Knee injuries Lake St. Louis, MO. The knee is a versatile joint that lets our bodies execute a vast scope of motions like sitting, standing, lifting, walking, running, jumping and more. Experiencing a knee injury makes walking and many other daily activities painful or even impossible. If you’ve recently experienced a knee injury or experience chronic knee pain, it is important to find quality physical therapy with licensed physical therapists in the Lake St. Louis, MO area. At Axes Physical Therapy, we provide safe and effective treatment to hundreds of Lake St. Louis, MO residents. Contact us today to find out more or schedule your first appointment.
Axes Physical Therapy provides customized, evidence-based evaluation and therapy for people with knee injuries in Lake St. Louis, MO. Our knee injury experts specialize in personalized treatment plans made specifically for your injury, needs and movement goals. As a network of physical therapy facilities locally owned and operated by Lake St. Louis, MO physical therapists, Axes Physical Therapy is committed to serving the individual needs of each Lake St. Louis, MO patient we see.
The Human Knee
The knee is one of the largest and most complex joints in the body. It attaches the tibia (shin bone) to the femur (thigh bone). The fibula (the small bone that runs on the side of the tibia) and patella (kneecap) are the other bones that make up the knee joint. Surrounding the knee are leg muscles, which help move the knee, and tendons and ligaments that join the knee bones to the leg muscles or ligaments which give support and stability. These ligaments include the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), which offer stability to the front and back of 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.
Owing to the intricacy of the joint and the stresses placed on the knee, with elements that can be torn, fractured, sprained, or dislocated, knee injuries are one of the most commonly seen 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 Lake St. Louis, MO area physical therapists. Our team of professional therapists who are highly knowledgeable when treating knee injuries will guide you in your rehabilitation and help you regain complete mobility of your injured knee.
Types of Knee Injuries and Common Causes
Knee sprains can be painful knee injuries that occur when ligaments in the knee are torn or overstretched. Knee sprains are painful, and if left unattended or treated poorly can cause chronic issues, including arthritis. Knee sprains are often the result of acute twisting injuries, or injuries the result of external 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 occur because of weakness, muscle fatigue or improper technique. Symptoms include:
- Weakness or tenderness
- Pain and stiffness
- Muscle Spasms
Torn cartilage can frequently happen take place at the same time as sprains, and occur when trauma to the knee tears the menisci. It’s usually caused by 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 leaping and rotating/pivoting. In older adults, a cartilage tear in the knee can take place with little or no trauma as the knee cartilage loses flexibility and pliability with age. Symptoms include:
- Soreness when working out or exercising
- Buckling or locking of the knee joint
- Crunching or popping noises when walking
- Difficulty bearing weight
- Inability to bend or straighten the knee
Patellar Tendonitis, also referred to as “jumper’s knee,” is caused by swelling of the tendons in the knee, specifically the quadriceps tendon. Anterior knee pain is almost always the main symptom of this category of knee injury, and at the start it might only occur when training or exercising. It frequently stems from overuse. Over time, the pain worsens 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 essential 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 typically felt when climbing stairs or rising from a chair. The specific cause is still unknown; however, most doctors and physical and occupational therapists think these knee injuries occur because of general overuse and weakness of the quadriceps muscle and inflexibility of other hip and knee musculature.
Fractures are an extremely painful category of knee injuries and require urgent medical treatment. More destructive fractures can necesitate surgery to repair the knee and return functionality. There are three common knee injuries related to fractures:
- Patellar: a fracture of the kneecap that often occurs when you fall exactly on your knee, hit the dashboard in a car accident or suffer another type of heavy blow to the knee. Symptoms include:
- Pain, swelling, and bruising
- Inability to straighten the knee or keep it keep it
- Inability to walk
- Distal Femur: takes place where the thigh bone and knee meet. The bone can shatter or can break straight across. Because distal femoral knee injuries can damage the cartilage in the knee, they can sometimes be harder to treat. They usually occur in the elderly whose bones have become weaker, or to people in high energy impact collisions. Symptoms include:
- Pain when placing weight on the knee
- Inflammation, bruising, and tenderness
- The leg may look shorter and bent
- Proximal Tibia: frequently damage the soft tissue of the knee as well. The top of the tibia, where it connects to the knee, is not as hard as the rest of the bone. These knee injuries often occur when the femur is forced by trauma into the soft bone at the top of the tibia. Proximal tibia knee injuries are sometimes minor breaks that occur from excessive activity, but most happen because of falling, sports injuries or motor vehicle accidents. Symptoms include:
- inflammation around the knee
- Visually obvious deformity or misalignment
- Lack of feeling or warmth in the foot, as the flow of blood to the foot could be restricted
Dislocation of the knee or kneecap can either take place when the femur and tibia are pushed out of alignment, or when the patella is forced out of place. These are typically caused by extreme force from sports, car accidents or falls. People with a slightly abnormal structure of the knee are at a greater risk of patellar dislocation knee injuries. While a Lake St. Louis, MO doctor can put the knee or kneecap back in place, treatment by a physical therapist will be an important part of the recovery process to reduce swelling, slowly increase movement and increase strength in the hip and leg musculature.
ACL, PCL, MCL, and LCL Injuries can be either tears or sprains. ACL injuries can often happen in high-energy sports where players are landing after jumping or changing direction rapidly. 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 swelling and lack of stability. While ACL tears are often accompanied by damage to other parts of the knee, ACL tears alone are often not 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 proper urgent and long-term treatment after experiencing a knee injury. The care you receive can be the difference between a swift and strong recovery or a lifetime of chronic, debilitating pain. In regards to knee injuries that cause obvious and major trauma, such as a dislocated patella, tests may not be needed and a Lake St. Louis, MO ER doctor will endeavor to stabilize the knee as quickly as possible. Other methods of diagnosis for knee injuries are:
- A physical examination. A Lake St. Louis, MO medical professional can evaluate the appearance and movement of your knee while checking for swelling or tenderness. Our physical therapists are professionals in human movement and provide free, no obligation injury screenings for your knee injuries and other injuries.
- X-Rays can reveal bone fractures and degenerative joint disease.
- CT scans combine X-rays from varying angles to make cross-sectional pictures of the inside of your knee. They can help detect knee injuries such as subtle fractures.
- Ultrasounds use sound waves to make images of the soft tissue in your knee. Your doctor may move your knee into different positions to look for specific issues.
- MRIs create 3D images of the inside of your knee. This test is frequently utilized to show soft tissue injuries, such as ACL tears or patellar tendonitis.
If you are suffering from pain caused by a knee injury, contact Axes Physical Therapy to work with a Lake St. Louis, MO physical therapist who is an expert in knee injuries. Your knee injury therapist will analyze your movement, your mobility, and will also investigate the strength of your knee and its stability. After diagnosis, your Axes physical therapist in Lake St. Louis, MO County will recommend a customized treatment plan, which may include an appointment with a Lake St. Louis, MO orthopedic or sports physician.
Treatments and Therapy
Less significant knee injuries can be treated using the RICE Method: rest, ice, gentle compression, and elevation. If you feel pain, you need to rest and to momentarily 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, are unable to move the knee, or cannot bear weight without pain. With some serious knee injuries, such as ACL tears or broken bones, surgery is required to correct the structure of the knee and return functionality. Physical therapy will then be part of your preoperative and postoperative treatment plan. A Lake St. Louis, MO physical therapist who specializes knee injuries will help you safely restore motion and strength in your knee as your injury heals. Common therapies for knee injuries are (depending on your injury):
- Stretches and strengthening exercises of the entire leg and hip
- 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 grounded in proven treatment strategies and are tailored specifically for each patient. We lead you in your rehabilitation 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:
- Sports Injury
- Work Injury Rehabilitation
- Physical Therapist Near Me
- Neck Pain
- Occupational Therapy
- Low Back Pain
- Free Injury Screening
Receive Physical Therapy for Knee Injuries
If you are experiencing knee pain or have recently experienced a knee injury, you need the professional advice of Lake St. Louis, 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 devoted, personalized care of your Axes physical therapist. Contact us today to schedule an appointment or find out the knee injury treatment location nearest you.