Bridgeton, MO

Bridgeton, MO

Our expert Bridgeton, MO physical therapists offer personalized care to help you recover from your MCL tear and return to the activities you love.

MCL Tear Treatment in Bridgeton, MO

MCL Tear Treatment in Bridgeton, MO. Dealing with an MCL tear may be painful and distressing, disrupting your daily life and ability to participate in your favorite activities. At Axes Physical Therapy, we are aware of the struggles you endure and are here to provide the support and expertise you need to achieve full recovery from your MCL tear in Bridgeton, MO. Our expert team of skilled Bridgeton, MO physical therapists is dedicated to formulating individualized treatment plans tailored to your unique injury, goals, and the lifestyle you want to return to. With our holistic approach and modern facilities, we assist you in every phase of your healing journey. Contact us online, schedule an appointment, or call the Axes location nearest you and let us assist you in returning to the activities you love.

Anatomy of an MCL Tear

The knee is a complex joint consisting of bones, cartilage, muscles, and ligaments (connecting bone to bone), all working together to provide stability and mobility. Four primary ligaments reinforce the knee: the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), lateral collateral ligament (LCL), and medial collateral ligament (MCL).

The MCL sits on the inner part of the knee, linking the femur (thighbone) to the tibia (shinbone). The MCL plays a crucial role in stabilizing the knee, especially against inward forces. An MCL tear happens when the ligament is overstretched or torn, often due to sports injuries, direct impacts, or sudden twisting movements.

Functions of the MCL in Knee Stability

The MCL offers vital knee support through:

An MCL tear can compromise these functions, causing pain, instability, and challenges in movement.

MCL Tear Treatment & Rehab in Bridgeton, MO | Physical Therapy for Knee Injuries Near Bridgeton

Grades of MCL Tears

MCL tears are classified into three gradeseach based on a different level of severity:

Grade 1 MCL Tear: Mild Tear

  • Consists of minimal stretching and tiny tears in the MCL fibers
  • Mild pain and tenderness on the inner knee, with minimal to no swelling, are symptoms
  • Knee remains stable, permitting normal movement with slight discomfort

Grade 2 MCL Tear: Moderate Tear

  • Involves a partial tear of the MCL, causing increased pain and swelling
  • Noticeable tenderness, moderate swelling, and knee instability are common symptoms
  • More limited movement, making walking or weight-bearing on the knee difficult

Grade 3 MCL Tear: Severe Tear

  • Represents a complete rupture of the MCL, causing significant pain and instability
  • Symptoms include severe pain, considerable swelling, and a pronounced sense of knee instability
  • The knee may feel wobbly or give out, making walking difficult without assistance

Causes of an MCL Tear

Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) tears are caused by a variety of reasons, including:

  • Direct Impact or Trauma:
    • Contact Sports: Football, soccer, and hockey players in Bridgeton, MO often experience direct blows to the outer knee, causing the inner knee to overstretch or tear.
    • Accidents: Motor vehicle collisions or falls with direct knee impact can cause MCL tears.
  • Twisting Movements: Activities like basketball or skiing that involve quick pivoting or twisting motions, can strain the MCL. Twisting the knee from awkward landings can result in MCL tears.
  • Overuse or Repeated Stress: Repetitive knee stress activities, like marathon running, can weaken the MCL over time, making it more susceptible to tears.
  • Poor Conditioning or Muscle Imbalance: Inadequate strength in the muscles around the knee raises the risk of MCL tears by overloading the ligament. Muscle imbalances between the quadriceps and hamstrings can destabilize the knee, putting additional strain on the MCL.
  • Inadequate Warm-Up or Flexibility: Skipping warm-up exercises before engaging in physical activity renders the MCL less ready to handle abrupt movements. Inflexible knee muscles heighten the chance of MCL overstretching during physical activities.
  • Previous Knee Injuries: Earlier knee injuries, including past MCL tears, weaken the MCL, making it more susceptible to tears.
  • Age-Related Factors: With aging, ligaments may lose elasticity and strength, increasing the risk of tears.

MCL tear prevention includes proper conditioning, strength training, flexibility routines, and protective sports gear.

Symptoms of an MCL Tear

An MCL (Medial Collateral Ligament) tear has specific symptoms that can help in identifying the injury. These symptoms differ depending on the grade of the tear. Typical symptoms of an MCL tear are:

  • Pain: Pain usually occurs on the inner side of the knee. The pain ranges from mild to intense based on the tear severity.
  • Swelling: Swelling around the inner part of the knee may develop soon after the injury. Swelling often intensifies in the first 24 hours after the injury.
  • Tenderness: The inner side of the knee may be tender to the touch.
  • Stiffness: Stiffness in the knee joint, causing difficulty in fully extending or bending the knee. The knee often feels tight or rigid.
  • Instability: A sensation that the knee feels unstable or may give way when walking or bearing weight. The knee can feel wobbly or less stable.
  • Bruising: Bruising may appear on the inner side of the knee, extending down the leg in some cases.
  • Difficulty Walking: Difficulty walking or a noticeable limp due to pain and instability. Discomfort leads to avoiding weight on the affected leg.
  • Locking or Catching: In some cases, the knee might lock or catch with movement.

Diagnosing an MCL Tear in Bridgeton, MO

Diagnosing an MCL tear typically involves a physical examination and may include imaging tests such as an MRI or X-ray to determine the injury’s extent. At Axes Physical Therapy, we provide complimentary injury screenings in Bridgeton, MO. With Direct Access Physical Therapy, you can be assessed and start recovery without a referral from a doctor.

Treatment Options in Bridgeton, MO for MCL Tears

Non-Surgical Treatments

  • RICE Method: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation to reduce pain and swelling.
  • Physical Therapy: Tailored exercises to strengthen the knee, improve flexibility, and restore mobility.
  • Bracing: Applying knee braces for support and to avoid further injury during healing.

Surgical Treatments

Surgery is usually required for severe MCL tears (Grade 3) or when the MCL tear is combined with other ligament injuries, such as ACL tears. Surgery can be necessary if conservative measures do not enhance knee stability and function sufficiently.

The MCL tear surgical procedure typically involves repairing or reconstructing the torn ligament to restore knee stability and function. This could involve suturing the torn ligament ends or using a tendon graft for MCL reconstruction.

Pre- and Post-Surgical Rehabilitation

Pre/post surgical rehabilitation is essential for recovery before and after surgery. At Axes Physical Therapy in Bridgeton, MO, we offer personalized rehabilitation programs designed to prepare your knee for surgery by improving strength and flexibility. Post-surgery, our Bridgeton, MO physical therapists work closely with you to enhance recovery, focusing on restoring knee stability and function. This comprehensive approach ensures you can return to your normal activities as quickly and safely as possible.

Bridgeton, MO Physical Therapy for MCL Tears

Physical therapy in Bridgeton, MO is crucial in MCL tear recovery, aiming to regain knee function, strength, and flexibility. At Axes Physical Therapy in Bridgeton, MO, our approach includes:

  • Initial Assessment: Assessing the injury severity and creating a customized treatment plan.
  • Strengthening Exercises: Strengthening the muscles around the knee for better stability and support.
  • Range of Motion Exercises: Increasing flexibility and decreasing stiffness over time.
  • Functional Training: Training specific movements and activities related to your lifestyle or sport.

Our therapists use a variety of techniques, such as manual therapy, therapeutic exercises, and modalities like ultrasound or electrical stimulation, to promote healing and expedite recovery. Each program is individualized to address your specific needs, ensuring you achieve the best possible outcome.

Recovery and Prognosis for MCL Tears

Recovery from an MCL tear is influenced by the injury’s extent and the chosen treatment strategy. Here’s a typical recovery timeline and factors affecting it:

Typical Recovery Timeline:

  • Grade 1: A few days to a few weeks
  • Grade 2: Several weeks to a few months
  • Grade 3: A few months to six months, especially if surgery is involved

Factors Affecting Recovery:

  • Severity of the tear
  • Adherence to rehabilitation exercises
  • Overall health and fitness level

Tips for a Successful Recovery:

  • Stick to your physical therapist’s guidance and exercise routine
  • Steer clear of activities that might overstrain your knee early on
  • Keep a healthy diet to aid recovery

A comprehensive rehabilitation plan with Axes Physical Therapy ensures the best chance for a complete recovery and return to your favorite activities in Bridgeton, MO.

Call Axes For Your MCL Tear Treatment in Bridgeton, MO

If you suspect you’ve suffered an MCL tear, visit Axes’ Bridgeton, MO physical therapists for an assessment and to begin your recovery journey. At Axes Physical Therapy, we understand the challenges and frustrations that come with knee injuries. Our experienced Bridgeton, MO physical therapists focus on delivering tailored MCL tear care that caters to your individual needs, supporting strength and mobility recovery. Avoid letting an MCL tear sideline you more than needed. Reach out to Axes Physical Therapy in Bridgeton, MO today and take the first step towards your full recovery. Contact us online, schedule an appointment, or call the Axes location nearest you.

Services Offered

Services Offered
  • Physical Therapy
    • Pre/Post Surgical Rehabilitation
    • Acute Injury Management
    • Chronic Injury Management
  • Certified Hand Therapy
  • Work Conditioning/Hardening
  • Functional Capacity Evaluations
  • Sports Physical Therapy
  • Pediatric Orthopedic Physical Therapy
  • Geriatric Physical Therapy
  • Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization
  • Free Injury Screenings
  • Kinesio Taping®
  • Blood Flow Restriction Therapy
  • Spine Specialty

Our Team

Sara Crain
PT, CEAS, Astym Cert.
Brandi Arndt
MPT, CMPT
Brett Shelton
PT, DPT, OCS, COMT, CSMT
TJ Jung
PT, DPT
Lorinda Gaines
Front Office
Chris Casner
PT, Clinic Director
Stacy Ptak
Front Office

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Injuries and pain shouldn’t keep you from moving and doing the things you love.