Lake Tekawitha, MO

Lake Tekawitha, MO

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

MCL Injury | Lake Tekawitha, MO Physical Therapy

MCL Injury in Lake Tekawitha, MO. If someone plays sports or engages in other physical activity, it’s easy to fear the worst when you hear that sudden “pop” in your knee: Did I injure my MCL? 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 Lake Tekawitha, MO, we are driven by getting our patients back to the physical lifestyles they’ve grown to love. While we’d like to be able to magically fix your MCL, we can help ensure you get back to feeling like yourself with safe, evidence-backed treatments. Physical therapy has been shown time and time again to be an essential aspect of any treatment plan for MCL injuries. Our physical therapists in Lake Tekawitha, MO specialize helping a variety of injuries and conditions in the musculoskeletal system heal. For treatment plans you know will be effective, reach out to the Axes location nearest you or request an appointment online.

The Anatomy of the MCL

MCL is an abbreviation for “medial collateral ligament.” A ligament is like a strong, firmly attached rope that affixes bones to each other and provides stability. 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 resist valgus pressure, or the knee being forced unnaturally inward. 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 controls rotation and prevents the knee from bending inward
  • PCL (posterior cruciate ligament), which forms an “X” with the ACL inside the knee and keeps the tibia from sliding back too far
  • LCL (lateral collateral ligament), which attaches the femur to the fibula (the smaller bone the small bone behind the tibia) and gives stability to the outer knee

The knee is one of the largest joints we have. Correct structure and movement depends on surrounding bone, muscle, tendons, and ligaments. When any knee injury, such as an MCL tear, occurs it can have tremendous consequences for your mobility and pursue the activities you love most, or just get around the house pain-free. Specific 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 get back to normal functionality.

MCL Injury Lake Tekawitha, MO | Sports Rehab | Injury Prevention | Physical Therapy Near Lake Tekawitha

What Types of MCL Injuries Are There?

For all intents and purposes, an MCL injury is either a sprain, wherein the MCL is stretched beyond its normal limits, or a tear, where the ligament is either partially or completely torn or separated 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. These are not generally severe, and your knee will still be stable. Symptoms will likely be tenderness and mild pain.
  • Grade 2 — This is more significant tearing, generally to the middle layer of the MCL. You will probably lose some stability in the joint, and your joint may 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 buckle. 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.

However significant your MCL injuries, our expert Lake Tekawitha, MO physical and occupational therapists at Axes can, along with your doctor, implement an extensive and tailored plan aimed at returning you to the life you’re used to safely.

How Do MCL Injuries Occur?

Ligament injuries account for 40% of all knee injuries, and most of the time that ligament is the MCL. Most MCL injuries occur due to physical trauma on the exterior of the knee. 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 your foot stays in one place while the rest of your body moves.

Athletes in contact sports are the most likely to sustain an MCL injury. 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

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

  • A sudden “pop” on the inside of your knee
  • Instability
  • Not being able to put any weight on the knee
  • Contusions
  • Tenderness where the MCL is located
  • Inflammation, either where the MCL is located or the whole knee

Sometimes you may feel like your knee is “shaky”, or in other cases the knee feels too stiff. 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 Lake Tekawitha, MO

MCL injuries are diagnosed in a doctor’s office, urgent care or at a physical therapy center. The examination will usually start with a doctor or physical therapist in Lake Tekawitha, 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 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 doctors that specialize in the musculoskeletal system in Lake Tekawitha, MO will be able to diagnose an MCL injury with the above procedures. Other tests to check severity or to confirm may include:

  • An MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), which uses a magnetic field and computer-generated radio waves to take three-dimensional images of the knee joint
  • An ultrasound, which uses sound waves and can help determine the grade of your injury
  • An X-ray, which, while it won’t show the MCL or other ligaments, to insure your femur, patella, tibia, and fibula have not been broken

Axes Physical Therapy also offers injury screening injury screenings at no cost or obligation to you. While we can determine if you have suffered an MCL injury, Missouri Revised Statute §334.506 stipulates a prescription for further physical therapy.

Treating an MCL Injury in Lake Tekawitha, MO

Right after your MCL injury, you should start with basic first aid: reducing swelling, managing pain, and using the R.I.C.E. Method of Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. For grade 1 injuries, the R.I.C.E method, pain and swelling relievers, and some time spent resting may be enough 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 function and get you back to racing down or around the court or field. You’ll also need time off your feet to allow your body to heal safely. Your Axes physical therapist in Lake Tekawitha, MO will be able to fit you for a knee brace in order to prevent your knee from moving side to side while your MCL is still healing. Even with physical therapy, you’ll likely still continue the R.I.C.E. method and anti-inflammatory 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 joint. During the surgery, a surgeon will use a graft, either from your hamstring or an organ donor, to reconstruct the MCL. The surgery is an outpatient procedure. If you do require surgery in Lake Tekawitha, MO, our physical therapists will be able to help you with pre- and post-surgical rehabilitation to make your surgery and recovery as successful as possible.

How Do Physical Therapists in Lake Tekawitha, MO Treat MCL Injuries?

The aim of physical therapy, when dealing with any injury, is to design safe, effective, and evidence-backed treatment methods based on each patient’s specific injury and the lifestyle they want to get back to. 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. Depending on you and your injuries, your treatment plan may include:

At Axes Physical Therapy in Lake Tekawitha, MO, all of our treatment plans are as unique as each patient, and created alongside your physician, in order to get you the best patient outcome possible and get you back to the activities you love.

Other services we offer in Lake Tekawitha, MO include:

MCL Injury Lake Tekawitha, MO | Athletic Training | Sports Training | Physical Therapy Near Lake Tekawitha

Call an Axes Physical Therapist in Lake Tekawitha, 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 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 Lake Tekawitha, 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

Our Team

Stephen Brunjes
OTR/L, CEAS
Lauren Huckstep
Clinic Director, PT, DPT, CSCS, Astym Cert.
Christine Blocker
Front Office Supervisor

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