Maplewood, MO

Maplewood, MO

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

MCL Injury | Maplewood, MO Physical Therapy

MCL Injury in Maplewood, 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 Maplewood, 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 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 part of recovering from any MCL injury. Our physical therapists in Maplewood, MO are movement health experts. For treatment plans you know will be effective, reach out to the Axes location most convenient for you you or contact us online.

How the MCL Works

MCL an acronym for “medial collateral ligament.” A ligament is like a strong, firmly attached rope that attaches 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 keeps the knee from moving side to side. Its functions to withstand valgus stress, or the knee being pushed too far inward. It is one of four ligaments that help keep the knee stable, along with the:

  • ACL (anterior cruciate ligament), which runs down the center of your knee and controls rotation and controls forward movement
  • PCL (posterior cruciate ligament), which crosses the ACL inside the knee and the femur from sliding off the tibia
  • LCL (lateral collateral ligament), which connects 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 most complex joints in the human body. Optimal structure and function depends on surrounding bone, muscle, tendons, and ligaments. There are countless knee injuries that can limit or completely restrict your mobility and pursue the activities you love most, 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 optimal functionality.

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

What Types of MCL Injuries Are There?

Generally speaking, an MCL injury either involves a sprain, which stretches the ligament beyond its normal limits, or a tear, where the ligament is either partially or completely torn or separated 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 MCL has been torn. It’s typically a mild injury, and don’t result in much instability. You will likely experience some tenderness and some soreness.
  • Grade 2 — This is more significant tearing, generally to the superficial part of the MCL. Your knee will be slightly unstable, and the knee will likely be loose when manipulated manually. Pain is much more severe in a grade 2 MCL injury.
  • Grade 3 — This occurs when your MCL is entirely torn, both the superficial and deep parts. You will likely feel like your knee’s about to “give out.” 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.

Whatever grade MCL injury you have, our expert Maplewood, MO physical and occupational therapists at Axes can, along with your physician, create a comprehensive 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 most of the time that ligament is the MCL. 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 happen because of landing or unnatural bending, such as if your foot stays in one place while your leg keeps moving.

MCL injuries usually occur athletes in contact sports and in athletic events that require a lot of torque being placed on the body such as football, soccer, skiing, basketball, and tennis. They can also occur in people who lift weights or lift heavy objects at their work.

Common Symptoms of MCL Injuries

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

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

Sometimes your knee may feel like your knee is loose when you walk, even if walking doesn’t hurt, or in other cases the knee feels too stiff. Any time you feel pain or instability in your knee, stop any strenuous activity immediately and seek medical treatment for a diagnosis.

Diagnosis and Treatment of an MCL Injury in Maplewood, MO

Diagnosing an MCL injury requires going to a physical examination. The exam will usually start with a doctor or physical therapist in Maplewood, 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 physicians that specialize in mobility of the human body in Maplewood, 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 computer-generated radio waves to produce detailed images of the knee joint
  • 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, 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 will be able to diagnose your injury, Missouri Revised Statute §334.506 requires a prescription in order to officially begin physical therapy treatment.

How MCL Injuries are Treated in Maplewood, MO

Right after your MCL injury, you should start with basic first aid: reducing swelling, easing pain, 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 sufficient for your body’s natural healing processes to get you back on your feet.

More significant tears 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 rigorous until your knee is strong again. Your Axes physical therapist in Maplewood, MO will be able to fit you for a knee brace so that you don’t suffer further injury. Even with physical therapy, you’ll likely still continue the R.I.C.E. method and over-the-counter meds.

Though rare, the most severe cases — 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 performed by using a graft, either from one of your other ligaments or an organ donor, to reattach the torn sections. The surgery is an outpatient procedure. If you do require surgery in Maplewood, MO, our physical therapists specialize in pre- and post-surgical rehabilitation, which ensures that your knee will be healthy enough for the ligament reconstruction, and you’ll build back strength safely after the surgery.

How Do Physical Therapists in Maplewood, 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’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 soft tissue, and range of motion to the knee in the interest of not only recovery, but injury prevention. A physical therapist may recommend and implement the following practices:

At Axes Physical Therapy in Maplewood, 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 injuries we help treat in Maplewood, MO include:

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

Schedule an Appointment With an Axes Physical Therapist in Maplewood, MO for Your MCL Injury

An MCL injury can be painful and frightening, especially if you’re used to being physically active, 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 Maplewood, 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

Locations

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