South Grand, St. Louis, MO

South Grand, St. Louis, MO

Our expert South Grand, 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 Treatment in South Grand, St. Louis, MO

MCL Tear Treatment in South Grand, St. Louis, MO. Suffering from 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 here to provide the support and expertise you need to heal completely from your MCL injury in South Grand, St. Louis, MO. Our expert team of skilled South Grand, St. Louis, 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), 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 located on the inner side of the knee, joining the femur (thighbone) to the tibia (shinbone). The MCL plays a crucial role in stabilizing the knee, specifically countering inward forces. An MCL tear occurs when this ligament is overstretched or torn, commonly from sports injuries, direct impacts, or sudden twists.

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 South Grand, St. Louis, MO | Physical Therapy for Knee Injuries Near South Grand, St. Louis

Grades of MCL Tears

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

Grade 1 MCL Tear: Mild Tear

  • Involves slight stretching and microscopic tearing of the MCL fibers
  • 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

  • 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 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 South Grand, St. Louis, MO frequently sustain direct impacts to the outer knee, resulting in the inner knee being overstretched or torn.
    • Accidents: Car accidents or falls impacting the knee directly may 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, may gradually weaken the MCL, increasing tear risk.
  • Poor Conditioning or Muscle Imbalance: Weakness in the muscles supporting the knee raises the risk of MCL tears by overloading the ligament. Imbalances between the quadriceps and hamstrings may destabilize the knee, adding strain to 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. Tight muscles around the knee can increase the likelihood of overstretching the MCL during activity.
  • Previous Knee Injuries: Prior injuries to the knee, including previous MCL injuries, weaken the MCL, making it more susceptible to tears.
  • Age-Related Factors: With aging, ligaments may lose elasticity and strength, making tears more likely.

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 is identifiable by certain symptoms. These symptoms can vary in severity depending on the extent of the tear. Typical symptoms of an MCL tear are:

  • Pain: Pain is generally felt on the inner side of the knee. The pain can range from mild to severe depending on the grade of the tear.
  • 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 can be tender when touched.
  • Stiffness: Stiffness in the knee joint, leading to challenges in fully extending or bending the knee. The knee may feel tight or rigid.
  • Instability: A sensation that the knee is unsteady or could give out while walking or weight-bearing. The knee may feel wobbly or less stable than usual.
  • Bruising: Bruising often shows up on the inner knee, potentially extending down the leg.
  • Difficulty Walking: Difficulty walking or a visible limp from pain and instability. Pain and instability cause avoidance of weight on the injured leg.
  • Locking or Catching: In some cases, the knee may lock or catch during movement.

Diagnosing an MCL Tear in South Grand, St. Louis, MO

Diagnosing an MCL tear typically involves a physical examination and may include imaging tests such as an MRI or X-ray to verify the injury’s severity. At Axes Physical Therapy, we offer free injury screenings in South Grand, 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 South Grand, 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 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 plays a vital role in pre- and post-surgery recovery. At Axes Physical Therapy in South Grand, St. Louis, MO, we provide customized rehab programs to prepare your knee for surgery by enhancing strength and flexibility. Post-surgery, our South Grand, 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.

South Grand, St. Louis, MO Physical Therapy for MCL Tears

Physical therapy in South Grand, 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 South Grand, St. Louis, MO, our approach includes:

  • Initial Assessment: Evaluating the extent of the injury and developing a tailored treatment plan.
  • Strengthening Exercises: Targeting muscles around the knee to enhance stability and support.
  • Range of Motion Exercises: Increasing flexibility and decreasing stiffness over time.
  • Functional Training: Focusing on movements and activities specific 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
  • Avoid activities that may strain your knee prematurely
  • Maintain a healthy diet to support healing

A comprehensive rehabilitation plan with Axes Physical Therapy provides the best opportunity for a full recovery and resumption of your beloved activities in South Grand, St. Louis, MO.

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

If you suspect you’ve suffered an MCL tear, visit Axes’ South Grand, St. Louis, 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 South Grand, St. Louis, MO physical therapists focus on delivering tailored MCL tear care that caters to your individual needs, supporting strength and mobility recovery. Don’t let an MCL tear sideline you longer than necessary. Reach out to Axes Physical Therapy in South Grand, St. Louis, MO today and start on the path to complete recovery. Contact us online, schedule an appointment, or reach out to your nearest Axes location.

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