Ironton, MO

Ironton, MO

Axes Physical Therapy will provide you with personalized and evidence-based physical therapy

MCL Injury | Ironton, MO Physical Therapy

MCL Injury in Ironton, 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 I be sidelines for? Will my knee ever be the same again? At Axes Physical Therapy in Ironton, MO, we are driven by positive patient outcomes. While we’d like to be able to magically fix your MCL, we can make your recovery safe and effective through customized, evidence-based treatment plans. Physical therapy has proven to be an integral aspect of recovering from any MCL injury. Our physical therapists in Ironton, MO are movement health experts. For lasting and meaningful recovery, call the Axes location most convenient for you you or contact us online.

The Anatomy of the MCL

MCL stands for “medial collateral ligament.” A ligament is like a strong, firmly attached rope that attaches bone to bone and keeps joints stable. The MCL connects your upper shin bone to the inner surface of the bottom thigh bone, running along your inner knee, and helps keep your knee stable and moving normally. Its functions to withstand valgus pressure, or the knee being forced unnaturally towards the other one. It is one of four ligaments that help control the knee, along with the:

  • ACL (anterior cruciate ligament), which goes through the middle of your knee and provides rotational stability and prevents the knee from bending inward
  • PCL (posterior cruciate ligament), which crosses the ACL in the middle of the knee and acts as a secondary front and back stabilizer
  • LCL (lateral collateral ligament), which connects the thigh bone to the fibula (the smaller bone in the lower leg) and provides stability to the outer knee

The knee is known for being one of our most complex joints. Correct 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 compete like you’re used to, or just get around the house pain-free. Particular 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 manage their symptoms and return to optimal mobility.

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

What Types of MCL Injuries Are There?

In general, an MCL injury either involves a sprain, wherein the MCL extends 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 MCL injury refers to a sprain, or a tear where less than 10% of the the fibers in your MCL are torn. It’s typically a mild injury, and your knee largely remains stable. You will likely experience some tenderness and mild pain.
  • Grade 2 — This is a more moderate tear, generally to the middle layer of the MCL. You will probably lose some stability in the joint, and the knee will likely be loose when manipulated manually. 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. 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 professional Ironton, MO physical and occupational therapists at Axes can, alongside your physician, develop an exhaustive and personalized 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 by the knee rotating more than the ligament can stand. They can also happen because of landing or awkward bending, such as if your foot stays in one place while your leg keeps moving.

Athletes in contact sports are the most likely to sustain an MCL injury. They are also common in those 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

If you suffer an MCL injury in Ironton, MO, you’ll probably notice the pain right away. Other symptoms may include:

  • Hearing or feeling a popping noise or sensation
  • The knee being unstable
  • Not being able to put any weight on the knee
  • Bruising
  • Tenderness along the inside of the joint
  • Inflammation, either where the MCL is located or the whole knee

Sometimes your knee may feel like it’s wobbling when you walk, even if walking doesn’t hurt, while other times you’ll barely be able to move the knee. If you suspect you may have suffered an MCL injury, do not participate in any more strenuous activity and seek medical treatment for a diagnosis.

Diagnosing and Treating an MCL Injury in Ironton, MO

MCL injuries are diagnosed in a physical examination. The exam will usually start with a doctor or physical therapist in Ironton, MO asking how the injury occurred. They’ll then bend your knee and apply slight pressure to the outside of it, noting your pain level and whether or not your knee is unstable. They’ll also gently feel for swelling, and may compare your injured knee to the healthy one.

Most physical therapists or doctors that specialize in the musculoskeletal system in Ironton, 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 radio waves to create 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 does not show soft tissue, to insure your femur, kneecap, tibia, and fibula have not fractured

You can also visit the Axes location nearest you for a free, no-risk injury screening. While we can offer you an evaluation, Missouri law stipulates that physical therapy be prescribed by a doctor.

How to Treat and MCL Injury in Ironton, MO

The initial treatment of an MCL injury consists of basic first aid: inflammation reduction, managing 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 a few days or week or two of rest may be all you need for your body to heal itself.

Professional physical therapy is needed for more severe injuries to restore strength and function and get you back to racing down or around the court or field. You’ll also need to refrain from strenuous until your knee is strong again. Your Axes physical therapist in Ironton, 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 knee. The surgery is performed 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 Ironton, MO, our physical therapists specialize in pre- and post-surgical rehabilitation to make your surgery and recovery as successful as possible.

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

The aim of physical therapy, when dealing with any injury, is to design safe and evidence-backed treatments, 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 surrounding muscles, flexibility of soft tissue, 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 Ironton, MO, all of our treatment plans are as unique as each patient, and created with the help of 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 Ironton, MO include:

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

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

An MCL injury is scary and anxiety-inducing at first, especially if you’re an athlete, but there’s no reason it has to put you on the sideline forever. 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 Ironton, 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
  • Occupational Therapy
    • Certified Hand Therapy
  • Work Conditioning/Hardening
  • Functional Capacity Evaluations
  • Certified Hand Therapy
  • Sports Physical Therapy
  • Pediatric Orthopedic Physical Therapy
  • Geriatric Physical Therapy
  • Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization
  • Spine Specialty – Certified Manual Therapy
  • Vestibular Therapy and Post-Concussion Therapy
  • Free Injury Screenings
  • Kinesio Taping®
  • Blood Flow Restriction Therapy

Our Team

Stephen Brunjes
OTR/L, CEAS
Cassandra Wadlow
Front Office
Brian Little
Front Office Supervisor
Dena Rose
PT, CMPT
Eric Meyer
PT, DPT, CMPT
Anthony Meyer
PT, DPT, CMPT
Derrick Wolk
Clinic Director, MPT, CMPT
Natalie Carter
PT, DPT, Astym. Cert.
Kimberly Helm
Front Office Supervisor

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