MCL Injury | Bloomsdale, MO Physical Therapy
MCL Injury in Bloomsdale, MO. For many people who maintain an active lifestyle, it’s easy to fear the worst when you feel sudden pain on the inside of your knee: Did I suffer an MCL injury? How bad is the injury? How long will it take to recover? Will I ever be able to perform at the same level again? At Axes Physical Therapy in Bloomsdale, MO, all of our physical and occupational therapists are committed to getting our clients back to the activities they love most. While we’d like to be able to magically fix your MCL, we can make your recovery safe and effective through customized, proven treatment plans. Physical therapy has been shown time and time again to be a critical aspect of recovering from any MCL injury. Our physical therapists in Bloomsdale, MO are all licensed and average more than 15 years of individual experience. For lasting and meaningful recovery, reach out to the Axes location nearest you or request 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 affixes bones to each other and provides stability. The MCL runs from the inside of your upper shin bone to the inside of your bottoms thigh bone and keeps the knee from moving side to side. Its functions to withstand valgus pressure, or the knee being forced unnaturally 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 controls rotation and controls forward movement
- PCL (posterior cruciate ligament), which crosses the ACL inside the knee and prevents excessive posterior translation of the tibia relative to the femur
- LCL (lateral collateral ligament), which connects the femur to the fibula (the smaller bone in the lower leg) and helps keep the outer side of your knee joint stable
The knee is one of the biggest joints in the human body. A healthy knee relies on surrounding bone and muscle, and the tendons and ligaments in order to provide support and function properly. When any knee injury, such as an MCL tear, occurs it can greatly affect your mobility and compete like you’re used to, or just get around the house pain-free. Particular physical therapy exercises and other physician-prescribed treatment plans have been proven to help those who have suffered an MCL injury mitigate pain and swelling and return to normal mobility.
What Types of MCL Injuries Are There?
In general, 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. MCL injuries are “graded” in three levels:
- Grade 1 — A grade 1 MCL injury refers to a sprain, or a tear where less than 10% of the the fibers in your MCL are torn. It’s typically a mild injury, and don’t result in much instability. Your knee will feel tender, and you may also experience mild pain.
- Grade 2 — This is a more moderate tear, usually to the superficial part of the ligament. You will probably lose some stability in your knee, 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 fibrous and deep parts. You will likely feel like your knee’s about to buckle. You will likely experience intense pain and several other symptoms. The injury may actually caused by or accompanied by other serious knee injuries such as ACL tears.
Whatever grade MCL injury you have, our qualified Bloomsdale, MO physical and occupational therapists at Axes can, along with your doctor, implement a comprehensive plan specially made for you and your injuries to get you back to the things you love safely.
What Causes MCL Injuries?
Ligament injuries account for 40% of all knee injuries, and the MCL is the most commonly injured ligament. When you suffer a forceful trauma to the outside of your knee, it can push the knee inside far enough that the MCL strains or tears. MCL injuries can also by the knee rotating too forcefully. They can also happen because of landing or unnatural bending, such as if your foot stays in one place while your leg keeps moving.
Athletes in contact sports are the most likely to sustain an MCL injury. They can also occur in people who lift weights or lift heavy objects at their employment.
Common Symptoms of MCL Injuries
If you suffer an MCL injury in Bloomsdale, MO, you’ll probably notice the pain right away. Other symptoms may include:
- A sudden “pop” on the inside of your knee
- Feeling like the may give out
- Not being able to put any weight on the knee
- Tenderness along the inside of the joint
- Swelling, either where the MCL is located or the whole knee
Sometimes you may feel a “wobbly” sensation, or in other cases the knee feels too rigid. If you suspect you may have suffered an MCL injury, do not participate in any more strenuous activity and seek medical treatment for a diagnosis.
Diagnosis and Treatment of an MCL Injury in Bloomsdale, MO
Diagnosing an MCL injury requires going to a doctor’s office, emergency room or at a physical therapy center. In the examination, your Bloomsdale, MO doctor or physical therapist will go over how the injury occurred, 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 that specialize in the musculoskeletal system in Bloomsdale, MO are qualified to determine if you have 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 take detailed images of your soft tissue
- 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
Alternatively, you can come to the Axes location nearest you for a free, no-risk injury screening. While we can determine if you have suffered an MCL injury, Missouri Revised Statute §334.506 requires that physical therapy be prescribed by a doctor.
Treating an MCL Injury in Bloomsdale, MO
Right after your MCL injury, you should start with basic first aid: inflammation reduction, relieving discomfort, and using 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 enough for your body’s natural healing processes to get you back on your feet.
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 strenuous activity for an even longer period. Your Axes physical therapist in Bloomsdale, MO can fit you for a knee brace so that you don’t suffer further injury. 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 joint. The surgery is carried out by using a graft, either from your hamstring or from another person, to reconstruct the MCL. The surgery is an outpatient procedure. If your doctor thinks surgery is necessary, our physical therapists specialize in pre- and post-surgical rehabilitation get you the best possible results from your surgery.
How Can Physical Therapy in Bloomsdale, MO Treat My MCL Injury?
For recovering from any injury, a physically therapist will create safe, effective, and evidence-backed treatment methods based on each patient’s specific injury and the lifestyle they want to get back to. These treatments and exercises will, over time, build strength in the surrounding muscles, flexibility of ligaments and tendons, 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 the start, light motions performed by your physical therapist to help restore normal functionality
- Exercised performed by you later to further develop strength and flexibility
- Exercises with resistant bands, weights, or cardio machines such as a stationary bike
- Instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization, which research suggests can accelerate knee ligament healing
- Kinesio Taping®, which keeps the knee stable and encourages normal function
- Trigger point dry needling to further help the body’s natural healing process
- Blood flow restriction training to improve strength while lessening stress on the joint
- Athletic training and sports therapy for those whose main goal is to get back onto the court or field
At Axes Physical Therapy in Bloomsdale, MO, all of our treatment plans are as unique as each patient, and created alongside your doctor, in order to get you the best patient outcome possible and get you back to the activities you love.
Other conditions we help treat in Bloomsdale, MO include:
- Soft Tissue Mobilization
- Post Surgical Rehabilitation
- Shin Splint Treatment
- Direct Access Physical Therapy
- Gait Analysis
- Pelvic Floor Therapy
- Dry Needling Near Me
- Tendonitis Treatment
- Manual Physical Therapy
- Orthopedic Rehab Near Me
Schedule an Appointment With an Axes Physical Therapist in Bloomsdale, MO for Your MCL Injury
An MCL injury is scary and anxiety-inducing at first, especially if you’re an athlete or someone who finds joy in an active lifestyle, but there’s no reason it has to put you on the sideline forever. 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 how the knee works so you can stay as healthy and active as possible. For meaningful and lasting recovery from your MCL injury in Bloomsdale, MO, call the location nearest you and request an appointment online.