Knee injuries Saint Paul, MO. The knee is a multifaceted joint that lets our bodies execute a vast scope of motions such as sitting, standing, lifting, walking, running, jumping and more. Suffering a knee injury makes walking and a lot of other basic tasks painful or even impossible. If you’ve recently suffered a knee injury or are impacted by chronic knee pain, it is important to find first-rate physical therapy with licensed physical therapists in the Saint Paul, MO area. At Axes Physical Therapy, we offer safe and effective care to hundreds of Saint Paul, MO residents. Contact us today to find out more or schedule your first appointment.
Axes Physical Therapy provides customized, evidence-based evaluation and treatment for people with knee injuries in Saint Paul, MO. Our knee injury experts specialize in customized treatment plans designed 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 Saint Paul, MO patient we treat.
The Human Knee
The knee is one of the biggest and most complex joints we have. It joins the tibia (shin bone) to the femur (thigh bone). The fibula (the small bone that runs next to the tibia) and patella (kneecap) are the other bones that comprise the knee joint. Surrounding the knee are leg muscles, which are responsible for the knee’s movements, 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 provide 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 act as shock absorbers between the tibia and femur.
Due to the complexity of the joint and the stresses placed on the knee, with parts that can be torn, fractured, sprained, or dislocated, knee injuries are one of the most typical musculoskeletal injuries that are suffered. If you’ve sustained a knee injury or are living with chronic knee pain, you need the care and careful treatment of Saint Paul, MO area physical therapists. Our team of qualified therapists who are highly knowledgeable when treating knee injuries will guide you in your recovery 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 happen when ligaments in the knee are torn or overstretched. Knee sprains are painful, and if untreated or treated poorly can result in chronic issues, including arthritis. Knee sprains are often caused by acute twisting injuries, or injuries caused by outside forces that stretch or tear a ligament. It is usually a sports related injury that comes from force, such as a knock to the front or outside of the knee. Furthermore, non contact knee sprains are very typical and result from weakness, muscle fatigue or poor technique. Symptoms include:
- Weakness or tenderness
- Pain and stiffness
- Muscle Spasms
Torn cartilage can often happen in tandem with sprains, and happen when damage to the knee tears the menisci. It’s most frequently 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 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 extend the knee
Patellar Tendonitis, also called “jumper’s knee,” is a result of 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 first it may only occur when working out or exercising. It is also commonly an overuse injury. Over time, the pain becomes worse and starts to make exercising or playing sports more difficult. If untreated, after a while you could have difficulty climbing stairs or even getting up 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 caused by tracking and alignment problems between the patella and femur and is typically experienced climbing stairs or getting up from a chair. The specific cause is not understood yet; however, most physicians 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 incredibly painful of of knee injuries and need emergency medical treatment. More destructive fractures can require surgery to repair the knee and return functionality. There are three common knee injuries related to fractures:
- Patellar: a fracture of the kneecap that typically takes place when you land precisely on your knee, hit the dashboard in a motor vehicle accident or suffer another type of extreme external force to the knee. Symptoms include:
- Pain, inflammation, and bruising
- Inability to extend the knee or keep it keep it
- Inability to walk
- Distal Femur: occurs where the thigh bone and knee meet. The bone may shatter or may suffer a clean break. Distal femoral knee injuries often also injure the cartilage in the knee, which makes them difficult 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 soreness
- The leg may look shorter and contorted
- Proximal Tibia: frequently damage the soft tissue of the knee as well. The top of the tibia, where it connects to the knee, is softer than the rest of the bone. These knee injuries often happen 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 too much activity, but most are the result of trauma from falling, sports injuries or motor vehicle crashes. Symptoms include:
- Swelling around the knee
- Visually clear deformity or misalignment
- Lack of feeling or warmth in the foot, as the flow of blood to the foot could be affected
Dislocation of the knee or kneecap can either take place when the femur and tibia are forced out of alignment, or when the patella is pushed out of place. These are most often caused by extreme force from sports, car accidents or falls. People with a somewhat unusual structure of the knee are at a greater risk of patellar dislocation knee injuries. While a Saint Paul, MO doctor will be able to correct the dislocation, treatment by a physical therapist will be an essential part of the rehabilitation process to reduce swelling, gradually increase motion and improve 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 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 swelling and knee instability. While ACL tears are frequently accompanied by harm to other parts of the knee, by themselves they are not always painful. MCL and LCL tears occur when there is a hit that pushes the knee sideways.
Diagnoses and Tests
It is essential to receive the correct immediate and long-term care after suffering a knee injury. The care you receive can account for either quick and effective recovery or a lifetime of chronic, debilitating pain. In regards to knee injuries that cause apparent and major trauma, such as a dislocated patella, tests may not be required and a Saint Paul, MO ER doctor will work to stabilize the knee as quickly as possible. Other means of diagnosis for knee injuries are:
- A physical examination. A Saint Paul, MO medical professional can analyze the appearance and movement of your knee while checking for swelling or tenderness. Our physical therapists are specialists in human movement and offer free, no obligation injury evaluations for your knee injuries and other injuries.
- X-Rays can detect broken bones and degenerative joint disease.
- CT scans combine X-rays from varying angles to build cross-sectional images of your knee. They can help detect knee injuries such as subtle fractures.
- Ultrasounds use sound waves to create 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 images of the inside of your knee. This test is frequently used to show soft tissue injuries, such as ACL tears or patellar tendonitis.
If you are experiencing pain caused by a knee injury, contact Axes Physical Therapy to work with a Saint Paul, MO physical therapist who is an expert in knee injuries. Your knee injury therapist will analyze your movement, your mobility, and will also check how strong and stable your knee is. After diagnosis, your Axes physical therapist in Saint Paul, MO County will recommend a personalized treatment plan, which might include follow-up with a Saint Paul, 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, you need to rest and to momentarily stop any activity you think may have led to your injury. Get medical attention if you hear a popping noise or feel loss of stability when your injury first occurs, if you experience severe pain or swelling, are unable to move the knee, or are unable to bear weight without pain. With some grave knee injuries, such as ACL tears or broken bones, surgery is necessary to correct the structure of the knee and make the knee functional again. Physical therapy will then be part of your preoperative and postoperative treatment plan. A Saint Paul, 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 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 recuperation 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 living with knee pain or have recently sustained a knee injury, you need the expert advice of Saint Paul, 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 committed, customized care of your Axes physical therapist. Contact us today to schedule an appointment or find out the knee injury treatment location nearest you.