Knee injuries St. Peters, MO. The knee is a multifaceted joint that lets our bodies carry out a vast range of motions like sitting, standing, lifting, walking, running, jumping and more. Experiencing a knee injury makes walking and many other basic tasks painful or even impossible. If you’ve recently had a knee injury or suffer from chronic knee pain, it is important to find quality physical therapy with licensed physical therapists in the St. Peters, MO area. At Axes Physical Therapy, we give safe and effective treatment to hundreds of St. Peters, MO residents. Contact us today to find out more or schedule your first appointment.
Axes Physical Therapy provides individually tailored, evidence-based evaluation and therapy for those with knee injuries in St. Peters, MO. Our knee injury experts specialize in customized treatment plans made specifically for your condition, needs and movement goals. As a network of physical therapy facilities locally owned and operated by St. Peters, MO physical therapists, Axes Physical Therapy is dedicated to serving the individual needs of each St. Peters, MO patient we see.
The Human Knee
The knee is one of the biggest and most complex joints we have. It connects 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 make up the knee joint. Encircling the knee are leg muscles, which help move the knee, and tendons and ligaments that attach 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 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 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 one can sustain. If you’ve suffered a knee injury or are experiencing chronic knee pain, you need the care and careful treatment of St. Peters, MO area physical therapists. Our team of certified therapists who are highly knowledgeable when treating knee injuries will guide you in your recovery and restore 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 incorrectly can lead to chronic problems, including arthritis. Knee sprains are usually caused by 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 blow to the front or outside of the knee. Furthermore, non contact knee sprains are very common and result from weakness, muscle fatigue or poor mechanics. Symptoms include:
- Weakness or tenderness
- Pain and stiffness
- Muscle Spasms
Torn cartilage can often take place take place at the same time as sprains, and happen when damage to the knee tears the menisci. It’s most often 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 continued 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 training 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 known as “jumper’s knee,” is caused by swelling of the tendons in the knee, specifically the quadriceps tendon. Anterior knee pain is commonly the main symptom of this kind of knee injury, and initially it may only occur when training or exercising. It often stems from overuse. Over time, the pain worsens 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. That’s why it’s vital to receive 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 exact cause is still unknown; 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 variety of knee injuries and necesitate emergency medical attention. More complicated fractures can necesitate surgery to repair the knee and allow it to function normally again. There are three common knee injuries related to fractures:
- Patellar: a fracture of the kneecap that frequently happens when you land exactly on your knee, hit the dashboard in a motor vehicle accident or experience another kind of extreme external force to the knee. Symptoms include:
- Pain, inflammation, and bruising
- Inability to straighten the knee or keep it straight
- Inability to walk
- Distal Femur: happens where the thigh bone and knee touch. The bone can shatter or might break straight across. Because distal femoral knee injuries can hurt the cartilage in the knee, they can sometimes be harder to treat. They typically occur in the elderly whose bones have become weaker, or to people in high energy impact collisions. Symptoms include:
- Pain when putting weight on the knee
- Inflammation, bruising, and soreness
- The leg may look shorter and crooked
- Proximal Tibia: often damage the soft tissue of the knee as well. The top of the tibia, where it meets 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 excessive activity, but most are the result of trauma from falling, sports injuries or car accidents. Symptoms include:
- inflammation around the knee
- Visually obvious deformity or misalignment
- Numb, pale, or cold feet, as the flow of blood to the foot could be affected
Dislocation of the knee or kneecap can either happen when the femur and tibia are pushed out of alignment, or when the patella is pushed out of place. These are typically caused by high impact trauma from sports, car accidents or falls. People with a somewhat abnormal structure of the knee are at a higher risk of patellar dislocation knee injuries. While a St. Peters, MO doctor can put the knee or kneecap back in place, treatment by a physical therapist will be a vital aspect of the recovery process to reduce swelling, slowly improve 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 take place in high-action 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 inflammation and knee instability. While ACL tears are often accompanied by damage to other parts of the knee, by themselves they are often not painful. MCL and LCL tears occur when there is a hit that pushes the knee sideways.
Diagnoses and Tests
It is essential to receive appropriate immediate and long-term care after suffering a knee injury. The treatment 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 required and a St. Peters, 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 St. Peters, MO medical professional can evaluate the appearance and movement of your knee while checking for inflammation or tenderness. Our physical therapists are specialists in human motion and provide free, no obligation injury screenings for your knee injuries and other injuries.
- X-Rays can show bone fractures and degenerative joint disease.
- CT scans combine X-rays from varying angles to make cross-sectional images of your knee. They can help detect knee injuries such as subtle fractures.
- Ultrasounds use sound waves to build 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 often used 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 St. Peters, MO physical therapist who specializes in knee injuries. Your knee injury therapist will evaluate your motion, your mobility, and will also study how strong and stable your knee is. After diagnosis, your Axes physical therapist in St. Peters, MO County will recommend a customized treatment plan, which might include follow-up with a St. Peters, 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 feel pain, you need to rest and to temporarily stop any activity you think may have resulted in 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 cannot bear weight without pain. With some severe knee injuries, such as ACL tears or bone fractures, surgery is required 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. Peters, MO physical therapist who specializes knee injuries will help you safely restore motion 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 guide you in your rehabilitation to safely get you back 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 professional advice of St. Peters, 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 find out the knee injury treatment location nearest you.