Knee injuries St. Louis, MO. The knee is a multifaceted joint that lets our bodies execute a vast array of movements such as sitting, standing, lifting, walking, running, jumping and more. Experiencing a knee injury makes walking and a lot of other basic activities painful or even impossible. If you’ve recently sustained a knee injury or suffer from chronic knee pain, it is important to find top-notch physical therapy with licensed physical therapists in the St. Louis, MO area. At Axes Physical Therapy, we give safe and effective care to hundreds of patients in the St. Louis, MO area. 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 St. Louis, MO. Our knee injury experts specialize in personalized treatment plans implemented specifically for your condition, needs and movement goals. As a network of physical therapy facilities locally owned and operated by St. Louis, MO physical therapists, Axes Physical Therapy is committed to serving the specific needs of each St. Louis, MO patient we see.
The Human Knee
The knee is one of the largest and most complex joints in the body. It joins 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 comprise the knee joint. Around the knee the knee are leg muscles, which are responsible for the knee’s movements, and tendons and ligaments that attach the knee bones to the leg muscles or ligaments which help stabilize the knee. 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 side-to-side movement. The medial and lateral menisci are shock absorbers between the tibia and femur.
Because of the complexity of the joint and the strain 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 sustained a knee injury or are dealing with chronic knee pain, you need the attention and careful treatment of St. Louis, MO area physical therapists. Our team of certified therapists who are highly knowledgeable when treating knee injuries will lead you in your recuperation and help you regain full mobility of your injured knee.
Types of Knee Injuries and Common Causes
Knee sprains can be painful knee injuries that take place when ligaments in the knee are torn or overstretched. Knee sprains are painful, and if untreated or cared for inadequately can lead to continued problems, including arthritis. Knee sprains are typically the result of acute twisting injuries, or occur when an outside force stretches or tears 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 are caused by weakness, muscle fatigue or poor 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 happen when damage to the knee tears the menisci. It’s typically caused by forcefully twisting or rotating your knee and is often sustained in contact sports such as football, as well as sports like soccer or baseball with continued leaping and rotating/pivoting. In older adults, a cartilage tear in the knee can take place with little or no external force as the knee cartilage loses flexibility and pliability with age. Symptoms include:
- Soreness when training 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 referred to as “jumper’s knee,” is a result of inflammation of the tendons in the knee, specifically the quadriceps tendon. Anterior knee pain is commonly the main symptom of this type of knee injury, and at the start it may only occur when training or exercising. It is also frequently an overuse injury. Over time, the pain increases and starts to make exercising or playing sports more difficult. If unattended, eventually you could find it difficult to climb stairs or even get up from from a chair. That’s why it’s essential to receive physical therapy for knee injuries.
Patellofemoral pain syndrome is a knee injury that worsens with time and causes pain felt in the front of the knee. The pain is caused by tracking and alignment issues between the patella and femur and is often felt when climbing stairs or rising from a chair. The exact cause is not understood yet; however, most doctors and physical and occupational therapists presume these knee injuries happen 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 type of knee injuries and require urgent medical care. More complex 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 often takes place when you fall directly on your knee, hit the dashboard in a car accident or sustain another kind of heavy blow to the knee. Symptoms include:
- Pain, swelling, and bruising
- Inability to extend the knee or keep it straight
- Inability to walk
- Distal Femur: happens where the thigh bone and knee touch. The bone might shatter or can suffer a clean break. Because distal femoral knee injuries can injure the cartilage in the knee, they can sometimes be more difficult to treat. They typically occur in the elderly as their bones weaken, or to people in high energy impact collisions. Symptoms include:
- Pain when putting weight on the knee
- Swelling, bruising, and soreness
- The leg may look shorter and crooked
- 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 accidents. Symptoms include:
- Swelling surrounding the knee
- Visually evident 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 forced out of place. These are most often caused by extreme force from sports, car accidents or falls. People with a slightly atypical structure of the knee are at a greater risk of patellar dislocation knee injuries. While a St. Louis, MO doctor will be able to correct the dislocation, treatment by a physical therapist will be an essential part of the recovery process to reduce swelling, gradually increase 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 take place in high-action 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 inflammation and lack of stability. While ACL tears are often accompanied by harm to other parts of the knee, by themselves they 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 appropriate immediate and long-term treatment after sustaining 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 noticeable and major trauma, such as a dislocated patella, tests may not be needed and a St. Louis, MO ER doctor will work to stabilize the knee as quickly as possible. Other methods of diagnosis for knee injuries are:
- A physical examination. A St. Louis, MO medical professional can evaluate the appearance and movement of your knee while checking for inflammation or tenderness. Our physical therapists are experts in human movement and provide free, no obligation injury screenings for your knee injuries and other injuries.
- X-Rays can detect broken bones and degenerative joint disease.
- CT scans combine X-rays from various angles to make cross-sectional images 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 at different angles to look for specific issues.
- MRIs create 3D pictures of the inside of your knee. This test is frequently implemented to reveal 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 St. Louis, MO physical therapist who is an expert in knee injuries. Your knee injury therapist will evaluate your motion, your mobility, and will also investigate how strong and stable your knee is. After diagnosis, your Axes physical therapist in St. Louis, MO County will recommend a individually tailored treatment plan, which could include follow-up with a St. Louis, MO orthopedic or sports physician.
Treatments and Therapy
Slight knee injuries can often heal with the RICE Method: rest, ice, gentle compression, and elevation. If you feel pain, you need to rest and to temporarily 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, cannot move the knee, or cannot bear weight without pain. With some serious 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 St. Louis, 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. Typical 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 founded on 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 suffering from knee pain or have recently suffered a knee injury, you require the specialized advice of St. Louis, MO physical therapists to eliminate your pain and return you to full motion. Axes Physical Therapy will help you get back to the sports and activities you love with the committed, individualized care of your Axes physical therapist. Contact us today to schedule an appointment or discover the knee injury treatment location nearest you.