MCL Injury | Florissant, MO Physical Therapy
MCL Injury in Florissant, 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 Florissant, MO, we are driven by positive patient experiences. While we’d like to be able to make your MCL injury go away, we can help ensure you get back to feeling like yourself with safe, evidence-backed treatments. Physical therapy has proven to be a fundamental part of any treatment plan for MCL injuries. Our physical therapists in Florissant, 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 most convenient for you you or contact us online.
How the MCL Works
MCL stands for “medial collateral ligament.” A ligament is a tough, flexible of connective tissue that affixes bone to bone and helps hold structures with the body together. 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 chief purpose is to withstand valgus pressure, or the knee being forced unnaturally inward. It combines with three other ligaments to keep the knee stable:
- 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 forms an “X” with the ACL in the middle of the knee and the femur from sliding off the tibia
- LCL (lateral collateral ligament), which affixes the thigh bone 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 we have. 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 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 exercises and other physician-prescribed treatment plans have been proven to help patients reduce pain and get back to normal functionality.
What Types of MCL Injuries Are There?
Generally speaking, an MCL injury either involves a sprain, which stretches the ligament beyond its normal limits, or a tear, where the ligament may fray partially or entirely separate from the bone. MCL injuries are “graded” in three tiers:
- 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 will still be stable. Symptoms will likely be tenderness and some soreness.
- Grade 2 — This is more significant tearing, generally to the superficial part of the MCL. Your knee will be slightly unstable, and the knee will likely 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 fibrous and deep parts. You will likely feel like your knee’s about to buckle. You will likely feel intense pain and several other symptoms. The injury may actually caused by or accompanied by other serious knee injuries such as ACL tears.
However significant your MCL injuries, our licensed Florissant, MO physical and occupational therapists at Axes can, along with your physician, develop an exhaustive plan uniquely made for you and your injuries aimed at returning you to the life you’re used to safely.
MCL Injuries: Causes and Symptoms
40% of all knee injuries involve damage to a ligament, 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 occur if the knee is rotated more than the ligament can support. They can also take place when landing or unnatural 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 employment.
Common Symptoms of MCL Injuries
If you suffer an MCL injury in Florissant, 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
- Inflammation, either of the MCL area or the whole knee
Sometimes you may feel a “wobbly” sensation, while other times you’ll barely be able to move the knee. Any time you feel pain or instability in your knee, do not participate in any more strenuous activity and seek medical treatment for a diagnosis.
Diagnosing and Treating an MCL Injury in Florissant, MO
MCL injuries are diagnosed in a doctor’s office, emergency room or at a physical therapy center. In the examination, your Florissant, 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 check for stability.
Most physical therapists or doctors that specialize in the musculoskeletal system in Florissant, MO are qualified to diagnose 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 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 free, no-obligation injury screening. While we can offer you an evaluation, Missouri law stipulates a prescription for further physical therapy.
Treating an MCL Injury in Florissant, MO
Typically, treating an MCL injury begins with basic first aid: swelling reduction, relieving pain, 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, pain and swelling relievers, and some time spent resting may be sufficient for your body’s natural healing processes to get you back on your feet.
Grade 2 or 3 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 off your feet to allow your body to heal safely. Your Axes physical therapist in Florissant, 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.
Though uncommon, the most severe cases — in which the MCL is completely torn, the injury is accompanied by an ACL tear, or nonsurgical treatment just isn’t working — may require surgery. During the surgery, a surgeon will use a graft, either from one of your other ligaments or from another person, to reconstruct the ligament. You would be able to go home the day of the surgery. If you do require surgery in Florissant, MO, our physical therapists specialize in pre- and post-surgical rehabilitation, which ensures that your knee will be healthy enough for the operation, and you’ll safely restore, strength, flexibility, and range of motion after.
How Do Physical Therapists in Florissant, MO Treat MCL Injuries?
The aim of physical therapy, when dealing with any injury, is to create safe and evidence-backed exercises, 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 soft tissue, and range of motion to the knee so you can get back to what you love most and prevent further injury. Depending on you and your injuries, your treatment plan may include:
- At the start, passive motions carried about by your physical therapist to help restore normal functionality
- More active exercises and stretches later to regain strength
- Exercises with elastic bands, weight lifting equipment, or cardio machines such as a stationary bike
- Instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization, which studies show can accelerate knee ligament healing
- Kinesio Taping®, which keeps the knee stable and helps control motion
- Trigger point dry needling to further help the body’s natural healing process
- Blood flow restriction training to help you make greater strength gains while lifting lighter loads
- Athletic training and sports therapy for those whose main goal is to get back onto the court or field
At Axes Physical Therapy in Florissant, MO, all of our treatment plans are designed individually to each patient, proven through peer-reviewed research, and created alongside your physician, in order to deliver you the best client experience and get you back to doing what you love to do most.
Other injuries we help treat in Florissant, 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 Florissant, MO for Your MCL Injury
An MCL injury can be painful and frightening, especially if you’re an athlete, 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 the anatomy of the knee so you can stay as healthy and active as possible. For meaningful and lasting recovery from your MCL injury in Florissant, MO, call the location nearest you and request an appointment online.