MCL Injury | Old Jamestown, MO Physical Therapy
MCL Injury in Old Jamestown, MO. If someone plays sports or engages in other physical activity, 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 it take to recover? Will I have to permanently give up the things I love doing? At Axes Physical Therapy in Old Jamestown, MO, all of our physical and occupational therapists are dedicated to getting our patients back to tearing up the filed. While we can’t, we can make your recovery safe and effective through customized, proven treatment plans. Physical therapy has proven to be a critical aspect of recovering from any MCL injury. Our physical therapists in Old Jamestown, MO are movement health experts. For lasting and meaningful recovery, call the Axes location most convenient for you you or contact us online.
What is the MCL?
MCL an acronym for “medial collateral ligament.” A ligament is a tough, flexible of connective tissue that affixes bone to bone and provides stability. 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 primary purpose is to guard against valgus stress, or the knee being pushed too far towards the other one. It is one of four ligaments that help control the knee, along with the:
- ACL (anterior cruciate ligament), which runs down the center of your knee and provides rotational stability and controls forward movement
- PCL (posterior cruciate ligament), which crosses the ACL in the middle of the knee and controls backward movement
- LCL (lateral collateral ligament), which attaches the thigh bone to the fibula (the smaller bone between the knee and ankle) and helps keep the outer side of your knee joint stable
The knee is one of the biggest joints we have. Optimal structure and function depends on surrounding bone, muscle, tendons, and ligaments. When any knee injury, such as an MCL tear, occurs it can limit or completely restrict 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 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 optimal movement health.
What Types of MCL Injuries Are There?
Generally speaking, an MCL injury is either 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 sprain or tear means that the ligament has been stretched, and less than 10% of the the fibers in your MCL are torn. These injuries are typically not especially painful or debilitating, and your knee largely remains stable. Your knee will feel tender, and you may also experience soreness.
- Grade 2 — This is a more moderate tear, most commonly to the superficial part of the ligament. Your knee will be slightly unstable, and the knee will likely 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 feel intense pain and a wide array of symptoms. Grade 3 MCL injuries often occur alongside other knee injuries such as ACL tears.
However significant your MCL injuries, the team of expert Old Jamestown, MO physical and occupational therapists at Axes can, as a team with your doctor, create an extensive and personalized plan aimed at returning you to the life you’re used to without incurring further injury.
MCL Injuries: Causes and Symptoms
40% of all knee injuries involve damage to a ligament, 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 too forcefully. 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.
MCL injuries usually occur athletes in contact sports and in athletic events that require a lot of cutting and jumping such as football, soccer, skiing, basketball, and tennis. They can also occur in people who lift weights or lift heavy objects at their employment.
Common Symptoms of MCL Injuries
Most MCL injuries are accompanied by immediate, noticeable pain. Other symptoms may include:
- Hearing or feeling a popping sound or feeling
- Inability to bear weight
- Tenderness along the inside of the joint
- Inflammation, either of the MCL area or the entire knee joint
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, stop any strenuous activity immediately and schedule a physical examination in order to get a diagnosis.
Diagnosing and Treating an MCL Injury in Old Jamestown, MO
MCL injuries are diagnosed in a physical examination. In the examination, your Old Jamestown, MO doctor or physical therapist will go over how the injury occurred, will feel for swelling and how your knee is different from your healthy knee, and check for stability.
Most physical therapists or doctors that specialize in mobility of the human body in Old Jamestown, MO will be able to diagnose 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 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, while it won’t show the MCL or other ligaments, to insure your femur, kneecap, tibia, and fibula have not fractured
Alternatively, you can come to the Axes location nearest you for a complimentary, no-obligation injury screening. While we can offer you an evaluation, Missouri law requires that physical therapy be prescribed by a doctor.
How to Treat and MCL Injury in Old Jamestown, MO
Right after your MCL injury, you should start with basic first aid: reducing swelling, reducing pain, and using the R.I.C.E. Method of Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. For mild injuries, the R.I.C.E method, pain and swelling relievers, and some time with limited activity may be all you need to get mostly back to normal.
More significant 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 time resting to allow your body to heal safely. Your Axes physical therapist in Old Jamestown, 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 structures of the knee. The surgery is carried out by using a graft, either from your hamstring or an organ donor, to reattach the torn sections. The surgery is an outpatient procedure. If you do require surgery in Old Jamestown, MO, our physical therapists are experts at pre- and post-surgical rehabilitation get you the best possible results from your surgery.
How Can Physical Therapy in Old Jamestown, MO Treat My MCL Injury?
For recovering from any injury, a physically therapist will 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 strength in the muscles that power the joint, flexibility of ligaments and tendons, 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 the start, passive movements carried about by your physical therapist to slowly get the ligament used to normal motion again
- More active exercises and stretches later to further develop strength and flexibility
- Exercises with elastic bands, weight lifting equipment, or cardio machines such as a stationary bike
- Instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization, which research suggests can accelerate knee ligament healing
- Kinesio Taping®, which keeps the knee stable and helps control motion
- Trigger point dry needling to further help the body’s natural healing process
- Blood flow restriction training to improve strength while lifting lighter weights
- Athletic training and sports therapy for those whose main goal is to get back onto the court or field
At Axes Physical Therapy in Old Jamestown, MO, all of our treatment plans are designed individually to each patient, proven through peer-reviewed research, and created with the help of your physician, in order to deliver you the best client experience and get you back to the activities you love.
Other injuries we help treat in Old Jamestown, MO include:
- Shoulder Pain
- Injury Prevention
- Knee Injury
- Joint Pain
- Dry Needling
- ACL Tear
- Pain Management
Schedule an Appointment With an Axes Physical Therapist in Old Jamestown, 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 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 Old Jamestown, MO, call the location nearest you and request an appointment online.