Webster Groves, MO

Webster Groves, MO

Axes Physical Therapy can provide you with safe, effective, and evidence-backed treatment plans

MCL Injury | Webster Groves, MO Physical Therapy

MCL Injury in Webster Groves, 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 injure my MCL? Is it significant? How long will it take to recover? Will I ever be able to perform at the same level again? At Axes Physical Therapy in Webster Groves, MO, all of our physical and occupational therapists are dedicated to getting our patients back to sprinting down the court. While we’d like to be able to make your MCL injury go away, 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 essential component of recovering from any MCL injury. Our physical therapists in Webster Groves, 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.

How the MCL Works

MCL stands for “medial collateral ligament.” A ligament is like a strong, firmly attached rope that affixes bone to bone and provides stability. The MCL connects your upper shin bone to the inner surface of the bottom thigh bone, running along your inner knee, and maintains stability in the inner knee. Its functions to guard against valgus pressure, or the knee being pushed unnaturally 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 provides rotational stability and prevents the knee from bending inward
  • 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 connects the thigh bone to the fibula (the smaller bone the small bone behind the tibia) and gives 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 limit or completely restrict 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 manage their symptoms and return to normal mobility.

MCL Injury Webster Groves, MO | Sports Rehab | Injury Prevention | Physical Therapy Near Webster Groves

What Types of MCL Injuries Are There?

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

  • 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. 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. You will probably lose some stability in your knee, and your joint may be loose when moved by hand. A grade 2 injury will result in significantly more pain than a grade 2 MCL injury.
  • Grade 3 — This injury is a complete tear to both the fibrous and deep parts. You will likely feel like your knee’s about to buckle. You will likely experience significant 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, the team of professional Webster Groves, MO physical and occupational therapists at Axes can, in concert with your physician, implement an extensive and customized plan to get you back to the things you love without incurring further injury.

What Causes MCL Injuries?

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 physical trauma on the outside of the knee. MCL injuries can also occur if the knee is rotated more than the ligament can stand. They can also happen because of landing or awkward bending, such as if your foot stays in one place while you’re moving.

Athletes in contact sports are the most likely to sustain an MCL injury. They can also occur in people who lift weights or lift heavy objects at their work.

Common Symptoms of MCL Injuries

If you suffer an MCL injury in Webster Groves, 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
  • Not being able to put any weight on the knee
  • Contusions
  • Tenderness where the MCL is located
  • Inflammation, 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 the knee feels too stiff. If you experience any of the above symptoms, do not participate in any more strenuous activity and schedule a physical examination in order to get a diagnosis.

Diagnosing and Treating an MCL Injury in Webster Groves, MO

MCL injuries are diagnosed in a doctor’s office, urgent care or at a physical therapy center. The examination will usually start with a doctor or physical therapist in Webster Groves, 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 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 doctors that specialize in the musculoskeletal system in Webster Groves, MO will be able to determine if you have 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 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 come to the Axes location most convenient for you for a complimentary, no-risk injury screening. While we will be able to diagnose your injury, Missouri law stipulates that physical therapy be prescribed by a doctor.

How MCL Injuries are Treated in Webster Groves, MO

The initial treatment of an MCL injury consists of basic first aid: reducing swelling, 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 to get mostly back to normal.

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 to refrain from most physical activity for an even longer period. Your Axes physical therapist in Webster Groves, MO can fit you for a knee brace in order to prevent your knee from moving side to side while your MCL is still healing. Even with physical therapy, you’ll likely still continue the R.I.C.E. method and anti-inflammatory medication.

Though uncommon, the worst grade 1 tears — in which the MCL is completely torn, the injury is accompanied by an ACL tear, or you are not recovering after several weeks of nonsurgical treatment — may require surgery. During the surgery, a surgeon will use a graft, either from one of your other ligaments or from another person, to reattach the torn sections. You would not have to be hospitalized overnight. If your doctor thinks surgery is necessary, our physical therapists specialize in pre- and post-surgical rehabilitation get you the best possible results from your surgery.

How Do Physical Therapists in Webster Groves, MO Treat MCL Injuries?

For recovering from any injury, a physically therapist will design safe and evidence-backed exercises, each aimed at helping a specific part of the body regain a specific level or function. These treatments and exercises will, over time, build strength in the strength in the muscles that power the knee, flexibility of soft tissue, and range of motion to the joint 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 Webster Groves, MO, all of our treatment plans are as unique as each patient, and created alongside your physician, 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 Webster Groves, MO include:

MCL Injury Webster Groves, MO | Athletic Training | Sports Training | Physical Therapy Near Webster Groves

Call an Axes Physical Therapist in Webster Groves, 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, the ailment is only temporary. 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 Webster Groves, 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
  • 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
Zac Schniers
PT, DPT, CMPT
Sarah Barker
Front Office
Scott Gallant
PT, FAAOMPT, BDN
Stacey Collins
Clinic Director, PT, DPT, CMPT

Locations

Begin Your Recovery Today

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