Hazelwood, MO

Hazelwood, MO

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

MCL Injury | Hazelwood, MO Physical Therapy

MCL Injury in Hazelwood, MO. For many people who maintain an active lifestyle, it’s easy to fear the worst when you feel sudden pain on the inside of your knee: Did I suffer an MCL injury? How bad is the injury? How long will I be sidelines for? Will I ever be able to perform at the same level again? At Axes Physical Therapy in Hazelwood, MO, we are driven by getting our patients back to tearing up the filed. While we can’t, we can make your recovery safe and effective through personalized, evidence-based treatment plans. Physical therapy has been shown time and time again to be a fundamental aspect of any treatment plan for MCL injuries. Our physical therapists in Hazelwood, 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.

What is the MCL?

MCL is an abbreviation for “medial collateral ligament.” A ligament is a tough, flexible of connective tissue that affixes 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 maintains stability in the inner knee. Its functions to guard against valgus stress, or the knee being pushed too far towards the other one. It combines with three other ligaments that work together to support normal function and stability:

  • ACL (anterior cruciate ligament), which runs down the center of your knee and controls rotation 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 runs along the outside of the knee from the femur to the fibula (the smaller bone in the lower leg) and provides stability to the outer knee

The knee is one of the biggest joints we have. A healthy knee relies on surrounding bone and muscle, and the tendons and ligaments in order to provide support and function properly. 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. Particular physical therapy techniques and other treatment modalities, prescribed by a doctor, have been proven to help those who have suffered an MCL injury mitigate pain and swelling and return to normal movement health.

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

What Types of MCL Injuries Are There?

In general, 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 sprain or tear means that the ligament has been stretched, and less than 10% of the the fibers in your MCL are torn. These are not generally severe, and your knee largely remains stable. Your knee will feel tender, and you may also experience mild pain.
  • Grade 2 — This is a more moderate tear, most commonly to the superficial part of the ligament. Your knee will be slightly unstable, and the knee will likely be loose when moved by hand. Symptoms of a grade 2 MCL injury generally include much more noticeable pain.
  • Grade 3 — A grade 3 tear is a complete tear, or separation from the bone. You will retain little to no stability. 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, the team of professional Hazelwood, MO physical and occupational therapists at Axes can, along with your physician, create an exhaustive plan specially made for you and your injuries aimed at returning you to the life you’re used to safely.

What Causes MCL Injuries?

Ligament injuries account for 40% of all knee injuries, and the MCL is the most commonly injured ligament. MCL injuries occur due to 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 take place when landing or awkward 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

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 sensation
  • Feeling like the may give out
  • Not being able to put any weight on the knee
  • Contusions
  • Tenderness where the MCL is located
  • Swelling, either where the MCL is located or the entire knee joint

Sometimes you may feel like your knee is “shaky”, while other times the knee feels too stiff. If you experience any of the above symptoms, cease any strenuous activity immediately and schedule a physical examination in order to get a diagnosis.

Diagnosis and Treatment of an MCL Injury in Hazelwood, MO

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

Most physical therapists or physicians that specialize in mobility of the human body in Hazelwood, MO will be able 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 radio waves to take 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, 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

Alternatively, you can come to the Axes location most convenient for you for a free, no-obligation injury screening. While we can offer you an evaluation, Missouri law mandates that physical therapy be prescribed by a doctor.

How MCL Injuries are Treated in Hazelwood, MO

Typically, treating an MCL injury begins with basic first aid: inflammation reduction, reducing discomfort, and implementing 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 some time spent off your feet may be all you need for your body’s natural healing processes to get you back on your feet.

Professional physical therapy is needed for grade 2 and 3 injuries 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 time resting to allow your body to heal safely. Your Axes physical therapist in Hazelwood, MO will be able to 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 uncommon, the worst grade 1 tears — 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. The surgery is carried out by using a graft, either from one of your other ligaments or an organ donor, to reconstruct the ligament. You would not have to be hospitalized overnight. If you do require surgery in Hazelwood, MO, our physical therapists specialize in pre- and post-surgical rehabilitation to make your surgery and recovery as successful as possible.

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

The objective of physical therapy, when dealing with any injury, is to design safe, targeted, and evidence-backed treatment methods based on each patient as an individual. Physical therapy slowly and effectively improves strength in the surrounding muscles, 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. A physical therapist may recommend and implement the following practices:

At Axes Physical Therapy in Hazelwood, MO, all of our treatment plans are designed specifically for you, proven through peer-reviewed research, and created alongside your physician, in order to get you the best patient outcome possible and get you back to doing what you love to do most.

Other services we offer in Hazelwood, MO include:

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

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

An MCL injury can be painful and frightening, 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 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 Hazelwood, 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
  • Certified Hand Therapy
  • Work Conditioning/Hardening
  • Functional Capacity Evaluations
  • Sports Physical Therapy
  • Pediatric Orthopedic Physical Therapy
  • Geriatric Physical Therapy
  • Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization
  • Free Injury Screenings
  • Kinesio Taping®
  • Blood Flow Restriction Therapy
  • Spine Specialty

Our Team

Sara Crain
PT, CEAS, Astym Cert.
Antoinette Ghoston
Front Office
Brandi Arndt
MPT, CMPT
Brett Shelton
PT, DPT, OCS, COMT, CSMT
TJ Jung
PT, DPT
Megan Mason
OTD, OTR/L

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