Foley, MO

Foley, MO

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

MCL Injury | Foley, MO Physical Therapy

MCL Injury in Foley, MO. For many people who maintain an active lifestyle, 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 I have to permanently give up the things I love doing? At Axes Physical Therapy in Foley, MO, all of our physical and occupational therapists are committed to getting our patients back to tearing up the filed. While we’d like to be able to make your MCL injury go away, we can make your recovery safe and effective through tailored, proven treatment plans. Physical therapy has been shown time and time again to be a critical part of any treatment plan for MCL injuries. Our physical therapists in Foley, MO specialize helping a variety of injuries and conditions in the musculoskeletal system heal. For lasting and meaningful recovery, call the Axes location most convenient for you you or contact us online.

The Anatomy of the MCL

MCL an acronym for “medial collateral ligament.” A ligament is a fibrous of connective tissue that attaches bones to each other and keeps joints stable. The MCL runs from the inside of your upper shin bone to the inside of your bottoms thigh bone and helps keep your knee stable and functioning normally. Its functions to resist valgus stress, or the knee being forced unnaturally towards the other one. It is one of four ligaments that help keep the knee stable, along with the:

  • ACL (anterior cruciate ligament), which goes through the middle of your knee and provides rotational stability and prevents the tibia from sliding too far forward on the femur
  • PCL (posterior cruciate ligament), which forms an “X” with the ACL inside the knee and acts as a secondary front and back stabilizer
  • LCL (lateral collateral ligament), which runs along the outside of the knee from the thigh bone to the fibula (the smaller bone the small bone behind the tibia) and prevents the knee from being pushed unnaturally outward

The knee is one of the largest joints in the human body. Healthy structure and movement depends on surrounding bone, muscle, tendons, and ligaments. There are countless 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 physician-prescribed treatment plans have been proven to help those who have suffered an MCL injury reduce pain and return to optimal movement health.

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

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 ligament 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 MCL has been torn. These are not generally severe, and don’t result in much instability. You will likely experience some tenderness and mild pain.
  • Grade 2 — This is a more moderate tear, most commonly to the more fibrous part of the MCL. 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 injury is a complete tear to both the fibrous and deep parts. You will likely feel like your knee’s about to buckle. Pain will be intense and you’ll likely feel several other symptoms. Grade 3 MCL injuries often occur alongside other knee injuries such as ACL tears.

However significant your MCL injuries, our licensed Foley, MO physical and occupational therapists at Axes can, along with your doctor, create an exhaustive plan uniquely made for you and your injuries aimed at returning you to the life you’re used to safely.

How Do MCL Injuries Occur?

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 too forcefully. They can also happen because of landing or awkward bending, such as if a cleat is stuck in grass while you’re 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 MCL injuries are accompanied by sudden, noticeable pain. Other symptoms may include:

  • Hearing or feeling a popping noise or feeling
  • The knee being unstable
  • Pain or discomfort when trying to bear weight
  • Bruising
  • 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 the knee feels too rigid. 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 Foley, MO

Diagnosing an MCL injury requires going to a physical examination. In the examination, your Foley, 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 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 Foley, 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 radio waves to create detailed images of the inside of your knee
  • An ultrasound, which uses sound waves and can help determine how severely the MCL is torn
  • An X-ray, which, while it won’t show the MCL or other ligaments, to insure your femur, patella, tibia, and fibula have not fractured

Axes Physical Therapy also offers injury screening injury screenings at no cost or obligation to you. While we can offer you an evaluation, Missouri Revised Statute §334.506 requires that physical therapy be prescribed by a physician.

How MCL Injuries are Treated in Foley, MO

The initial treatment of an MCL injury consists of basic first aid: swelling reduction, relieving pain, and utilizing the R.I.C.E. Method of Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. For grade 1 injuries, the R.I.C.E method, over-the-counter pain relievers, and a few days or week or two of rest may be sufficient for your body’s natural healing processes to get you back on your feet.

Professional physical therapy is needed for grade 2 and 3 tears to restore strength and optimal range of motion and get you back to racing down or around the court or field. You’ll also need to refrain from most physical activity for an even longer period. Your Axes physical therapist in Foley, MO can fit you for a knee brace to give your knee stability while it’s healing. With physical therapy, you’ll still continue icing your knee and taking anti-inflammatory pain medication.

Though rare, the most severe cases — in which the MCL is completely torn, the injury is accompanied by an ACL tear, or you are not recovering after several weeks of nonsurgical treatment — may require surgery. The surgery is performed by using a graft, either from your hamstring or an organ donor, to reattach the torn sections. You would be able to go home the day of the surgery. If you do require surgery in Foley, MO, our physical therapists will be able to help you with pre- and post-surgical rehabilitation get you the best possible results from your surgery.

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

For recovering from any injury, a physically therapist will implement safe and evidence-backed treatments, each aimed at helping a specific part of the body get back to optimal movement health. 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 so you can get back to what you love most and prevent further injury. A physical therapist may recommend and implement the following practices:

At Axes Physical Therapy in Foley, MO, all of our treatment plans are designed specifically for you, backed by empirical evidence, and created in concert with your doctor, in order to get you the best patient outcome possible and get you back to doing what you love to do most.

Other injuries we help treat in Foley, MO include:

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

Call an Axes Physical Therapist in Foley, MO for Your MCL Injury

An MCL injury is scary and anxiety-inducing at first, 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 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 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 Foley, 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

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