St. Ann, MO

St. Ann, MO

Axes Physical Therapy can provide you with personalized and evidence-backed treatment plans

MCL Injury | St. Ann, MO Physical Therapy

MCL Injury in St. Ann, 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 suffer an MCL injury? How bad is the injury? How long will I be sidelines for? Will my knee ever be the same again? At Axes Physical Therapy in St. Ann, MO, we are driven by positive patient outcomes. While we’d like to be able to make your MCL injury go away, we can make your recovery safe and effective through personalized, proven treatment plans. Physical therapy has been shown time and time again to be a fundamental part of recovering from any MCL injury. Our physical therapists in St. Ann, MO are movement health experts. For lasting and meaningful recovery, reach out to the Axes location nearest you or contact us online.

What is the MCL?

MCL stands for “medial collateral ligament.” A ligament is a tough, flexible of connective tissue that connects bone to bone and helps hold structures with the body together. 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 resist valgus pressure, or the knee being forced unnaturally towards the other one. It is one of four ligaments that help keep the knee stable, along with the:

  • ACL (anterior cruciate ligament), which goes through the middle 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 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 between the knee and ankle) and gives stability to the outer knee

The knee is one of the largest joints in the human body. A healthy knee relies on surrounding bone and muscle, and the tendons and ligaments in order to provide stability and function properly. There are numerous knee injuries that 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 techniques and other physician-prescribed treatment plans have been proven to help patients mitigate pain and swelling and return to normal functionality.

MCL Injury St. Ann, MO | Sports Rehab | Injury Prevention | Physical Therapy Near St. Ann

What Types of MCL Injuries Are There?

In general, an MCL injury either involves a sprain, wherein the MCL is stretched farther than is naturally, 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. These injuries are typically not especially painful or debilitating, and don’t result in much instability. Your knee will feel tender, and you may also experience soreness.
  • Grade 2 — This injury is when the MCL suffers more significant tearing, usually to the more fibrous part of the MCL. You will probably lose some stability in the joint, and your joint may be loose when moved by hand. Symptoms of a grade 2 MCL injury generally include much more noticeable pain.
  • Grade 3 — A grade 3 tear is a complete tear, or separation from the bone. Your knee will be significantly unstable. You will likely experience intense pain and several other symptoms. Grade 3 MCL injuries often occur alongside other knee injuries such as ACL tears.

However significant your MCL injuries, our qualified St. Ann, MO physical and occupational therapists at Axes can, in concert with your doctor, develop an extensive 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 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 occur if the knee is rotated too forcefully. They can also occur because of landing or awkward bending, such as if a cleat is stuck in grass while you’re moving.

Athletes in contact sports are the most likely to sustain an MCL injury. They are also common in those who lift weights or lift heavy objects at their employment.

Common Symptoms of MCL Injuries

If you suffer an MCL injury in St. Ann, MO, you’ll likely notice the pain right away. 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
  • Contusions
  • Tenderness along the inside of the joint
  • Swelling, 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 rigid. If you experience any of the above symptoms, cease any strenuous activity immediately and seek medical treatment for a diagnosis.

Diagnosing and Treating an MCL Injury in St. Ann, MO

MCL injuries are diagnosed in a doctor’s office, emergency room or at a physical therapy center. The examination will usually start with a doctor or physical therapist in St. Ann, MO asking how the injury occurred. They’ll then bend your knee and apply slight pressure to the outside of it, noting how much pain you are in 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 doctors that specialize in the musculoskeletal system in St. Ann, MO are qualified to diagnose an MCL injury with the above procedures. 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 magnet and radio waves to create three-dimensional 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, to insure your femur, kneecap, tibia, and fibula have not been broken

You can also schedule and appointment with the Axes location most convenient for you for a free, no-obligation injury screening. While we will be able to diagnose your injury, Missouri law requires a prescription for further physical therapy.

How to Treat and MCL Injury in St. Ann, MO

Right after your MCL injury, you should start with basic first aid: reducing swelling, easing discomfort, and utilizing the R.I.C.E. Method of Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. For sprains or slight tears, the R.I.C.E method, over-the-counter pain 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 more severe injuries to restore strength and function and get you back to the activities you love. You’ll also need to refrain from most physical activity for an even longer period. Your Axes physical therapist in St. Ann, MO will be able to fit you for a knee brace in order to prevent your knee from becoming more instable while your MCL is still 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 structures of the knee. The surgery is performed by using a graft, either from your hamstring or an organ donor, to reconstruct the MCL. You would not have to be hospitalized overnight. If your doctor thinks surgery is necessary, our physical therapists are experts at pre- and post-surgical rehabilitation get you the best possible results from your surgery.

How Do Physical Therapists in St. Ann, MO Treat MCL Injuries?

The aim of physical therapy, when dealing with any injury, is to implement 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 surrounding muscles, flexibility of soft tissue, and range of motion to the joint 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 St. Ann, MO, all of our treatment plans are designed individually to each patient, proven through peer-reviewed research, and created alongside your doctor, in order to deliver you the best client experience and get you back to doing what you love to do most.

Other injuries we help treat in St. Ann, MO include:

MCL Injury St. Ann, MO | Athletic Training | Sports Training | Physical Therapy Near St. Ann

Call an Axes Physical Therapist in St. Ann, MO for Your MCL Injury

An MCL injury can be painful and frightening, especially if you’re used to being physically active, but with our help, you can get back to how you used to feel. 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 how the knee works so you can stay as healthy and active as possible. For meaningful and lasting recovery from your MCL injury in St. Ann, 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
  • Certified Hand Therapy
  • Work Conditioning/Hardening
  • Functional Capacity Evaluations
  • Sports Physical Therapy
  • Pediatric Orthopedic Physical Therapy
  • Geriatric Physical Therapy
  • Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization
  • Free Injury Screenings
  • Kinesio Taping®
  • Blood Flow Restriction Therapy
  • Spine Specialty

Our Team

Sara Crain
PT, CEAS, Astym Cert.
Antoinette Ghoston
Front Office
Brandi Arndt
MPT, CMPT
Brett Shelton
PT, DPT, OCS, COMT, CSMT
TJ Jung
PT, DPT
Megan Mason
OTD, OTR/L

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