St. Clair, MO

St. Clair, MO

Our expert St. Clair, 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 St. Clair, MO

MCL Tear Treatment in St. Clair, 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 dedicated to delivering the support and specialized care required to heal completely from your MCL injury in St. Clair, MO. Our dedicated team of experienced St. Clair, MO physical therapists is dedicated to formulating individualized treatment plans tailored to your unique injury, goals, and the lifestyle you want to return to. With our holistic 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 support you in getting back to your favorite activities.

Anatomy of an MCL Tear

The knee is a complex joint consisting of bones, cartilage, muscles, and ligaments (connecting bone to bone), all working together to provide 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 found on the inner side of the knee, linking the femur (thighbone) to the tibia (shinbone). The MCL is essential for stabilizing the knee, especially against inward forces. An MCL tear happens when the ligament is overstretched or torn, commonly from sports injuries, direct impacts, or sudden twists.

Functions of the MCL in Knee Stability

The MCL offers vital knee support through:

An MCL tear may impair these functions, resulting in pain, instability, and movement issues.

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

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
  • Mild pain and tenderness on the inner knee, with minimal to no swelling, are symptoms
  • Knee remains stable, permitting normal movement with slight 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

  • Involves a total MCL rupture, leading to substantial pain and instability
  • Symptoms consist of severe pain, marked swelling, and a clear 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 are caused by a variety of reasons, including:

  • Direct Impact or Trauma:
    • Contact Sports: Football, soccer, and hockey players in St. Clair, MO commonly face direct hits 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 that require rapid pivoting or twisting motions, such as basketball or skiing, are capable of straining 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: Insufficient knee muscle strength can increase the risk of MCL tears as the ligament compensates for the lack of support. Muscle imbalances between the quadriceps and hamstrings destabilize the knee, increasing MCL strain.
  • Inadequate Warm-Up or Flexibility: Skipping warm-up exercises before engaging in physical activity renders the MCL less ready to handle abrupt 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: Aging can reduce ligament elasticity and strength, making tears more likely.

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

  • Pain: Pain usually occurs on the inner side of the knee. The pain varies from mild to severe depending on the injury grade.
  • Swelling: Swelling can develop around the inner knee shortly 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 often feels tight or rigid.
  • Instability: A sensation that the knee is unsteady or could give out while walking or weight-bearing. The knee can feel wobbly or less stable.
  • Bruising: Bruising may appear on the inner side of the knee, extending down the leg in some cases.
  • 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 St. Clair, MO

Diagnosing an MCL tear typically involves a physical examination and may include imaging tests such as an MRI or X-ray to confirm the extent of the injury. At Axes Physical Therapy, we offer free injury screenings in St. Clair, MO. With Direct Access Physical Therapy, you are able to be evaluated and begin recovery without needing a physician’s referral.

Treatment Options in St. Clair, 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 may also be necessary if conservative treatments fail to improve knee stability and function after a significant period.

The MCL tear surgical procedure typically involves repairing or reconstructing the torn ligament to restore knee stability and function. This can include stitching the torn ends of the ligament back together or using a graft from another tendon to reconstruct the MCL.

Pre- and Post-Surgical Rehabilitation

Pre/post surgical rehabilitation is essential for recovery before and after surgery. At Axes Physical Therapy in St. Clair, MO, we offer personalized rehabilitation programs designed to prepare your knee for surgery by improving strength and flexibility. Post-surgery, our St. Clair, 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.

St. Clair, MO Physical Therapy for MCL Tears

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

  • Initial Assessment: Assessing the injury severity and creating a customized treatment plan.
  • Strengthening Exercises: Targeting muscles around the knee to enhance 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 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:

  • Stick to your physical therapist’s guidance and exercise routine
  • Steer clear of activities that might overstrain your knee early on
  • Follow a nutritious diet to enhance healing

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

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

If you suspect you’ve suffered an MCL tear, visit Axes’ St. Clair, MO physical therapists for an assessment and to begin your recovery journey. At Axes Physical Therapy, we recognize the difficulties and frustrations associated with knee injuries. Our experienced St. Clair, 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 St. Clair, MO today and begin your journey to full recovery. Contact us online, schedule an appointment, or call the Axes location nearest you.

Services Offered

Services Offered
  • Physical Therapy
    • Pre/Post Surgical Rehabilitation
    • Acute Injury Management
    • Chronic Injury Management
  • Certified Hand Therapy
  • Advanced Work Rehabilitation
  • Functional Capacity Evaluations
  • Sports Physical Therapy
  • Pediatric Orthopedic Physical Therapy
  • Geriatric Physical Therapy
  • Vestibular Therapy and Post-Concussion Rehabilitation
  • Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization
  • Spine Specialty – Certified Manual Therapy
  • Free Injury Screenings
  • Kinesio Taping®
  • Blood Flow Restriction Therapy (BFR)

Our Team

Stephen Brunjes
OTR/L, CEAS
Danielle O’Rando
Front Office
Sharon Titter
Clinic Director, MPT

Locations

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