Maryland Heights, MO

Maryland Heights, MO

Axes Physical Therapy can provide you with personalized and evidence-backed physical therapy

MCL Injury | Maryland Heights, MO Physical Therapy

MCL Injury in Maryland Heights, MO. For many people who maintain an active lifestyle, feeling that sudden “pop” in their knee creates a lot of doubts: Did I injure my MCL? How bad is the injury? How long will I be sidelines for? Will I have to permanently give up the things I love doing? At Axes Physical Therapy in Maryland Heights, MO, all of our physical and occupational therapists are committed to getting our patients back to the physical lifestyles they’ve grown to love. While we can’t, we can make your recovery safe and effective through tailored, evidence-based treatment plans. Physical therapy has proven to be an essential aspect of recovering from any MCL injury. Our physical therapists in Maryland Heights, MO are all licensed and average more than 15 years of individual experience. 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 connects bones to each other and keeps joints stable. The MCL runs from the inside of your upper shin bone to the inside of your bottoms thigh bone and maintains stability in the inner knee. Its functions to withstand valgus stress, or the knee being forced too far inward. It is one of four ligaments in the knee, 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 forms an “X” with the ACL in the middle of the knee and the femur from sliding off the tibia
  • LCL (lateral collateral ligament), which attaches the femur to the fibula (the smaller bone in the lower leg) and provides stability to the outer knee

The knee is one of the largest joints we have. It depends on surrounding bone and muscle, and the tendons and ligaments in order to provide support and function properly. When any knee injury, such as an MCL tear, occurs it can limit or completely restrict your mobility and pursue the activities you love most, or just live a pain-free day-to-day life. Certain physical therapy techniques and other treatment modalities, prescribed by a doctor, have been proven to help patients reduce pain and get back to optimal mobility.

MCL Injury Maryland Heights, MO | Sports Rehab | Injury Prevention | Physical Therapy Near Maryland Heights

What Types of MCL Injuries Are There?

Generally speaking, an MCL injury either involves a sprain, which stretches the ligament farther than is naturally, 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. These injuries are typically not especially painful or debilitating, and your knee will still be stable. You will likely experience some tenderness and some soreness.
  • Grade 2 — This is a more moderate tear, most commonly to the middle layer of the MCL. Your knee will be slightly unstable, and your joint may be loose when moved by hand. Pain is much more severe in a grade 2 MCL injury.
  • 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 significant pain and a wide array of symptoms. The injury may actually caused by or accompanied by other serious knee injuries such as ACL tears.

However significant your MCL injuries, our qualified Maryland Heights, MO physical and occupational therapists at Axes can, alongside your doctor, implement an exhaustive and personalized plan aimed at returning you to the life you’re used to in a safe and effective manner.

What Causes MCL Injuries?

Ligament injuries account for 40% of all knee injuries, and most of the time that ligament is the MCL. MCL injuries occur due to the knee suddenly being forced too far inward. MCL injuries can also by the knee rotating more than the ligament can support. They can also take place when landing or unnatural bending, such as if a cleat is stuck in grass while you’re moving.

MCL injuries are common in athletes in contact sports and in athletic events that require a lot of sudden movement such as football, soccer, skiing, basketball, and tennis. 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

Most MCL injuries are accompanied by immediate, noticeable pain. 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 of the MCL area or the whole knee

Sometimes your knee may feel like it’s wobbling when you walk, even if walking doesn’t hurt, or in other cases the knee feels too rigid. Any time you feel pain or instability in your knee, cease any strenuous activity immediately and schedule a physical examination in order to get a diagnosis.

Diagnosing and Treating an MCL Injury in Maryland Heights, MO

Diagnosing an MCL injury requires going to a physical examination. In the examination, your Maryland Heights, MO doctor or physical therapist will go over what led to the injury, 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 Maryland Heights, MO will be able to determine if you have an MCL injury with a physical examination. Other tests to check severity or to confirm may include:

  • An MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), which uses a magnet and computer-generated radio waves to produce detailed images of the inside of your knee
  • 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, may be ordered for a severe MCL injury to ensure there are no broken bones

You can also come to the Axes location nearest you for a free, no-obligation injury screening. While we can determine if you have suffered an MCL injury, Missouri law stipulates a prescription in order to officially begin physical therapy treatment.

How MCL Injuries are Treated in Maryland Heights, MO

Right after your MCL injury, you should start with basic first aid: inflammation reduction, managing 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, pain and swelling relievers, and some time with limited activity may be all you need for your body to heal itself.

Professional physical therapy is needed for grade 2 and 3 injuries to restore strength and function and get you back to racing down or around the court or field. You’ll also need time of limited activity to allow your body to heal safely. Your Axes physical therapist in Maryland Heights, 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.

Though rare, 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 carried out by using a graft, either from your hamstring or from another person, to reattach the torn sections. You would not have to be hospitalized overnight. If your doctor thinks surgery is necessary, our physical therapists will be able to treat you with pre- and post-surgical rehabilitation, which ensures that your knee will be healthy enough for the ligament reconstruction, and you’ll safely restore, strength, flexibility, and range of motion after.

How Do Physical Therapists in Maryland Heights, MO Treat MCL Injuries?

The goal of physical therapy, when dealing with any injury, is to implement safe, targeted, and evidence-backed treatment methods based on each patient as an individual. Physical therapy slowly and effectively improves strength in the surrounding muscles, 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. Depending on you and your injuries, your treatment plan may include:

At Axes Physical Therapy in Maryland Heights, MO, all of our treatment plans are designed individually to each patient, backed by empirical evidence, 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 Maryland Heights, MO include:

MCL Injury Maryland Heights, MO | Athletic Training | Sports Training | Physical Therapy Near Maryland Heights

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

An MCL injury can be painful and frightening, especially if you’re an athlete or someone who finds joy in an active lifestyle, but there’s no reason it has to put you on the sideline forever. We know you place a lot of trust in your physical therapists, so the treatment method we plan for you will be safe and 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 Maryland Heights, 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 (Astym)
  • Spine Specialty – Certified Manual Therapy
  • Free Injury Screenings
  • Trigger Point Dry Needling
  • Kinesio Taping®
  • Video Motion Analysis
  • Blood Flow Restriction Therapy

Our Team

Sara Crain
PT, CEAS, Astym Cert.
Nick Weber
Clinic Director, MPT
Bailey Zimmermann
Front Office Supervisor
Daniel Scribner
PT, DPT, ATC

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