MCL Injury | Catawissa, MO Physical Therapy
MCL Injury in Catawissa, MO. If someone plays sports or engages in other physical activity, feeling that sudden “pop” in their knee creates a lot of doubts: Did I suffer an MCL injury? How bad is the injury? How long will it take to recover? Will my knee ever be the same again? At Axes Physical Therapy in Catawissa, MO, all of our physical and occupational therapists are committed to getting our clients back to the physical lifestyles they’ve grown to love. 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 a critical aspect of recovering from any MCL injury. Our physical therapists in Catawissa, 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 request an appointment online.
What is the MCL?
MCL stands for “medial collateral ligament.” A ligament is like a strong, firmly attached rope 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 keeps the knee from moving side to side. Its chief purpose is to withstand valgus stress, or the knee being pushed too far towards the other one. It is one of four ligaments in the knee, along with the:
- ACL (anterior cruciate ligament), which goes through the middle of your knee and controls rotation and prevents the tibia from sliding too far forward on the femur
- PCL (posterior cruciate ligament), which crosses the ACL in the middle of the knee and keeps the shinbone from sliding back too far
- LCL (lateral collateral ligament), which affixes the femur to the fibula (the smaller bone the small bone behind the tibia) and prevents the knee from being pushed unnaturally outward
The knee is known for being one of our most complex joints. It depends on surrounding bone and muscle, and the tendons and ligaments in order to provide support and function properly. There are a variety of 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 patients reduce pain and return to normal mobility.
What Types of MCL Injuries Are There?
For all intents and purposes, an MCL injury either involves a sprain, wherein the MCL is stretched beyond its normal limits, or a tear, where the ligament 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 are not generally severe, and your knee largely remains stable. Symptoms will likely be tenderness and mild pain.
- Grade 2 — This injury is when the MCL suffers more significant tearing, usually to the superficial part of the MCL. Your knee will be slightly unstable, and your joint may be loose when manipulated manually. Symptoms of a grade 2 MCL injury generally include much more noticeable pain.
- Grade 3 — This injury is a complete tear to both the superficial and deep parts. You will retain little to no stability. Pain will be intense and you’ll likely feel a wide array of 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 expert Catawissa, MO physical and occupational therapists at Axes can, along with your doctor, implement an exhaustive plan uniquely made for you and your injuries aimed at returning you to the life you’re used to without incurring further injury.
How Do MCL Injuries Occur?
40% of all knee injuries involve damage to a ligament, and the MCL is the most commonly injured ligament. People often suffer and MCL injury because of the knee suddenly being forced too far inward. MCL injuries can also occur if the knee is rotated too forcefully. They can also take place when landing or excessive bending, such as if a cleat is stuck in grass while the rest of your body moves.
MCL injuries usually occur 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 feeling
- Feeling like the may give out
- Not being able to put any weight on the knee
- Tenderness on the inside of your knee
- Inflammation, either on the inside of the knee or the whole knee
Sometimes you may feel like your knee is “shaky”, 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 Catawissa, MO
Diagnosing an MCL injury requires going to a doctor’s office, emergency room or at a physical therapy center. The examination will usually start with a doctor or physical therapist in Catawissa, 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 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 physicians that specialize in mobility of the human body in Catawissa, MO are qualified 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 radio waves to create 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 does not show soft tissue, may be ordered for a severe MCL injury to ensure there are no broken bones
Alternatively, you can come to the Axes location most convenient for you for a complimentary, no-risk injury screening. While we can determine if you have suffered an MCL sprain or tear, Missouri law requires a prescription for further physical therapy.
How to Treat and MCL Injury in Catawissa, MO
Right after your MCL injury, you should start with basic first aid: inflammation reduction, reducing 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, pain and swelling relievers, and a few days or week or two of rest may be sufficient for your body to heal itself.
More significant 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 resting to allow your body to heal safely. Your Axes physical therapist in Catawissa, MO can fit you for a knee brace so that you don’t suffer further injury. Even with physical therapy, you’ll likely still continue the R.I.C.E. method and anti-inflammatory 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 knee. During the surgery, a surgeon will use a graft, either from one of your other ligaments 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 to make your surgery and recovery as successful as possible.
How Can Physical Therapy in Catawissa, MO Treat My MCL Injury?
The objective of physical therapy, when dealing with any injury, is to implement 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 surrounding muscles, flexibility of soft tissue, 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:
- To begin, light motions performed by your physical therapist to slowly get the knee used to normal motion again
- More active exercises and stretches later to regain strength
- Exercises with elastic 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 provides further stability while your body heals and encourages normal function
- Trigger point dry needling to stimulate harder-to-reach tissue
- Blood flow restriction training to help you make greater strength gains while lifting lighter loads
- Athletic training and sports therapy for athletes who want to reduce the risk of reinjury
At Axes Physical Therapy in Catawissa, MO, all of our treatment plans are designed specifically for you, backed by empirical evidence, and created in concert with 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 Catawissa, MO include:
- Shoulder Pain
- Injury Prevention
- Knee Injury
- Joint Pain
- Dry Needling
- ACL Tear
- Pain Management
Schedule an Appointment With an Axes Physical Therapist in Catawissa, MO for Your MCL Injury
An MCL injury is scary and anxiety-inducing at first, especially if you’re an athlete, 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 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 Catawissa, MO, call the location nearest you and request an appointment online.