Wright City, MO

Wright City, MO

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

MCL Injury | Wright City, MO Physical Therapy

MCL Injury in Wright City, MO. If someone plays sports or engages in other physical activity, it’s easy to fear the worst when you hear that sudden “pop” in your knee: Did I suffer an MCL injury? How bad is the injury? How long will it take to recover? Will I ever be able to perform at the same level again? At Axes Physical Therapy in Wright City, MO, all of our physical and occupational therapists are dedicated to positive patient experiences. While we can’t, we can make your recovery safe and effective through personalized, evidence-based treatment plans. Physical therapy has proven to be an essential component of recovering from any MCL injury. Our physical therapists in Wright City, 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 bones to each other 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 towards the other one. It is one of four ligaments that help keep the knee stable, along with the:

  • 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 inside the knee and prevents excessive posterior translation of the tibia relative to the femur
  • LCL (lateral collateral ligament), which attaches the thigh bone to the fibula (the smaller bone the small bone behind the tibia) 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 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. Particular 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 reduce pain and return to normal functionality.

MCL Injury Wright City, MO | Sports Rehab | Injury Prevention | Physical Therapy Near Wright City

What Types of MCL Injuries Are There?

Generally speaking, an MCL injury is either a sprain, wherein the MCL extends beyond its normal limits, 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 MCL has been torn. It’s typically a mild injury, and don’t result in much instability. Your knee will feel tender, and you may also experience soreness.
  • Grade 2 — This is more significant tearing, most commonly to the superficial part of the MCL. Your knee will be slightly unstable, and the knee will likely be loose when manipulated manually. Pain is much more severe in a grade 2 MCL injury.
  • Grade 3 — A grade 3 tear is a complete tear, or separation from the bone. You will likely feel like your knee’s about to buckle. You will likely feel significant 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, the team of licensed Wright City, MO physical and occupational therapists at Axes can, along with your physician, create a comprehensive plan uniquely made for you and your injuries to get you back to the things you love in a safe and effective manner.

How Do MCL Injuries Occur?

40% of all knee injuries involve damage to a ligament, 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 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 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 work.

Common Symptoms of MCL Injuries

If you suffer an MCL injury in Wright City, MO, you’ll likely notice the pain right away. Other symptoms may include:

  • Hearing or feeling a popping noise or sensation
  • The knee being unstable
  • Pain or discomfort when trying to bear weight
  • Bruising
  • Tenderness on the inside of your knee
  • Swelling, either where the MCL is located or the whole knee

Sometimes you may feel a “wobbly” sensation, while other times the knee feels too rigid. If you experience any of the above symptoms, cease any strenuous activity immediately and schedule a physical examination in order to get a diagnosis.

Diagnosis and Treatment of an MCL Injury in Wright City, MO

MCL injuries are diagnosed in a physical examination. In the examination, your Wright City, 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 doctors that specialize in the musculoskeletal system in Wright City, 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 computer-generated radio waves to take detailed images of the inside of your knee
  • An ultrasound, which uses sound waves and can help determine how severely the MCL is torn
  • An X-ray, which does not show soft tissue, 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 nearest you for a free, no-risk injury screening. While we will be able to diagnose your injury, Missouri Revised Statute §334.506 requires that physical therapy be prescribed by a physician.

How to Treat and MCL Injury in Wright City, MO

Typically, treating an MCL injury begins with basic first aid: inflammation reduction, relieving pain, and using 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 some time spent resting may be sufficient to get mostly back to normal.

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 to refrain from rigorous until your knee is strong again. Your Axes physical therapist in Wright City, MO will be able to fit you for a knee brace in order to prevent your knee from bending too far inward while your MCL is still healing. 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. 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. The surgery is an outpatient procedure. 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 Wright City, MO Treat MCL Injuries?

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 soft tissue, 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 Wright City, MO, all of our treatment plans are designed specifically for you, proven through peer-reviewed research, and created alongside your doctor, in order to get you the best patient outcome possible and get you back to doing what you love to do most.

Other conditions we help treat in Wright City, MO include:

MCL Injury Wright City, MO | Athletic Training | Sports Training | Physical Therapy Near Wright City

Call an Axes Physical Therapist in Wright City, MO for Your MCL Injury

An MCL injury is scary and anxiety-inducing at first, especially if you’re used to being physically active, but there’s no reason it has to put you on the sideline forever. We know our clients trust us with their recovery, 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 Wright City, 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
  • DorsaVi Video Motion Analysis
  • Spine Specialty – Certified Manual Therapy, McKenzie
  • Free Injury Screenings
  • Kinesio Taping®
  • Blood Flow Restriction Therapy

Our Team

Sara Crain
PT, CEAS, Astym Cert.
Katee Strunk
Front Office Team Lead
Julie Freiner
OTR/L, CHT
Samantha Bixby
PT, DPT, Astym Cert.
Farren Holman
PT, DPT, Astym Cert.
Matt Williams
MS, OTR/L, ATC/L
Jeff Hunter
Clinic Director, PT, Cert. MDT, MBA

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