MCL Injury | Holstein, MO Physical Therapy
MCL Injury in Holstein, MO. If someone plays sports or engages in other physical activity, feeling that sudden “pop” in their knee creates a lot of doubts: Did I suffer an MCL injury? Is it significant? How long will I be sidelines for? Will I ever be able to perform at the same level again? At Axes Physical Therapy in Holstein, MO, all of our physical and occupational therapists are dedicated to getting our clients back to the activities they love most. While we can’t, we can make your recovery safe and effective through customized, evidence-based treatment plans. Physical therapy has been shown time and time again to be a critical component of recovering from any MCL injury. Our physical therapists in Holstein, MO specialize helping a variety of injuries and conditions in the musculoskeletal system heal. For lasting and meaningful recovery, call the Axes location nearest you or schedule an appointment online.
How the MCL Works
MCL an acronym for “medial collateral ligament.” A ligament is a tough, flexible of connective tissue that connects 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 withstand valgus stress, or the knee being forced unnaturally towards the other one. It combines with three other ligaments that work together to support normal function and stability:
- ACL (anterior cruciate ligament), which goes through the middle of your knee and controls rotation and controls forward movement
- PCL (posterior cruciate ligament), which crosses the ACL inside the knee and keeps the shinbone from sliding back too far
- LCL (lateral collateral ligament), which connects the femur to the fibula (the smaller bone the small bone behind the tibia) and provides stability to the outer knee
The knee is known for being one of our most complex joints. Optimal structure and movement depends on surrounding bone, muscle, tendons, and ligaments. There are numerous knee injuries that can have tremendous consequences for your mobility and pursue the activities you love most, or just complete basic tasks pain-free. Certain physical therapy exercises and other treatment modalities, prescribed by a doctor, have been demonstrated through research and analysis to help those who have suffered an MCL injury reduce pain and return to optimal functionality.
What Types of MCL Injuries Are There?
In general, an MCL injury either involves a sprain, wherein the MCL is stretched beyond its normal limits, or a tear, where the ligament may fray partially or entirely separate from the bone. There are three grades to MCL injuries:
- Grade 1 — A grade 1 sprain or tear means that the ligament has been stretched, and less than 10% of the MCL has been torn. It’s typically a mild injury, and don’t result in much instability. Your knee will feel tender, and you may also experience mild pain.
- Grade 2 — This injury is when the MCL suffers more significant tearing, generally 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. 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 likely feel like your knee’s about to “give out.” You will likely experience intense pain and several other symptoms. The injury may actually caused by or accompanied by other serious knee injuries such as ACL tears.
Whatever grade MCL injury you have, our qualified Holstein, MO physical and occupational therapists at Axes can, along with your physician, implement an exhaustive and tailored plan aimed at returning you to the life you’re used to without incurring further injury.
What Causes MCL Injuries?
Ligament injuries account for 40% of all knee injuries, 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 take place when landing or unnatural bending, such as if your foot stays in one place while you’re moving.
MCL injuries are common in athletes in contact sports and in sports that require a lot of cutting and jumping such as football, soccer, skiing, basketball, and tennis. 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 Holstein, 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 buckle
- Not being able to put any weight on the knee
- Tenderness along the inside of the joint
- Inflammation, either where the MCL is located or the whole knee
Sometimes you may feel like your knee is “shaky”, or in other cases you’ll barely be able to move the knee. If you experience any of the above symptoms, do not participate in any more strenuous activity and seek medical treatment for a diagnosis.
Diagnosing and Treating an MCL Injury in Holstein, MO
MCL injuries are diagnosed in a doctor’s office, urgent care or at a physical therapy center. In the examination, your Holstein, 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 doctors that specialize in the musculoskeletal system in Holstein, MO will be able 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 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
Axes Physical Therapy also offers injury screening injury screenings at no cost or obligation to you. While we will be able to diagnose your injury, Missouri law stipulates a prescription for further physical therapy.
How MCL Injuries are Treated in Holstein, MO
Right after your MCL injury, you should start with basic first aid: swelling reduction, managing 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 to get mostly back to normal.
More significant 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 of limited activity to allow your body to heal safely. Your Axes physical therapist in Holstein, 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.
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 structures of the knee. During the surgery, a surgeon will use a graft, either from one of your other ligaments or an organ donor, to reconstruct the MCL. The surgery is an outpatient procedure. If you do require surgery in Holstein, MO, our physical therapists specialize in pre- and post-surgical rehabilitation get you the best possible results from your surgery.
How Do Physical Therapists in Holstein, MO Treat MCL Injuries?
For recovering from any injury, a physically therapist will create safe, targeted, and evidence-backed treatment methods based on each patient as an individual. These treatments and exercises will, over time, build strength in the strength in the muscles that power the knee, flexibility of ligaments and tendons, 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:
- To begin, passive movements carried about by your physical therapist to help restore normal functionality
- Exercised performed by you later to regain strength
- Exercises with elastic bands, weights, or cardio machines such as treadmill
- Instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization, which studies show can accelerate knee ligament healing
- Kinesio Taping®, which provides further stability while your body heals and helps control motion
- Trigger point dry needling to stimulate harder-to-reach tissue
- Blood flow restriction training to help you make greater strength gains while lessening stress on the joint
- Athletic training and sports therapy for athletes who want to reduce the risk of reinjury
At Axes Physical Therapy in Holstein, MO, all of our treatment plans are designed specifically for you, proven through peer-reviewed research, and created with the help of 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 conditions we help treat in Holstein, MO include:
- Shoulder Pain
- Injury Prevention
- Knee Injury
- Joint Pain
- Dry Needling
- ACL Tear
- Pain Management
Schedule an Appointment With an Axes Physical Therapist in Holstein, 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 we repay that trust with safe and effective treatments that are 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 Holstein, MO, call the location nearest you and request an appointment online.