Saint Paul, MO

Saint Paul, MO

Our expert Saint Paul, 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 Saint Paul, MO

MCL Tear Treatment in Saint Paul, MO. Dealing with an MCL tear may be painful and distressing, affecting your everyday activities and ability to do the things you love most. At Axes Physical Therapy, we understand the challenges you face and are dedicated to delivering the support and specialized care required to recover fully from your MCL tear in Saint Paul, MO. Our committed group of proficient Saint Paul, MO physical therapists is committed to developing personalized treatment plans specifically designed for your unique injury, aspirations, and desired lifestyle. With our all-encompassing method and state-of-the-art facilities, we support you throughout your recovery process. Contact us online, schedule an appointment, or reach out to the nearest Axes location and let us assist you in returning to the activities you love.

Anatomy of an MCL Tear

The knee is a complex joint made up of bones, cartilage, muscles, and ligaments (that link bone to bone), all working together to provide stability and mobility. 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, linking the femur (thighbone) to the tibia (shinbone). The MCL is vital for knee stability, particularly against forces that push the knee inward. An MCL tear occurs when this 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 is crucial for knee stability by:

An MCL tear is capable of hindering these functions, leading to pain, instability, and difficulty with movement.

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

Grades of MCL Tears

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

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
  • Stability is usually preserved, enabling normal movement despite some discomfort

Grade 2 MCL Tear: Moderate Tear

  • Characterized by a partial tear of the MCL, resulting in greater pain and swelling
  • Symptoms include noticeable tenderness, moderate swelling, and a sense of instability in the knee
  • More limited movement, making walking or weight-bearing on the knee difficult

Grade 3 MCL Tear: Severe Tear

  • A complete rupture of the MCL, resulting in severe pain and instability
  • Symptoms consist of severe pain, marked swelling, and a clear sense of knee instability
  • Knee may feel unstable or give out, complicating walking without support

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 Saint Paul, MO frequently sustain direct impacts to the outer knee, leading to overstretching or tearing of the inner knee.
    • Accidents: Automobile collisions or falls that impact the knee directly can lead to MCL tears.
  • Twisting Movements: Activities like basketball or skiing that involve quick pivoting or twisting motions, can 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 can increase the risk of MCL tears as the ligament compensates for the lack of support. Quadriceps and hamstring imbalances can destabilize the knee, putting additional strain on the MCL.
  • Inadequate Warm-Up or Flexibility: Failing to perform warm-up exercises prior to physical activity can leave the MCL less prepared to handle sudden movements. Stiff knee muscles can raise the risk of MCL overstretching during activities.
  • Previous Knee Injuries: Earlier knee injuries, including past MCL tears, may weaken the MCL, increasing tear susceptibility.
  • Age-Related Factors: With aging, ligaments may lose elasticity and strength, raising tear risk.

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 can be recognized through specific symptoms. These symptoms can vary in severity depending on the extent of the tear. Usual indicators of an MCL tear include:

  • Pain: Pain is generally felt 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 may increase over the first 24 hours following the injury.
  • Tenderness: The inner side of the knee may be tender to the touch.
  • Stiffness: Stiffness in the knee joint, making it difficult to fully extend or bend the knee. The knee can feel tight or stiff.
  • Instability: A sensation that the knee is unsteady or could give out while walking or weight-bearing. The knee often feels wobbly or less secure.
  • Bruising: Bruising can develop on the inner knee, sometimes spreading down the leg.
  • Difficulty Walking: Difficulty walking or a visible limp from 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 Saint Paul, 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 have free injury evaluations in Saint Paul, MO. With Direct Access Physical Therapy, you are able to be evaluated and begin recovery without needing a physician’s referral.

Treatment Options in Saint Paul, 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 may be needed for severe MCL tears (Grade 3) or if combined with other ligament injuries, such as ACL tears. Surgery may also be necessary if conservative treatments fail to improve knee stability and function after a significant period.

The MCL tear surgical procedure generally consists of repairing or rebuilding the MCL to return knee stability and function. This may involve stitching the torn ligament ends together or using a graft from another tendon to reconstruct the MCL.

Pre- and Post-Surgical Rehabilitation

Pre/post surgical rehabilitation is crucial for recovery both before and after surgery. At Axes Physical Therapy in Saint Paul, MO, we offer personalized rehabilitation programs designed to prepare your knee for surgery by improving strength and flexibility. Post-surgery, our Saint Paul, MO physical therapists partner with you to maximize recovery, concentrating on knee stability and functional restoration. This comprehensive approach makes sure you can get back to your everyday activities as promptly and safely as possible.

Saint Paul, MO Physical Therapy for MCL Tears

Physical therapy in Saint Paul, MO is essential for recovering from an MCL tear, focusing on restoring knee function, strength, and mobility. At Axes Physical Therapy in Saint Paul, MO, our approach includes:

  • Initial Assessment: Examining the injury and formulating a personalized treatment strategy.
  • Strengthening Exercises: Strengthening the muscles around the knee for better 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 varies depending on the severity of the injury and the effectiveness of the treatment plan. 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:

  • Adhere to your physical therapist’s recommendations and exercise plan
  • Avoid activities that may strain your knee prematurely
  • Keep a healthy diet to aid recovery

A comprehensive rehabilitation plan with Axes Physical Therapy will ensure you have the best chance for a full recovery and return to the activities you love in Saint Paul, MO.

Call Axes For Your MCL Tear Treatment in Saint Paul, MO

If you suspect you’ve suffered an MCL tear, see Axes’ Saint Paul, MO physical therapists for an evaluation and to commence your recovery process. At Axes Physical Therapy, we understand the challenges and frustrations that come with knee injuries. Our experienced Saint Paul, MO physical therapists focus on delivering tailored MCL tear care that caters to your individual needs, supporting strength and mobility recovery. Don’t allow an MCL tear to keep you off your feet any longer than necessary. Reach out to Axes Physical Therapy in Saint Paul, MO today and start on the path to complete recovery. Contact us online, schedule an appointment, or call the closest Axes location.

Services Offered

Services Offered
  • Physical Therapy
    • Pre/Post Surgical Rehabilitation
    • Acute Injury Management
    • Chronic Injury Management
  • Occupational Therapy
    • Certified Hand Therapy
  • Work Conditioning/Hardening
  • Functional Capacity Evaluations
  • Vestibular Therapy and Post-Concussion Rehabilitation
  • Sports Physical Therapy
  • DorsaVi Video Motion Analysis
  • Trigger Point Dry Needling
  • Pediatric Orthopedic Physical Therapy
  • Geriatric Orthopedic Physical Therapy
  • Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTYM)
  • Spine Specialty – Manual Therapy Certified
  • Free Injury Screenings
  • Kinesio Taping®
  • Blood Flow Restriction Therapy

Our Team

Sara Crain
PT, CEAS, Astym Cert.
Mitchell Hammack
Clinic Director, PT, DPT, CMPT
Erin Bauer
PT, DPT
Kelly Thornton
Clinic Director, PT, DPT
Candy Willcox
Front Office

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