Woodson Terrace, MO

Woodson Terrace, MO

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

MCL Injury | Woodson Terrace, MO Physical Therapy

MCL Injury in Woodson Terrace, 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? Is it significant? How long will I be sidelines for? Will my knee ever be the same again? At Axes Physical Therapy in Woodson Terrace, MO, we are driven by getting our clients back to the activities they love most. While we can’t, we can help ensure you get back to feeling like yourself with safe, evidence-backed treatments. Physical therapy has been shown time and time again to be an integral component of recovering from any MCL injury. Our physical therapists in Woodson Terrace, MO specialize helping a variety of injuries and conditions in the musculoskeletal system heal. For treatment plans you know will be effective, call the Axes location most convenient for you you or contact us online.

What is the MCL?

MCL an acronym for “medial collateral ligament.” A ligament is like a strong, firmly attached rope that attaches bones to each other and keeps joints stable. The MCL connects your upper shin bone to the inner surface of the bottom thigh bone, running along your inner knee, and helps keep your knee stable and functioning normally. Its primary purpose is to guard against valgus pressure, or the knee being pushed too far inward. It combines with three other ligaments that work together to support normal function and stability:

  • ACL (anterior cruciate ligament), which runs down the center of your knee and controls rotation and prevents the knee from bending inward
  • PCL (posterior cruciate ligament), which crosses the ACL in the middle of the knee and keeps the tibia from sliding back too far
  • LCL (lateral collateral ligament), which connects the thigh bone to the fibula (the smaller bone the small bone behind the tibia) and prevents the knee from being pushed unnaturally outward

The knee is known for being one of our most complex joints. Healthy structure and movement depends on surrounding bone, muscle, tendons, and ligaments. There are countless knee injuries that can greatly affect 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 proven to help patients reduce pain and return to optimal movement health.

MCL Injury Woodson Terrace, MO | Sports Rehab | Injury Prevention | Physical Therapy Near Woodson Terrace

What Types of MCL Injuries Are There?

Generally speaking, an MCL injury either involves a sprain, wherein the MCL extends beyond its normal range of motion, or a tear, where the MCL 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. These are not generally severe, and your knee will still be stable. Your knee will feel tender, and you may also experience mild pain.
  • Grade 2 — This is more significant tearing, generally to the middle layer of the ligament. You will probably lose some stability in your knee, and your joint may be loose when moved by hand. 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. Your knee will be significantly unstable. 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.

However significant your MCL injuries, the team of expert Woodson Terrace, MO physical and occupational therapists at Axes can, in concert with your physician, create an exhaustive plan uniquely made for you and your injuries to get you back to the things you love in a safe and effective manner.

What Causes MCL Injuries?

40% of all knee injuries involve damage to a ligament, and most of the time that ligament is the MCL. 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 by the knee rotating too forcefully. They can also take place when 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 can also occur in people who have to hunch over and lift heavy objects, either for athletic training or in the course of 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 feeling
  • The knee being unstable
  • Inability to bear weight
  • Bruising
  • Tenderness along the inside of the joint
  • Swelling, either where the MCL is located or the whole knee

Sometimes your knee may feel like your knee is loose when you walk, even if walking doesn’t hurt, or in other cases the knee feels too stiff. Any time you feel pain or instability in your knee, stop any strenuous activity immediately and schedule a physical examination in order to get a diagnosis.

Diagnosing and Treating an MCL Injury in Woodson Terrace, MO

Diagnosing an MCL injury requires going to a physical examination. In the examination, your Woodson Terrace, 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 with knowledge of movement health in Woodson Terrace, MO are qualified 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 magnetic field and radio waves to produce detailed images of your soft tissue
  • An ultrasound, which uses sound waves and can be helpful in checking the severity 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 nearest you for a free, no-risk injury screening. While we can determine if you have suffered an MCL injury, Missouri law requires that physical therapy be prescribed by a physician.

How to Treat and MCL Injury in Woodson Terrace, MO

Right after your MCL injury, you should start with basic first aid: swelling reduction, easing pain, 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 all you need for your body’s natural healing processes to get you back on your feet.

Professional physical therapy is needed for grade 2 and 3 injuries 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 Woodson Terrace, MO will be able to 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 you are not recovering after several weeks of nonsurgical treatment — may require surgery. During the surgery, a surgeon will use a graft, either from your hamstring or from another person, to reconstruct the ligament. The surgery is an outpatient procedure. If your doctor thinks surgery is necessary, our physical therapists specialize in pre- and post-surgical rehabilitation, which ensures that your knee will be healthy enough for the surgery, and you’ll safely restore, strength, flexibility, and range of motion after.

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

For recovering from any injury, a physically therapist will create safe, effective, and evidence-backed treatment methods based on each patient’s specific injury and the lifestyle they want to get back to. These treatments and exercises will, over time, build strength in the surrounding muscles, flexibility of ligaments and tendons, and range of motion to the joint 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 Woodson Terrace, MO, all of our treatment plans are designed specifically for you, backed by empirical evidence, and created with the help of 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 Woodson Terrace, MO include:

MCL Injury Woodson Terrace, MO | Athletic Training | Sports Training | Physical Therapy Near Woodson Terrace

Schedule an Appointment With an Axes Physical Therapist in Woodson Terrace, MO for Your MCL Injury

An MCL injury can be painful and frightening, especially if you’re an athlete, 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. 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 Woodson Terrace, 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.