Flint Hill, MO

Flint Hill, MO

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

MCL Injury | Flint Hill, MO Physical Therapy

MCL Injury in Flint Hill, 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? 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 Flint Hill, MO, we are driven by positive patient experiences. 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 fundamental part of any treatment plan for MCL injuries. Our physical therapists in Flint Hill, MO specialize helping a variety of injuries and conditions in the musculoskeletal system heal. For treatment plans you know will be effective, call the Axes location nearest you or schedule an appointment 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 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 functions to guard against valgus pressure, or the knee being pushed 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 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 the small bone behind the tibia) and provides stability to the outer knee

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 a variety of knee injuries that can limit or completely restrict your mobility and compete like you’re used to, or just live a pain-free day-to-day life. Specific physical therapy techniques and other treatment modalities, prescribed by a doctor, have been demonstrated through research and studies to help patients mitigate pain and swelling and return to normal movement health.

MCL Injury Flint Hill, MO | Sports Rehab | Injury Prevention | Physical Therapy Near Flint Hill

What Types of MCL Injuries Are There?

For all intents and purposes, an MCL injury is either a sprain, which stretches the ligament beyond its normal range of motion, 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. These are not generally severe, and your knee will still be stable. Symptoms will likely be tenderness and mild pain.
  • Grade 2 — This is a more moderate tear, most commonly to the more fibrous part of the ligament. Your knee will be slightly unstable, and the knee will likely be loose when moved by hand. Pain is much more severe in a grade 2 MCL injury.
  • 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 “give out.” 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.

However significant your MCL injuries, the team of licensed Flint Hill, MO physical and occupational therapists at Axes can, as a team with your physician, create an extensive plan uniquely made for you and your injuries to get you back to the things you love in a safe and effective manner.

What Causes MCL Injuries?

40% of all knee injuries involve damage to a ligament, 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 occur if the knee is rotated more than the ligament can stand. They can also occur because of landing or excessive bending, such as if a cleat is stuck in grass while the rest of your body moves.

Athletes in contact sports are the most likely to sustain an MCL injury. They are also common in those who lift weights or lift heavy objects at their work.

Common Symptoms of MCL Injuries

If you suffer an MCL injury in Flint Hill, MO, you’ll likely notice the pain right away. 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 along the inside of the joint
  • Swelling, either of the MCL area or the whole knee

Sometimes you may feel like your knee is “shaky”, while other times the knee feels too stiff. If you suspect you may have suffered an MCL injury, stop any strenuous activity immediately and seek medical treatment for a diagnosis.

Diagnosis and Treatment of an MCL Injury in Flint Hill, MO

Diagnosing an MCL injury requires going to a physical examination. In the examination, your Flint Hill, 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 check for stability.

Most physical therapists or doctors that specialize in the musculoskeletal system in Flint Hill, 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 detailed images of the knee joint
  • 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, 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 determine if you have suffered an MCL sprain or tear, Missouri Revised Statute §334.506 mandates a prescription in order to officially begin physical therapy treatment.

How MCL Injuries are Treated in Flint Hill, MO

Typically, treating an MCL injury begins with basic first aid: reducing swelling, managing pain, 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 spent resting may be sufficient for your body to heal itself.

Professional physical therapy is needed for grade 2 and 3 injuries to restore strength and function and get you back to racing down or around the court or field. You’ll also need time off your feet to allow your body to heal safely. Your Axes physical therapist in Flint Hill, MO can fit you for a knee brace in order to prevent your knee from becoming more instable while your MCL is still healing. 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. During the surgery, a surgeon will use a graft, either from your hamstring or from another person, to reattach the torn sections. The surgery is an outpatient procedure. If your doctor thinks surgery is necessary, our physical therapists are experts at pre- and post-surgical rehabilitation get you the best possible results from your surgery.

How Can Physical Therapy in Flint Hill, MO Treat My MCL Injury?

The goal of physical therapy, when dealing with any injury, is to create safe, effective, and evidence-backed treatment methods based on each patient as an individual. Physical therapy slowly and effectively improves strength in the strength in the muscles that power the knee, flexibility of soft tissue, and range of motion to the knee in the interest of not only recovery, but injury prevention. Depending on you and your injuries, your treatment plan may include:

At Axes Physical Therapy in Flint Hill, MO, all of our treatment plans are as unique as each patient, and created with the help of your doctor, in order to deliver you the best client experience and get you back to doing what you love to do most.

Other conditions we help treat in Flint Hill, MO include:

MCL Injury Flint Hill, MO | Athletic Training | Sports Training | Physical Therapy Near Flint Hill

Schedule an Appointment With an Axes Physical Therapist in Flint Hill, 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 our clients trust us with their recovery, so the treatment method we plan for you will be safe and backed by evidence. We also strongly believe in patient education so you can stay as healthy and active as possible. For meaningful and lasting recovery from your MCL injury in Flint Hill, 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
  • DorsaVi Video Motion Analysis
  • Spine Specialty – Certified Manual Therapy, McKenzie
  • Free Injury Screenings
  • Kinesio Taping®
  • Blood Flow Restriction Therapy

Our Team

Sara Crain
PT, CEAS, Astym Cert.
Katee Strunk
Front Office Team Lead
Julie Freiner
OTR/L, CHT
Samantha Bixby
PT, DPT, Astym Cert.
Farren Holman
PT, DPT, Astym Cert.
Matt Williams
MS, OTR/L, ATC/L
Jeff Hunter
Clinic Director, PT, Cert. MDT, MBA

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