Kimmswick, MO

Kimmswick, MO

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

MCL Injury | Kimmswick, MO Physical Therapy

MCL Injury in Kimmswick, MO. For many athletes and physically active people, it’s easy to fear the worst when you feel sudden pain on the inside of your knee: Did I injure my MCL? Is it significant? How long will it take to recover? Will I ever be able to perform at the same level again? At Axes Physical Therapy in Kimmswick, MO, all of our physical and occupational therapists are dedicated to 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 recovering from any MCL injury. Our physical therapists in Kimmswick, MO are movement health experts. 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 band of connective tissue that attaches bones to each other and helps hold structures with the musculoskeletal system together. 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 moving normally. Its functions to resist valgus stress, or the knee being forced unnaturally inward. It combines with three other ligaments to keep the knee stable:

  • ACL (anterior cruciate ligament), which goes through the middle of your knee and provides rotational stability and controls forward movement
  • PCL (posterior cruciate ligament), which crosses the ACL inside the knee and prevents excessive posterior translation of the tibia relative to the femur
  • 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 helps keep the outer side of your knee joint stable

The knee is one of the biggest joints in the human body. Healthy structure and function depends on surrounding bone, muscle, tendons, and ligaments. There are a variety of knee injuries that can greatly affect your mobility and compete like you’re used to, or just live a pain-free day-to-day life. Certain physical therapy exercises and other physician-prescribed treatment plans have been demonstrated through evidence to help those who have suffered an MCL injury reduce pain and get back to normal functionality.

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

What Types of MCL Injuries Are There?

For all intents and purposes, an MCL injury either involves a sprain, wherein the MCL extends farther than is naturally, 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 MCL injury refers to a sprain, or a tear where less than 10% of the the fibers in your ligament are torn. It’s typically a mild injury, and your knee largely remains stable. Your knee will feel tender, and you may also experience mild pain.
  • Grade 2 — This injury is when the MCL suffers more significant tearing, most commonly to the middle layer of the ligament. You will probably lose some stability in the joint, 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. 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 licensed Kimmswick, 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 without incurring further injury.

How Do MCL Injuries Occur?

Ligament injuries account for 40% of all knee injuries, and the MCL is the most commonly injured ligament. People often suffer and MCL injury because of the knee suddenly being forced too far inward. MCL injuries can also occur if the knee is rotated more than the ligament can support. They can also take place when landing or excessive bending, such as if a cleat is stuck in grass while you’re moving.

Athletes in contact sports are the most likely to sustain an MCL injury. They are also common in those who have to squat 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 Kimmswick, MO, you’ll probably notice the pain right away. Other symptoms may include:

  • Hearing or feeling a popping sound or sensation
  • The knee being unstable
  • Not being able to put any weight on the knee
  • Bruising
  • Tenderness on the inside of your knee
  • Swelling, either of the MCL area or the whole knee

Sometimes you may feel like your knee is “shaky”, 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 schedule a physical examination in order to get a diagnosis.

Diagnosing and Treating an MCL Injury in Kimmswick, MO

MCL injuries are diagnosed in a physical examination. The examination will usually start with a doctor or physical therapist in Kimmswick, MO asking how the injury occurred. They’ll then bend your knee and apply slight pressure to the outside of it, noting how much pain you are in and if your knee feels structurally sound. They’ll also gently feel for swelling, and may compare your injured knee to the healthy one.

Most physical therapists or physicians with knowledge of movement health in Kimmswick, 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 three-dimensional images of the inside of your knee
  • An ultrasound, which uses sound waves and can help determine how severely the ligament is torn
  • An X-ray, which does not show soft tissue, may be ordered for a severe MCL injury to ensure there are no broken bones

You can also come to the Axes location most convenient for you for a free, no-risk injury screening. While we will be able to diagnose your injury, Missouri law stipulates that physical therapy be prescribed by a physician.

How to Treat and MCL Injury in Kimmswick, MO

Right after your MCL injury, you should start with basic first aid: swelling reduction, easing 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, over-the-counter pain relievers, and a few days or week or two of rest may be enough to get mostly back to normal.

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 to refrain from most physical activity for an even longer period. Your Axes physical therapist in Kimmswick, MO will be able to fit you for a knee brace in order to prevent your knee from becoming more instable while your MCL is still healing. 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 you are not recovering after several weeks of nonsurgical treatment — may require surgery. The surgery is performed by using a graft, either from one of your other ligaments or from another person, to reattach the torn sections. The surgery is an outpatient procedure. If you do require surgery in Kimmswick, MO, our physical therapists are experts at pre- and post-surgical rehabilitation to make your surgery and recovery as successful as possible.

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

For recovering from any injury, a physically therapist will design safe, targeted, and evidence-backed treatment methods based on each patient’s specific injury and the lifestyle they want to get back to. Physical therapy slowly and effectively improves strength in the strength in the muscles that power the joint, flexibility of ligaments and tendons, 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 Kimmswick, MO, all of our treatment plans are as unique as each patient, and created in concert with your doctor, in order to get you the best patient outcome possible and get you back to the activities you love.

Other services we offer in Kimmswick, MO include:

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

Call an Axes Physical Therapist in Kimmswick, 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 you place a lot of trust in your physical therapists, 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 Kimmswick, 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
  • Spine Specialty – Certified Manual Therapy
  • Free Injury Screenings
  • Kinesio Taping®
  • Blood Flow Restriction Therapy

Our Team

Stephen Brunjes
OTR/L, CEAS
Ashley Kraus
Front Office
Greg Nicholas
Clinic Director, MPT, CMPT

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