Midtown St. Louis, MO

Midtown St. Louis, MO

Our expert Midtown St. Louis, MO physical therapists deliver tailored care to support your MCL tear recovery and get you back to doing what you love.

MCL Tear Rehab in Midtown St. Louis, MO

MCL Tear Treatment in Midtown St. Louis, MO. Experiencing an MCL tear is often painful and worrying, affecting your everyday activities and ability to do the things you love most. At Axes Physical Therapy, we recognize the difficulties you encounter and are committed to offering the guidance and expertise necessary to recover fully from your MCL tear in Midtown St. Louis, MO. Our committed group of proficient Midtown St. Louis, MO physical therapists is committed to developing personalized treatment plans tailored to your unique injury, goals, and the lifestyle you want to return to. With our holistic approach and modern facilities, we support you throughout your recovery process. Contact us online, schedule an appointment, or call your local Axes facility and let us help you get back to doing what you love most.

Anatomy of an MCL Tear

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

The MCL is found on the inner side of the knee, connecting the femur (thighbone) to the tibia (shinbone). The MCL is vital for knee stability, specifically countering inward forces. An MCL tear occurs when this ligament is overstretched or torn, frequently caused by sports injuries, direct blows, or abrupt twisting motions.

Functions of the MCL in Knee Stability

The MCL provides essential support to the knee by:

An MCL tear is capable of hindering these functions, resulting in pain, instability, and movement issues.

MCL Tear Treatment & Rehab in Midtown St. Louis, MO | Physical Therapy for Knee Injuries Near Midtown St. Louis

Grades of MCL Tears

MCL tears are classified into three grades based on the severity of the injury,:

Grade 1 MCL Tear: Mild Tear

  • Entails slight stretching with microscopic damage to the MCL
  • Symptoms include mild pain and tenderness on the inside of the knee, with little to no swelling
  • Knee stability is generally maintained, allowing for normal movement with some discomfort

Grade 2 MCL Tear: Moderate Tear

  • A partial MCL tear, leading to more significant pain and swelling
  • Noticeable tenderness, moderate swelling, and knee instability are common symptoms
  • Movement is more restricted, and walking or bearing weight on the knee can be challenging

Grade 3 MCL Tear: Severe Tear

  • A complete rupture of the MCL, resulting in severe 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 can occur due to various causes, including:

  • Direct Impact or Trauma:
    • Contact Sports: Football, soccer, and hockey players in Midtown St. Louis, MO frequently sustain direct impacts 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, may strain the MCL. Landing awkwardly from a jump can twist the knee, causing MCL damage.
  • Overuse or Repeated Stress: Activities that place repetitive stress on the knee, like long-distance running, are capable of weakening the MCL over time, making tears more likely.
  • Poor Conditioning or Muscle Imbalance: Inadequate strength in the muscles around the knee may heighten the risk of MCL tears due to overcompensation by the ligament. 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 makes the MCL less prepared for sudden movements. Stiff knee muscles can raise the risk of MCL overstretching during activities.
  • Previous Knee Injuries: Prior injuries to the knee, including previous MCL injuries, may weaken the MCL, increasing tear susceptibility.
  • Age-Related Factors: As people age, the ligaments can lose some of their elasticity and strength, increasing the risk of tears.

To prevent MCL tears, engage in proper conditioning, strength training, flexibility exercises, and use protective equipment during sports.

Symptoms of an MCL Tear

An MCL (Medial Collateral Ligament) tear has specific symptoms that can help in identifying the injury. These symptoms can vary in severity depending on the extent 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 often appears around the inner knee soon after the tear. Swelling tends to worsen within 24 hours post-injury.
  • Tenderness: The inner side of the knee can be tender when touched.
  • Stiffness: Stiffness in the knee joint, leading to challenges in fully extending or bending the knee. The knee often feels tight or rigid.
  • Instability: A sensation that the knee is unstable or might give out when walking or bearing weight. The knee may feel wobbly or less stable than usual.
  • Bruising: Bruising can develop on the inner knee, sometimes spreading down the leg.
  • Difficulty Walking: Difficulty walking or a prominent limp because of pain and instability. Avoiding putting weight on the affected leg due to discomfort.
  • Locking or Catching: In some cases, the knee may lock or catch during movement.

Diagnosing an MCL Tear in Midtown St. Louis, MO

Diagnosing an MCL tear usually requires a physical exam and may involve imaging tests like MRI or X-ray to determine the injury’s extent. At Axes Physical Therapy, we provide complimentary injury screenings in Midtown St. Louis, MO. With Direct Access Physical Therapy, you are able to be evaluated and begin recovery without needing a physician’s referral.

Treatment Options in Midtown St. Louis, 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: Using knee braces to provide support and prevent further injury during the healing process.

Surgical Treatments

Surgery is often necessary for severe MCL tears (Grade 3) or when accompanied by other ligament injuries, like ACL tears. Surgery can be necessary if conservative measures do not enhance knee stability and function sufficiently.

The MCL tear surgical procedure generally consists of repairing or rebuilding the MCL to return 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 Midtown St. Louis, MO, we offer personalized rehabilitation programs designed to prepare your knee for surgery by improving strength and flexibility. Post-surgery, our Midtown St. Louis, 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.

Midtown St. Louis, MO Physical Therapy for MCL Tears

Physical therapy in Midtown St. Louis, MO plays a pivotal role in the recovery from an MCL tear, aiming to restore knee function, strength, and mobility. At Axes Physical Therapy in Midtown St. Louis, MO, our approach includes:

  • Initial Assessment: Examining the injury and formulating a personalized treatment strategy.
  • Strengthening Exercises: Focusing on knee-surrounding muscles to improve stability and support.
  • Range of Motion Exercises: Gradually improving flexibility and reducing stiffness.
  • 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 depends on the injury’s severity and the treatment plan’s effectiveness. 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:

  • Follow your physical therapist’s advice and exercise regimen
  • Steer clear of activities that might overstrain your knee early on
  • Maintain a healthy diet to support healing

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

Call Axes For Your MCL Tear Treatment in Midtown St. Louis, MO

If you suspect you’ve suffered an MCL tear, see Axes’ Midtown St. Louis, MO physical therapists for an evaluation and to commence your recovery process. At Axes Physical Therapy, we are aware of the challenges and frustrations knee injuries bring. Our experienced Midtown St. Louis, MO physical therapists are dedicated to providing personalized MCL tear care that addresses your unique needs, helping you regain strength and mobility. Don’t let an MCL tear sideline you longer than necessary. Reach out to Axes Physical Therapy in Midtown St. Louis, MO today and start on the path to complete recovery. Contact us online, schedule an appointment, or call the closest Axes location.

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