Eureka, MO

Eureka, MO

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

MCL Injury | Eureka, MO Physical Therapy

MCL Injury in Eureka, MO. If someone plays sports or engages in other physical activity, it’s easy to fear the worst when you hear that sudden “pop” in your knee: Did I injure my MCL? Is it significant? How long will it take to recover? Will this be the end of my athletic career? At Axes Physical Therapy in Eureka, MO, all of our physical and occupational therapists are committed to positive patient experiences. While we can’t, we can make your recovery safe and effective through tailored, evidence-based treatment plans. Physical therapy has been shown time and time again to be a critical aspect of any treatment plan for MCL injuries. Our physical therapists in Eureka, MO are movement health experts. For lasting and meaningful recovery, call the Axes location most convenient for you you or schedule 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 provides stability. 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 primary purpose is to withstand valgus stress, or the knee being pushed too far inward. It is one of four ligaments that help keep the knee stable, along with the:

  • ACL (anterior cruciate ligament), which runs down the center 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 keeps the tibia from sliding back too far
  • LCL (lateral collateral ligament), which attaches 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 largest joints we have. Correct 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 pursue the activities you love most, or just live a pain-free day-to-day life. Particular physical therapy exercises and other physician-prescribed treatment plans have been demonstrated through evidence to help those who have suffered an MCL injury manage their symptoms and get back to optimal mobility.

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

What Types of MCL Injuries Are There?

Generally speaking, an MCL injury is either 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. 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 MCL has been torn. It’s typically a mild injury, and your knee largely remains stable. You will likely experience some tenderness and some soreness.
  • Grade 2 — This injury is when the MCL suffers more significant tearing, generally to the middle layer of the ligament. You will probably lose some stability in your knee, and your joint may be loose when moved by hand. A grade 2 injury will result in significantly more pain than a grade 2 MCL injury.
  • Grade 3 — This injury is a complete tear to both the superficial and deep parts. You will likely feel like your knee’s about to “give out.” You will likely experience intense pain and a wide array of symptoms. The injury may actually caused by or accompanied by other serious knee injuries such as ACL tears.

However significant your MCL injuries, the team of qualified Eureka, MO physical and occupational therapists at Axes can, as a team with your physician, develop a comprehensive and personalized plan aimed at returning you to the life you’re used to in a safe and effective manner.

MCL Injuries: Causes and Symptoms

Ligament injuries account for 40% of all knee injuries, and most of the time that ligament is the MCL. MCL injuries occur due to 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 your leg keeps moving.

MCL injuries are common in athletes in contact sports and in sports 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 hunch over and lift heavy objects, either for athletic training or in the course of their employment.

Common Symptoms of MCL Injuries

Most people feel pain immediately on the inside of the joint when they experience an MCL sprain or tear. Other symptoms may include:

  • Hearing or feeling a popping sound or feeling
  • Feeling like the may buckle
  • Not being able to put any weight on the knee
  • Contusions
  • Tenderness where the MCL is located
  • 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, or in other cases you’ll barely be able to move the knee. If you experience any of the above symptoms, stop any strenuous activity immediately and schedule a physical examination in order to get a diagnosis.

Diagnosing and Treating an MCL Injury in Eureka, MO

Diagnosing an MCL injury requires going to a physical examination. In the examination, your Eureka, 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 perform a valgus stress test.

Most physical therapists or physicians that specialize in the musculoskeletal system in Eureka, MO are qualified to determine if you have an MCL injury with the above procedures. 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 magnet and computer-generated radio waves to take three-dimensional images of the inside of your knee
  • 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, may be ordered for a severe MCL injury to ensure there are no broken bones

You can also visit 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 stipulates that physical therapy be prescribed by a physician.

How to Treat and MCL Injury in Eureka, MO

Right after your MCL injury, you should start with basic first aid: reducing swelling, relieving discomfort, 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 enough for your body to heal itself.

More significant 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 time resting to allow your body to heal safely. Your Axes physical therapist in Eureka, 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 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 knee. The surgery is performed by using a graft, either from your hamstring or from another person, to reconstruct the MCL. You would not have to be hospitalized overnight. If your doctor thinks surgery is necessary, our physical therapists will be able to help you with pre- and post-surgical rehabilitation to make your surgery and recovery as successful as possible.

How Do Physical Therapists in Eureka, MO Treat MCL Injuries?

For recovering from any injury, a physically therapist will design safe and evidence-backed treatments, each aimed at helping a specific part of the body regain a specific level or function. These treatments and exercises will, over time, build strength in the surrounding muscles, 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 Eureka, MO, all of our treatment plans are as unique as each patient, and created in concert with your physician, in order to get you the best patient outcome possible and get you back to the activities you love.

Other services we offer in Eureka, MO include:

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

Call an Axes Physical Therapist in Eureka, 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 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 Eureka, 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
  • Sports Physical Therapy
  • Pediatric Orthopedic Physical Therapy
  • Geriatric Physical Therapy
  • Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization
  • DorsaVi Video Motion Analysis
  • Vestibular Therapy and Post-Concussion Rehabilitation
  • Trigger Point Dry Needling
  • Free Injury Screenings
  • Kinesio Taping®
  • Blood Flow Restriction Therapy

Our Team

Stephen Brunjes
OTR/L, CEAS
Lauren Huckstep
Clinic Director, PT, DPT, CSCS, Astym Cert.
Christine Blocker
Front Office Supervisor

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