St. George, MO

St. George, MO

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

MCL Injury | St. George, MO Physical Therapy

MCL Injury in St. George, MO. For many people who maintain an active lifestyle, it’s easy to fear the worst when you feel sudden pain on the inside of your knee: Did I suffer an MCL injury? 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 St. George, MO, we are driven by getting our patients back to tearing up the filed. While we can’t, we can help ensure you get back to feeling like yourself with safe, effective treatments. Physical therapy has proven to be an essential component of any treatment plan for MCL injuries. Our physical therapists in St. George, MO specialize helping a variety of injuries and conditions in the musculoskeletal system heal. For lasting and meaningful recovery, reach out to the Axes location nearest you or schedule an appointment online.

What is the MCL?

MCL an acronym for “medial collateral ligament.” A ligament is a tough, flexible of connective tissue that attaches bone to bone and keeps joints stable. The MCL runs from the inside of your upper shin bone to the inside of your bottoms thigh bone and keeps the knee from moving side to side. Its main purpose is to resist valgus pressure, or the knee being pushed unnaturally towards the other one. It combines with three other ligaments that work together to support normal function and stability:

  • ACL (anterior cruciate ligament), which goes through the middle of your knee and controls rotation and controls forward movement
  • PCL (posterior cruciate ligament), which crosses the ACL in the middle of the knee and prevents excessive posterior translation of the tibia relative to the femur
  • LCL (lateral collateral ligament), which affixes the femur to the fibula (the smaller bone between the knee and ankle) and provides stability to the outer knee

The knee is one of the most complex joints in the human body. Correct structure and function depends on surrounding bone, muscle, tendons, and ligaments. There are countless knee injuries that can limit or completely restrict your mobility and pursue the activities you love most, or just live a pain-free day-to-day life. Specific physical therapy exercises and other physician-prescribed treatment plans have been demonstrated through research and analysis to help those who have suffered an MCL injury manage their symptoms and get back to normal mobility.

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

What Types of MCL Injuries Are There?

In general, an MCL injury either involves a sprain, which stretches the ligament beyond its normal range of motion, or a tear, where the ligament 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 ligament are torn. These are not generally severe, and your knee will still be stable. You will likely experience some tenderness and some soreness.
  • Grade 2 — This is more significant tearing, generally to the more fibrous part of the MCL. Your knee will be slightly unstable, and the knee will likely be loose when manipulated manually. A grade 2 injury will result in significantly more pain than a grade 2 MCL injury.
  • Grade 3 — This occurs when your MCL is entirely torn, both the fibrous and deep parts. You will likely feel like your knee’s about to buckle. You will likely feel intense pain and several other 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 St. George, MO physical and occupational therapists at Axes can, in concert with your doctor, implement a comprehensive plan uniquely made for you and your injuries aimed at returning you to the life you’re used to safely.

How Do MCL Injuries Occur?

40% of all knee injuries involve damage to the MCL, LCL, ACL, or PCL, and most of the time that ligament is the MCL. Most MCL injuries occur due to a blow to the outside of the knee. MCL injuries can also by the knee rotating too forcefully. They can also occur because of 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 activities that require a lot of torque being placed on the body such as football, soccer, skiing, basketball, and tennis. They are also common in those who lift weights or lift heavy objects at their work.

Common Symptoms of MCL Injuries

Most MCL injuries are accompanied by sudden, noticeable pain. Other symptoms may include:

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

Sometimes you may feel like your knee is “shaky”, while other times the knee feels too stiff. If you experience any of the above symptoms, do not participate in any more strenuous activity and seek medical treatment for a diagnosis.

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

MCL injuries are diagnosed in a doctor’s office, urgent care or at a physical therapy center. In the examination, your St. George, 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 gently see if your knee is unstanble while bending inward, and your pain level.

Most physical therapists or physicians that specialize in the musculoskeletal system in St. George, MO are qualified to diagnose 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 magnetic field and radio waves to take detailed images of the knee joint
  • An ultrasound, which uses sound waves and can help determine the grade of your injury
  • An X-ray, which does not show soft tissue, may be ordered for a severe MCL injury to ensure there are no broken bones

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 Revised Statute §334.506 stipulates a prescription in order to officially begin physical therapy treatment.

Treating an MCL Injury in St. George, MO

Right after your MCL injury, you should start with basic first aid: inflammation reduction, easing pain, and using the R.I.C.E. Method of Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. For grade 1 injuries, 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 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 St. George, 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 anti-inflammatory 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 carried out by using a graft, either from your hamstring or from another person, to reconstruct the MCL. You would not have to be hospitalized overnight. If you do require surgery in St. George, MO, our physical therapists are experts at pre- and post-surgical rehabilitation to make your surgery and recovery as successful as possible.

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

The aim 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. These treatments and exercises will, over time, build strength in the surrounding muscles, flexibility of soft tissue, 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 St. George, MO, all of our treatment plans are as unique as each patient, 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 conditions we help treat in St. George, MO include:

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

Call an Axes Physical Therapist in St. George, 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 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 St. George, 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.