Pacific, MO

Pacific, MO

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

MCL Injury | Pacific, MO Physical Therapy

MCL Injury in Pacific, 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 Pacific, MO, we are driven by getting our clients 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, effective treatments. Physical therapy has been shown time and time again to be an integral component of any treatment plan for MCL injuries. Our physical therapists in Pacific, MO are movement health experts. For lasting and meaningful recovery, 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 a tough band of connective tissue that attaches bone to bone and keeps joints stable. 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 main purpose is to guard against valgus stress, or the knee being pushed too far 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 controls rotation and prevents the tibia from sliding too far forward on the femur
  • PCL (posterior cruciate ligament), which crosses the ACL inside the knee and controls backward movement
  • 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 provides stability to the outer knee

The knee is known for being one of our most complex joints. It depends on surrounding bone and muscle, and the tendons and ligaments in order to provide stability and function properly. When any knee injury, such as an MCL tear, occurs it can greatly affect your mobility and pursue the activities you love most, or just get around the house pain-free. Particular physical therapy techniques and other physician-prescribed treatment plans have been demonstrated through research and studies to help those who have suffered an MCL injury manage their symptoms and get back to optimal functionality.

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

What Types of MCL Injuries Are There?

Generally speaking, an MCL injury either involves a sprain, wherein the MCL extends beyond its normal limits, or a tear, where the MCL is either partially or completely torn or separated from the bone. MCL injuries are “graded” in three tiers:

  • Grade 1 — A grade 1 MCL injury refers to a sprain, or a tear where less than 10% of the the fibers in your MCL are torn. It’s typically a mild injury, and don’t result in much instability. Your knee will feel tender, and you may also experience soreness.
  • Grade 2 — This is more significant tearing, usually to the middle layer of the ligament. Your knee will be slightly unstable, and your joint may be loose when manipulated manually. 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 retain little to no stability. You will likely feel intense 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 licensed Pacific, MO physical and occupational therapists at Axes can, as a team with your doctor, create an exhaustive and personalized plan aimed at returning you to the life you’re used to safely.

What Causes MCL Injuries?

Ligament injuries account for 40% of all knee injuries, and the MCL is the most commonly injured ligament. Most MCL injuries occur due to physical trauma on the outer edge 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 excessive bending, such as if a cleat is stuck in grass while your leg keeps moving.

MCL injuries usually occur athletes in contact sports and in athletic events that require a lot of sudden movement such as football, soccer, skiing, basketball, and tennis. 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 Pacific, MO, you’ll probably notice the pain right away. Other symptoms may include:

  • Hearing or feeling a popping sound or feeling
  • Instability
  • Not being able to put any weight on the knee
  • Contusions
  • Tenderness where the MCL is located
  • Swelling, either where the MCL is located or the entire knee joint

Sometimes your knee may feel like your knee is loose when you walk, even if walking doesn’t hurt, while other times you’ll barely be able to move the knee. Any time you feel pain or instability in your knee, do not participate in any more strenuous activity and seek medical treatment for a diagnosis.

Diagnosis and Treatment of an MCL Injury in Pacific, MO

Diagnosing an MCL injury requires going to a doctor’s office, emergency room or at a physical therapy center. In the examination, your Pacific, 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 perform a valgus stress test.

Most physical therapists or doctors with knowledge of movement health in Pacific, MO are qualified 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 create detailed images of your soft tissue
  • 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

Axes Physical Therapy also offers injury screening injury screenings at no cost or obligation to you. While we can offer you an evaluation, Missouri Revised Statute §334.506 mandates a prescription in order to officially begin physical therapy treatment.

How to Treat and MCL Injury in Pacific, MO

Right after your MCL injury, you should start with basic first aid: swelling reduction, managing pain, and using the R.I.C.E. Method of Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. For sprains or slight tears, the R.I.C.E method, pain and swelling relievers, and a few days or week or two of rest 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 optimal range of motion and get you back to the activities you love. You’ll also need to refrain from rigorous activity for an even longer period. Your Axes physical therapist in Pacific, 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 joint. The surgery is performed by using a graft, either from one of your other ligaments or an organ donor, to reconstruct the MCL. The surgery is an outpatient procedure. If you do require surgery in Pacific, 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 Pacific, MO Treat My MCL Injury?

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. 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. A physical therapist may recommend and implement the following practices:

At Axes Physical Therapy in Pacific, MO, all of our treatment plans are designed specifically for you, proven through peer-reviewed research, and created with the help of 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 Pacific, MO include:

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

Call an Axes Physical Therapist in Pacific, 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 Pacific, 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.