South St. Louis, MO

South St. Louis, MO

Our expert South St. Louis, MO physical therapists provide customized treatment to aid your recovery from an MCL tear and help you get back to your favorite activities.

MCL Tear Treatment in South St. Louis, MO

MCL Tear Treatment in South St. Louis, MO. Dealing with an MCL tear may be painful and distressing, impacting your daily routines and favorite activities. At Axes Physical Therapy, we are aware of the struggles you endure and are dedicated to delivering the support and specialized care required to achieve full recovery from your MCL tear in South St. Louis, MO. Our expert team of skilled South 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 comprehensive approach and cutting-edge facilities, we support you throughout your recovery process. Contact us online, schedule an appointment, or call your local Axes facility 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), working in unison to ensure 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 is located 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 is 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 is crucial for knee stability by:

An MCL tear can compromise these functions, leading to pain, instability, and difficulty with movement.

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

  • 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
  • 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
  • Restricted movement, with challenges in walking or bearing weight on the knee

Grade 3 MCL Tear: Severe Tear

  • A complete rupture of the MCL, resulting in severe pain and instability
  • Severe pain, significant swelling, and noticeable knee instability are symptoms
  • The knee may feel wobbly or give out, making walking difficult without assistance

Causes of an MCL Tear

Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) tears may result from several factors, including:

  • Direct Impact or Trauma:
    • Contact Sports: Football, soccer, and hockey players in South St. Louis, MO frequently sustain direct impacts to the outer knee, resulting in the inner knee being overstretched or torn.
    • Accidents: Automobile collisions or falls that impact the knee directly can lead to MCL tears.
  • Twisting Movements: Sports involving sudden pivoting or twisting, like basketball or skiing, are capable of straining the MCL. Twisting the knee from awkward landings can result in MCL tears.
  • Overuse or Repeated Stress: Activities that place repetitive stress on the knee, like long-distance running, may gradually weaken the MCL, increasing tear risk.
  • Poor Conditioning or Muscle Imbalance: Insufficient knee muscle strength raises the risk of MCL tears by overloading the ligament. Quadriceps and hamstring imbalances can destabilize the knee, putting additional strain on the MCL.
  • Inadequate Warm-Up or Flexibility: Skipping warm-up exercises before engaging in 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, increasing the risk of tears.

Preventing MCL tears involves proper conditioning, strength training, flexibility exercises, and using protective gear during sports activities.

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 around the inner part of the knee may develop soon after the injury. Swelling may increase over the first 24 hours following the injury.
  • Tenderness: The inner side of the knee is often tender to touch.
  • 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 unstable or might give out when walking or bearing weight. The knee can feel wobbly or less stable.
  • 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 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 determine the injury’s extent. At Axes Physical Therapy, we provide complimentary injury screenings in South 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 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: Applying knee braces for support and to avoid further injury during healing.

Surgical Treatments

Surgery is often necessary for severe MCL tears (Grade 3) or when accompanied by other ligament injuries, like ACL tears. Surgery is sometimes required if non-surgical treatments do not restore knee stability and function over time.

The MCL tear surgical procedure usually includes repairing or reconstructing the torn MCL to regain 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 South St. Louis, MO, we create individualized rehab plans to ready your knee for surgery by boosting strength and flexibility. Post-surgery, our South St. Louis, MO physical therapists collaborate with you to optimize recovery, emphasizing knee stability and function restoration. This comprehensive approach ensures you can return to your normal activities as quickly and safely as possible.

South St. Louis, MO Physical Therapy for MCL Tears

Physical therapy in South St. Louis, MO is crucial in MCL tear recovery, aiming to regain knee function, strength, and flexibility. At Axes Physical Therapy in South St. Louis, 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: Slowly enhancing flexibility and minimizing 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:

  • Stick to your physical therapist’s guidance and exercise routine
  • Refrain from activities that could stress your knee too soon
  • Keep a healthy diet to aid recovery

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

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

If you suspect you’ve suffered an MCL tear, see Axes’ South St. Louis, MO physical therapists for an evaluation and to commence your recovery process. At Axes Physical Therapy, we recognize the difficulties and frustrations associated with knee injuries. Our experienced South St. Louis, MO physical therapists commit to offering customized MCL tear treatment that meets your specific needs, aiding in 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 South St. Louis, MO today and take the first step towards your full recovery. Contact us online, schedule an appointment, or call the closest Axes location.

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