Sappington, MO

Sappington, MO

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

MCL Injury | Sappington, MO Physical Therapy

MCL Injury in Sappington, MO. For many athletes and physically active people, feeling that sudden “pop” in their knee creates a lot of doubts: Did I injure my MCL? Is it significant? How long will I be sidelines for? Will this be the end of my athletic career? At Axes Physical Therapy in Sappington, MO, we are driven by positive patient experiences. While we can’t, we can help ensure you get back to feeling like yourself with safe, evidence-backed treatments. Physical therapy has proven to be an essential part of recovering from any MCL injury. Our physical therapists in Sappington, MO are all licensed and average more than 15 years of individual experience. For lasting and meaningful recovery, call the Axes location nearest you or contact us 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 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 main purpose is to guard against valgus pressure, or the knee being forced too far towards the other one. 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 knee from bending inward
  • PCL (posterior cruciate ligament), which forms an “X” with the ACL inside the knee and prevents excessive posterior translation of the tibia relative to the femur
  • LCL (lateral collateral ligament), which runs along the outside of the knee from the femur to the fibula (the smaller bone the small bone behind the tibia) and prevents the knee from being pushed too far outward

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 have tremendous consequences for your mobility and compete like you’re used to, or just live a pain-free day-to-day life. Particular physical therapy exercises and other physician-prescribed treatment plans have been demonstrated through evidence to help patients manage their symptoms and get back to optimal mobility.

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

What Types of MCL Injuries Are There?

In general, an MCL injury is either a sprain, wherein the MCL is stretched beyond its normal range of motion, 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 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 your knee largely remains stable. You will likely experience some tenderness and mild pain.
  • Grade 2 — This is more significant tearing, most commonly to the superficial part of the MCL. 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 — This occurs when your MCL is entirely torn, both the fibrous and deep parts. Your knee will be significantly unstable. 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 qualified Sappington, MO physical and occupational therapists at Axes can, in concert with your doctor, implement a comprehensive and customized plan to get you back to the things you love safely.

What Causes MCL Injuries?

40% of all knee injuries involve damage to the MCL, LCL, ACL, or PCL, and the MCL is the most commonly injured ligament. 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 occur because of landing or awkward 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 activities 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 sudden, noticeable pain. Other symptoms may include:

  • A sudden “pop” on the inside of your knee
  • The knee being unstable
  • Pain or discomfort when trying to bear weight
  • Bruising
  • Tenderness along the inside of the joint
  • Inflammation, either where the MCL is located or the entire knee joint

Sometimes you may feel a “wobbly” sensation, or in other cases the knee feels too stiff. Any time you feel pain or instability in your knee, do not participate in any more strenuous activity and schedule a physical examination in order to get a diagnosis.

Diagnosis and Treatment of an MCL Injury in Sappington, MO

MCL injuries are diagnosed in a doctor’s office, urgent care or at a physical therapy center. The exam will usually start with a doctor or physical therapist in Sappington, 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 whether or not your knee is unstable. 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 Sappington, 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 three-dimensional images of your soft tissue
  • An ultrasound, which uses sound waves and can help determine the grade of your injury
  • An X-ray, which does not show soft tissue, to insure your femur, patella, tibia, and fibula have not fractured

Alternatively, you can visit the Axes location nearest you for a free, no-obligation injury screening. While we will be able to diagnose your injury, Missouri law stipulates a prescription for further physical therapy.

Treating an MCL Injury in Sappington, MO

Typically, treating an MCL injury begins with basic first aid: reducing swelling, easing discomfort, and utilizing 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 sufficient for your body to heal itself.

Professional physical therapy is needed for more severe 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 Sappington, MO can fit you for a knee brace to give your knee stability while it’s healing. Even with physical therapy, you’ll likely still continue the R.I.C.E. method and over-the-counter meds.

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 knee. The surgery is carried out 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 your doctor thinks surgery is necessary, our physical therapists are experts at pre- and post-surgical rehabilitation to make your surgery and recovery as successful as possible.

How Can Physical Therapy in Sappington, MO Treat My MCL Injury?

The goal of physical therapy, when dealing with any injury, is to design safe and evidence-backed exercises, 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 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 Sappington, 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 conditions we help treat in Sappington, MO include:

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

Schedule an Appointment With an Axes Physical Therapist in Sappington, 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 with our help, the ailment is only temporary. We know our clients trust us with their recovery, 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 how the knee works so you can stay as healthy and active as possible. For meaningful and lasting recovery from your MCL injury in Sappington, 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
  • Certified Hand Therapy
  • Sports Physical Therapy
  • Pediatric Orthopedic Physical Therapy
  • Geriatric Physical Therapy
  • Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization
  • Spine Specialty – Certified Manual Therapy
  • Trigger Point Dry Needling
  • Free Injury Screenings
  • Kinesio Taping®
  • Blood Flow Restriction Therapy
  • Certified Wellness Coaching

Our Team

Stephen Brunjes
OTR/L, CEAS
Brian Wahlig
Front Office Supervisor
Sarah Schroeder
MOTR/L, CHT, Astym Cert
Mandy Carter
MSPT, CMPT, ATC, CWC
Ray Bauer
Clinic Director, MSPT, CMPT
Jayne Scanlan
DPT, COMT, CMTPT, FAAOMPT
Megan Mason
OTD, OTR/L

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