Sarah Schroeder
MOTR/L, CHT, Astym Cert
Mandy Carter
MSPT, CMPT, ATC, CWC
Ray Bauer
Clinic Director, MSPT, CMPT
Jayne Scanlan
DPT, COMT, CMTPT, FAAOMPT
Megan Mason
OTD, OTR/L

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