Black Jack, MO

Black Jack, MO

Axes Physical Therapy can provide you with safe, effective, and evidence-based treatment plans

MCL Injury | Black Jack, MO Physical Therapy

MCL Injury in Black Jack, 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? How bad is the injury? How long will I be sidelines for? Will this be the end of my athletic career? At Axes Physical Therapy in Black Jack, MO, all of our physical and occupational therapists are dedicated to getting our clients back to tearing up the filed. 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 been shown time and time again to be a critical part of recovering from any MCL injury. Our physical therapists in Black Jack, MO specialize helping a variety of injuries and conditions in the musculoskeletal system heal. For lasting and meaningful recovery, reach out to the Axes location most convenient for you you or request an appointment online.

The Anatomy of the MCL

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 runs from the inside of your upper shin bone to the inside of your bottoms thigh bone and maintains stability in the inner knee. Its main purpose is to guard against valgus stress, or the knee being forced too far inward. It is one of four ligaments that help control the knee, along with the:

  • ACL (anterior cruciate ligament), which runs down the center of your knee and provides rotational stability and controls forward movement
  • PCL (posterior cruciate ligament), which forms an “X” with the ACL in the middle of the knee and controls backward movement
  • 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 helps keep the outer side of your knee joint stable

The knee is known for being one of our most complex joints. Healthy structure and function depends on surrounding bone, muscle, tendons, and ligaments. When any knee injury, such as an MCL tear, occurs it can greatly affect your mobility and ability to do what you love most, or just live a pain-free day-to-day life. Particular physical therapy techniques and other treatment modalities, prescribed by a doctor, have been proven to help patients reduce pain and return to optimal functionality.

MCL Injury Black Jack, MO | Sports Rehab | Injury Prevention | Physical Therapy Near Black Jack

What Types of MCL Injuries Are There?

For all intents and purposes, an MCL injury either involves a sprain, wherein the MCL extends beyond its normal limits, or a tear, where the MCL is either partially or completely torn or separated from the bone. MCL injuries are “graded” in three levels:

  • 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 more significant tearing, most commonly to the middle layer of the MCL. Your knee will be slightly unstable, and your joint may be loose when manipulated manually. A grade 2 injury will result in significantly more pain than a grade 2 MCL injury.
  • Grade 3 — A grade 3 tear is a complete tear, or separation from the bone. You will retain little to no stability. You will likely experience significant pain and a wide array of symptoms. Grade 3 MCL injuries often occur alongside other knee injuries such as ACL tears.

However significant your MCL injuries, our licensed Black Jack, MO physical and occupational therapists at Axes can, along with your physician, develop an extensive plan uniquely made for you and your injuries to get you back to the activities your love most safely.

How Do MCL Injuries Occur?

40% of all knee injuries involve damage to a ligament, and most of the time that ligament is the MCL. Most MCL injuries occur due to a blow to the outside of the knee. MCL injuries can also by the knee rotating more than the ligament can support. They can also happen because of landing or unnatural bending, such as if your foot stays in one place while you’re moving.

MCL injuries are common in athletes in contact sports and in athletic events that require a lot of cutting and jumping such as football, soccer, skiing, basketball, and tennis. They can also occur in people who have to hunch over 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 immediate, noticeable pain. 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
  • Contusions
  • Tenderness where the MCL is located
  • Swelling, either on the inside of the knee or the entire knee joint

Sometimes you may feel like your knee is “shaky”, while other times you’ll barely be able to move the knee. If you suspect you may have suffered an MCL injury, cease any strenuous activity immediately and schedule a physical examination in order to get a diagnosis.

Diagnosis and Treatment of an MCL Injury in Black Jack, MO

MCL injuries are diagnosed in a doctor’s office, urgent care or at a physical therapy center. The exam will usually start with a doctor or physical therapist in Black Jack, MO asking how the injury occurred. They’ll then bend your knee and apply slight pressure to the outside of it, noting how much pain you are in and whether or not your knee is unstable. They’ll also gently feel for swelling, and may compare your injured knee to the healthy one.

Most physical therapists or doctors with knowledge of movement health in Black Jack, MO will be able to determine if you have 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 computer-generated radio waves to produce three-dimensional images of your soft tissue
  • An ultrasound, which uses sound waves and can be helpful in checking the severity of your injury
  • An X-ray, which, while it won’t show the MCL or other ligaments, to insure your femur, patella, 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 mandates a prescription in order to officially begin physical therapy treatment.

How to Treat and MCL Injury in Black Jack, 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 mild injuries, the R.I.C.E method, over-the-counter pain relievers, and some time spent off your feet may be enough for your body to heal itself.

Professional physical therapy is needed for more severe tears to restore strength and optimal range of motion and get you back to the activities you love. You’ll also need to refrain from strenuous until your knee is strong again. Your Axes physical therapist in Black Jack, MO will be able to fit you for a knee brace to give your knee stability while it’s healing. With physical therapy, you’ll still continue icing your knee and taking anti-inflammatory pain medication.

Though uncommon, the most severe cases — in which the MCL is completely torn, the injury is accompanied by an ACL tear, or you are not recovering after several weeks of nonsurgical treatment — may require surgery. During the surgery, a surgeon will use a graft, either from your hamstring or an organ donor, to reconstruct the ligament. You would not have to be hospitalized overnight. If your doctor thinks surgery is necessary, our physical therapists are experts at pre- and post-surgical rehabilitation to make your surgery and recovery as successful as possible.

How Do Physical Therapists in Black Jack, MO Treat MCL Injuries?

The aim of physical therapy, when dealing with any injury, is to create safe and evidence-backed treatments, each aimed at helping a specific part of the body get back to optimal movement health. Physical therapy slowly and effectively improves strength in the strength in the muscles that power the knee, flexibility of ligaments and tendons, and range of motion to the knee 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 Black Jack, 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 the activities you love.

Other services we offer in Black Jack, MO include:

MCL Injury Black Jack, MO | Athletic Training | Sports Training | Physical Therapy Near Black Jack

Schedule an Appointment With an Axes Physical Therapist in Black Jack, 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, the ailment is only temporary. We know our clients trust us with their recovery, so we repay that trust with safe and effective treatments that are backed by evidence. As part of our program, we’ll educate you on your injury and how the knee works so you can stay as healthy and active as possible. For meaningful and lasting recovery from your MCL injury in Black Jack, 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
  • Certified Hand Therapy
  • Work Conditioning/Hardening
  • Functional Capacity Evaluations
  • Sports Physical Therapy
  • Pediatric Orthopedic Physical Therapy
  • Geriatric Physical Therapy
  • Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization
  • Free Injury Screenings
  • Kinesio Taping®
  • Blood Flow Restriction Therapy
  • Spine Specialty

Our Team

Sara Crain
PT, CEAS, Astym Cert.
Antoinette Ghoston
Front Office
Brandi Arndt
MPT, CMPT
Brett Shelton
PT, DPT, OCS, COMT, CSMT
TJ Jung
PT, DPT
Megan Mason
OTD, OTR/L

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