Union, MO

Union, MO

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

MCL Injury | Union, MO Physical Therapy

MCL Injury in Union, MO. If someone plays sports or engages in other physical activity, feeling that sudden “pop” in their knee creates a lot of doubts: Did I injure my MCL? How bad is the injury? How long will I be sidelines for? Will I have to permanently give up the things I love doing? At Axes Physical Therapy in Union, MO, we are driven by getting our clients back to the activities they love most. While we’d like to be able to magically fix your MCL, we can make your recovery safe and effective through customized, proven treatment plans. Physical therapy has proven to be an essential part of recovering from any MCL injury. Our physical therapists in Union, MO are all licensed and average more than 15 years of individual experience. For treatment plans you know will be effective, reach out to the Axes location nearest you or request an appointment online.

How the MCL Works

MCL an acronym for “medial collateral ligament.” A ligament is a tough band of connective tissue that connects 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 maintains stability in the inner knee. Its chief purpose is to resist valgus stress, or the knee being pushed too far inward. It is one of four ligaments in the knee, along with the:

  • 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 in the middle of the knee and acts as a secondary front and back stabilizer
  • LCL (lateral collateral ligament), which affixes the femur 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 known for being one of our most complex joints. Optimal structure and function depends on surrounding bone, muscle, tendons, and ligaments. 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 live a pain-free day-to-day life. Particular 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 manage their symptoms and get back to normal mobility.

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

What Types of MCL Injuries Are There?

Generally speaking, an MCL injury is either a sprain, which stretches the ligament farther than is naturally, or a tear, where the MCL may fray partially or entirely separate from the bone. There are three grades to MCL injuries:

  • 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. It’s typically a mild injury, and your knee largely remains stable. Your knee will feel tender, and you may also experience mild pain.
  • Grade 2 — This is a more moderate tear, usually to the more fibrous part of the ligament. You will probably lose some stability in the joint, and the knee will likely be loose when manipulated manually. Pain is much more severe in a grade 2 MCL injury.
  • Grade 3 — This injury is a complete tear to both the superficial and deep parts. You will likely feel like your knee’s about to buckle. Pain will be intense and you’ll likely feel several other symptoms. Grade 3 MCL injuries often occur alongside other knee injuries such as ACL tears.

Whatever grade MCL injury you have, our licensed Union, MO physical and occupational therapists at Axes can, alongside your physician, create an exhaustive plan specially made for you and your injuries 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. Most people often suffer and MCL injury because of physical trauma on the exterior of the knee. MCL injuries can also by the knee rotating more than the ligament can support. They can also occur because of landing or unnatural bending, such as if a cleat is stuck in grass while the rest of your body moves.

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

Most people feel pain immediately on the inside of the joint when they experience an MCL sprain or tear. Other symptoms may include:

  • Hearing or feeling a popping noise or sensation
  • Feeling like the may buckle
  • Pain or discomfort when trying to bear weight
  • Contusions
  • Tenderness along the inside of the joint
  • Inflammation, either of the MCL area or the whole knee

Sometimes you may feel like your knee is “shaky”, or in other cases you’ll barely be able to move the knee. Any time you feel pain or instability in your knee, stop any strenuous activity immediately and seek medical treatment for a diagnosis.

Diagnosing and Treating an MCL Injury in Union, MO

MCL injuries are diagnosed in a physical examination. The exam will usually start with a doctor or physical therapist in Union, 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 with knowledge of movement health in Union, MO will be able 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 magnetic field and radio waves to produce detailed 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, may be ordered for a severe MCL injury to ensure there are no broken bones

Alternatively, you can schedule and appointment with the Axes location most convenient for you for a free, no-obligation injury screening. While we can offer you an evaluation, Missouri Revised Statute §334.506 stipulates a prescription for further physical therapy.

How MCL Injuries are Treated in Union, MO

The initial treatment of an MCL injury consists of basic first aid: inflammation reduction, 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, pain and swelling relievers, and a few days or week or two of rest may be sufficient for your body’s natural healing processes to get you back on your feet.

More significant tears 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 off your feet to allow your body to heal safely. Your Axes physical therapist in Union, MO can fit you for a knee brace so that you don’t suffer further injury. With physical therapy, you’ll still continue icing your knee and taking anti-inflammatory pain medication.

Though rare, the most severe cases — in which the MCL is completely torn, the injury is accompanied by an ACL tear, or nonsurgical treatment just isn’t working — may require surgery. The surgery is performed by using a graft, either from one of your other ligaments or from another person, to reconstruct the ligament. You would be able to go home the day of the surgery. If you do require surgery in Union, MO, our physical therapists specialize in pre- and post-surgical rehabilitation to make your surgery and recovery as successful as possible.

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

The objective of physical therapy, when dealing with any injury, is to implement safe, effective, 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 in the interest of not only recovery, but injury prevention. Depending on you and your injuries, your treatment plan may include:

At Axes Physical Therapy in Union, MO, all of our treatment plans are designed individually to each patient, proven through peer-reviewed research, and created with the help of your doctor, in order to deliver you the best client experience and get you back to doing what you love to do most.

Other services we offer in Union, MO include:

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

Call an Axes Physical Therapist in Union, 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 you place a lot of trust in your physical therapists, 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 Union, 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
  • Advanced Work Rehabilitation
  • Functional Capacity Evaluations
  • Sports Physical Therapy
  • Pediatric Orthopedic Physical Therapy
  • Geriatric Physical Therapy
  • Vestibular Therapy
  • Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization
  • Spine Specialty – Certified Manual Therapy
  • Free Injury Screenings
  • Kinesio Taping®
  • Blood Flow Restriction Therapy (BFR)

Our Team

Stephen Brunjes
OTR/L, CEAS
Danielle O’Rando
Front Office
Sharon Titter
Clinic Director, MPT

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