Knee injuries Ballwin, MO. The knee is a versatile joint that permits our bodies to carry out a vast array of functional activities like sitting, standing, lifting, walking, running, jumping and more. Sustaining a knee injury makes walking and a lot of other basic tasks painful or even impossible. If you’ve recently sustained a knee injury or are affected by chronic knee pain, it is vital to find quality physical therapy with licensed physical therapists in the Ballwin, MO area. At Axes Physical Therapy, we offer safe and effective care to hundreds of Ballwin, MO residents. Contact us today to find out more or schedule your first appointment.
Axes Physical Therapy provides bespoke, evidence-based analysis and treatment for those with knee injuries in Ballwin, MO. Our knee injury experts specialize in customized treatment plans made specifically for your condition, needs and movement goals. Axes Physical Therapy is a network of physical therapy experts at various locations, each owned and operated by physical therapists. We are devoted to serving the specifical needs of each Ballwin, MO patient we treat.
The Human Knee
The knee is one of the largest and most complex joints we have. It connects the tibia (shin bone) to the femur (thigh bone). The fibula (the small bone that runs adjacent to the tibia) and patella (kneecap) are the other bones that make up the knee joint. Surrounding the knee are leg muscles, which are responsible for the knee’s movements, and tendons and ligaments that connect the knee bones to the leg muscles or ligaments which provide support and stability. These ligaments include the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), which give stability in front of and behind the knee, and the medial and lateral collateral ligaments (MCL and LCL), which stabilize sideways movement. The medial and lateral menisci behave like shock absorbers between the tibia and femur.
Because of the complexity of the joint and the forces placed on the knee, with elements that can be torn, fractured, sprained, or dislocated, knee injuries are one of the most common musculoskeletal injuries that are suffered. If you’ve suffered a knee injury or are experiencing chronic knee pain, you need the attention and careful treatment of Ballwin, MO area physical therapists. Our team of certified therapists who specialize in treating knee injuries will lead you in your rehabilitation and help you regain full mobility of your injured knee.
Types of Knee Injuries and Common Causes
Knee sprains are knee injuries that can hurt a lot, and they happen when ligaments in the knee are torn or overstretched. Knee sprains are painful, and if untreated or treated improperly can lead to continued issues, including arthritis. Knee sprains are commonly caused by acute twisting injuries, or injuries the result of outside forces that stretch or tear a ligament. It is usually a sports related injury that comes from force, such as a hit to the front or outside of the knee. Furthermore, non contact knee sprains are very common and result from weakness, muscle fatigue or incorrect mechanics. Symptoms include:
- Weakness or tenderness
- Pain and stiffness
- Muscle Spasms
Torn cartilage can frequently occur in tandem with sprains, and take place when trauma to the knee tears the menisci. It’s usually the result of forcefully twisting or rotating your knee and is often seen in contact sports such as football, as well as sports like soccer or baseball with repeated jumping and rotating/pivoting. In older adults, a cartilage tear in the knee can happen with little or no external force as the knee cartilage loses flexibility and pliability with age. Symptoms include:
- Dull pain when training or exercising
- Buckling or locking of the knee joint
- Crunching or popping noises when walking
- Difficulty bearing weight
- Inability to flex or straighten the knee
Patellar Tendonitis, also called “jumper’s knee,” is a result of inflammation of the tendons in the knee, specifically the quadriceps tendon. Anterior knee pain is typically the main symptom of this variety of knee injury, and at first it might only occur when training or exercising. It is also frequently an overuse injury. Over time, the pain becomes worse and starts to make exercising or playing sports more difficult. If unattended, after a while you could find it difficult to climb stairs or even rise from a chair. For that reason, it’s vital to seek out physical therapy for knee injuries.
Patellofemoral pain syndrome is a knee injury marked by pain that is generally felt in the front of the knee and worsens as time goes on. The pain is a result of tracking and alignment issues between the patella and femur and is commonly experienced climbing stairs or getting up from a chair. The exact cause is not understood yet; however, most doctors and physical and occupational therapists suspect these knee injuries occur when the knee is overused, or there is weakness of the quadriceps muscle and inflexibility of other hip and knee musculature.
Fractures are an exceptionally painful variety of knee injuries and necesitate urgent medical care. More complicated fractures can need surgery to repair the knee and return functionality. There are three common knee injuries related to fractures:
- Patellar: a fracture of the kneecap that frequently takes place when you land exactly on your knee, hit the dashboard in a car crash or sustain another kind of extreme external force to the knee. Symptoms include:
- Pain, inflammation, and bruising
- Inability to extend the knee or keep it straight
- Inability to walk
- Distal Femur: occurs where the thigh bone and knee meet. The bone might shatter or may suffer a clean break. Distal femoral knee injuries frequently also injure the cartilage in the knee, which makes them hard to treat. They most often occur in the elderly as their bones weaken, or to people in high energy impact collisions. Symptoms include:
- Pain when placing weight on the knee
- Inflammation, bruising, and soreness
- The leg may look shorter and bent
- Proximal Tibia: often harm the soft tissue of the knee as well. The top of the tibia, where it meets the knee, is not as hard as the rest of the bone. These knee injuries frequently take place when the femur is forced by trauma into the soft bone at the top of the tibia. Proximal tibia knee injuries are occasionally minor breaks that occur from excessive activity, but most are the result of trauma from falling, sports injuries or motor vehicle crashes. Symptoms include:
- Swelling around the knee
- Visually apparent deformity or misalignment
- Numb, pale, or cold feet, as the flow of blood to the foot could be restricted
Dislocation of the knee or kneecap can either happen when the femur and tibia are forced out of alignment, or when the patella is forced out of place. These are usually caused by high energy trauma from sports, car accidents or falls. People with a somewhat abnormal structure of the knee are at a heightened risk of patellar dislocation knee injuries. While a Ballwin, MO doctor will be able to put the knee or kneecap back in place, treatment by a physical therapist will be an important part of the recuperation process to reduce swelling, slowly improve movement and improve strength in the hip and leg musculature.
ACL, PCL, MCL, and LCL Injuries can be both tears or sprains. ACL injuries can often happen in high-action sports where players are landing after jumping or switching direction quickly. The PCL can often be torn when force is applied to the front of the knee as it is bent. Symptoms of these knee injuries include inflammation and knee instability. While ACL tears are frequently accompanied by damage to other parts of the knee, ACL tears alone are not always painful. MCL and LCL tears occur when there is a blow that pushes the knee sideways.
Diagnoses and Tests
It is important to receive the correct immediate and long-term treatment after suffering a knee injury. The treatment you receive can be the difference between a swift and strong recovery or a lifetime of chronic, debilitating pain. In the event of knee injuries involving obvious and major trauma, such as a dislocated patella, tests may not be needed and a Ballwin, MO ER doctor will endeavor to stabilize the knee as quickly as possible. Other means of diagnosis for knee injuries are:
- A physical examination. A Ballwin, MO medical professional can analyze the appearance and mobility of your knee while looking for inflammation or tenderness. Our physical therapists are specialists in human movement and offer free, no obligation injury screenings for your knee injuries and other injuries.
- X-Rays can detect bone fractures and degenerative joint disease.
- CT scans combine X-rays from different angles to build cross-sectional pictures of the inside of your knee. They can help detect knee injuries such as subtle fractures.
- Ultrasounds use sound waves to produce images of the soft tissue in your knee. Your doctor may rotate and extend your knee at different angles to look for specific issues.
- MRIs create 3D pictures of the inside of your knee. This test is frequently utilized to reveal soft tissue injuries, such as ACL tears or patellar tendonitis.
If you are dealing with pain caused by a knee injury, contact Axes Physical Therapy to work with a Ballwin, MO physical therapist who is an expert in knee injuries. Your knee injury therapist will analyze your movement, your mobility, and will also monitor how strong and stable your knee is. After diagnosis, your Axes physical therapist in Ballwin, MO County will recommend a personalized treatment plan, which may include an appointment with a Ballwin, MO orthopedic or sports physician.
Treatments and Therapy
Small knee injuries can often heal with the RICE Method: rest, ice, gentle compression, and elevation. If you are experiencing pain, it’s important to rest and to temporarily cease any activity you think may have caused your injury. Get medical attention if you hear a popping noise or feel loss of stability at the time of your injury, if you experience severe pain or swelling, cannot move the knee, or are unable to bear weight without pain. With some severe knee injuries, such as ACL tears or bone fractures, surgery is necessary to correct the structure of the knee and return functionality. Physical therapy will then be part of your preoperative and postoperative treatment plan. A Ballwin, MO physical therapist who treats knee injuries will put you on the path to safely restore movement and strength to your knee as your injury heals. Common therapies for knee injuries include (depending on your injury):
- Stretches and strengthening exercises of the entire lower extremity
- Core strengthening
- Ice and heat
- Soft tissue mobilization
- Electrical stimulation
- Proprioceptive exercises
- Functional return to sports, activity, and exercises
At Axes Physical Therapy, our treatment plans are designed from proven treatment strategies and are tailored specifically for each patient. We lead you in your recovery to safely return you to the activities you love.
We treat a wide variety of conditions and complaints and have a team of specialists ready to help you. Some of our other services are:
Receive Physical Therapy for Knee Injuries
If you are living with knee pain or have recently sustained a knee injury, you require the specialized advice of Ballwin, MO physical therapists to eliminate your pain and get you back to full mobility. Axes Physical Therapy will help you get back to the sports and activities you love with the dedicated, individualized care of your Axes physical therapist. Contact us today to schedule an appointment or find out the knee injury treatment location nearest you.