St. Charles, MO

St. Charles, MO

Our expert St. Charles, 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 St. Charles, MO

MCL Tear Treatment in St. Charles, MO. Experiencing an MCL tear can be both painful and concerning, disrupting your daily life and ability to participate in your favorite activities. 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 St. Charles, MO. Our committed group of proficient St. Charles, 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 all-encompassing method and modern facilities, we assist you in every phase of your healing journey. Contact us online, schedule an appointment, or reach out to the nearest Axes location and let us support you in getting back to your favorite activities.

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 sits on the inner part of the knee, joining 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 is when the 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 offers vital knee support through:

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

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

Grades of MCL Tears

MCL tears are classified 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 involve mild inner knee pain and tenderness, with negligible swelling
  • Stability is usually preserved, enabling normal movement despite 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
  • Movement is more restricted, and walking or bearing weight on the knee can be challenging

Grade 3 MCL Tear: Severe Tear

  • Represents a complete rupture of the MCL, causing significant pain and instability
  • Severe pain, significant swelling, and noticeable knee instability are symptoms
  • Knee may feel unstable or give out, complicating walking without support

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 St. Charles, MO commonly face direct hits to the outer knee, leading to overstretching or tearing of the inner knee.
    • Accidents: Motor vehicle 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. Awkward landings from jumps may twist the knee, leading to MCL injury.
  • 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. Muscle imbalances between the quadriceps and hamstrings may destabilize the knee, adding strain to 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: Previous knee injuries, particularly past 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 is identifiable by certain symptoms. These symptoms vary based on the severity of the tear. Typical symptoms of an MCL tear are:

  • Pain: Pain is generally felt on the inner side of the knee. The pain varies from mild to severe depending on the injury grade.
  • 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 may be tender to the touch.
  • Stiffness: Stiffness in the knee joint, causing difficulty in fully extending or bending the knee. The knee may feel tight or rigid.
  • Instability: A sensation that the knee feels unstable or may give way when walking or bearing weight. The knee often feels wobbly or less secure.
  • Bruising: Bruising often shows up on the inner knee, potentially extending down the leg.
  • Difficulty Walking: Difficulty walking or a noticeable limp due to pain and instability. Avoiding putting weight on the affected leg due to discomfort.
  • Locking or Catching: In some cases, the knee might lock or catch with movement.

Diagnosing an MCL Tear in St. Charles, MO

Diagnosing an MCL tear often includes a physical exam and possibly MRI or X-ray imaging to determine the injury’s extent. At Axes Physical Therapy, we offer free injury screenings in St. Charles, MO. With Direct Access Physical Therapy, you can be assessed and start recovery without a referral from a doctor.

Treatment Options in St. Charles, 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 plays a vital role in pre- and post-surgery recovery. At Axes Physical Therapy in St. Charles, MO, we offer personalized rehabilitation programs designed to prepare your knee for surgery by improving strength and flexibility. Post-surgery, our St. Charles, 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.

St. Charles, MO Physical Therapy for MCL Tears

Physical therapy in St. Charles, 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 St. Charles, MO, our approach includes:

  • Initial Assessment: Evaluating the extent of the injury and developing a tailored treatment plan.
  • Strengthening Exercises: Focusing on knee-surrounding muscles to improve stability and support.
  • Range of Motion Exercises: Gradually improving flexibility and reducing stiffness.
  • 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 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:

  • Follow your physical therapist’s advice and exercise regimen
  • 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 ensures the best chance for a complete recovery and return to your favorite activities in St. Charles, MO.

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

If you suspect you’ve suffered an MCL tear, see Axes’ St. Charles, 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 St. Charles, MO physical therapists commit to offering customized MCL tear treatment that meets your specific needs, aiding in strength and mobility recovery. Avoid letting an MCL tear sideline you more than needed. Reach out to Axes Physical Therapy in St. Charles, MO today and begin your journey to full 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.
Amanda Long
DPT, CMPT, ATC
John Ruesler
Clinic Director, DPT, CMPT, Astym Cert.
Megan Phillips
Front Office
Megan Mason
OTD, OTR/L
Hannah Drake
DPT, CMPT, ATC, LAT
Kayla Kowal
PT, DPT, CSCS
Heather Guffey
Front Office

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