St. Louis, MO

St. Louis, MO

Our expert St. Louis, MO physical therapists offer personalized care to help you recover from your MCL tear and return to the activities you love.

MCL Tear Treatment in St. Louis, MO

MCL Tear Treatment in St. Louis, MO. Suffering from an MCL tear may be painful and distressing, disrupting your daily life and ability to participate in your favorite activities. At Axes Physical Therapy, we are aware of the struggles you endure and are here to provide the support and expertise you need to achieve full recovery from your MCL tear in St. Louis, MO. Our expert team of skilled St. Louis, MO physical therapists focuses on creating customized treatment strategies tailored to your unique injury, goals, and the lifestyle you want to return to. 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 call the Axes location nearest you and let us help you get back to doing what you love most.

Anatomy of an MCL Tear

The knee is a complex joint comprising bones, cartilage, muscles, and ligaments (which connect bone to bone), working in unison to ensure 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 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 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 provides essential support to the knee by:

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

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

Grades of MCL Tears

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

Grade 1 MCL Tear: Mild Tear

  • Consists of minimal stretching and tiny tears in the MCL fibers
  • Symptoms involve mild inner knee pain and tenderness, with negligible swelling
  • Knee remains stable, permitting normal movement with slight discomfort

Grade 2 MCL Tear: Moderate Tear

  • Characterized by a partial tear of the MCL, resulting in greater pain and swelling
  • Symptoms encompass noticeable tenderness, moderate swelling, and a feeling of knee instability
  • 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 include severe pain, considerable swelling, and a pronounced 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 are caused by a variety of reasons, including:

  • Direct Impact or Trauma:
    • Contact Sports: Football, soccer, and hockey players in St. Louis, MO often experience direct blows to the outer knee, leading to overstretching or tearing of the inner knee.
    • Accidents: Car accidents or falls with direct knee impact can cause MCL tears.
  • Twisting Movements: Sports that require rapid pivoting or twisting motions, such as basketball or skiing, can strain 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, are capable of weakening the MCL over time, making tears more likely.
  • Poor Conditioning or Muscle Imbalance: Weakness in the muscles supporting the knee raises the risk of MCL tears by overloading the ligament. Quadriceps and hamstring imbalances may destabilize the knee, adding strain to the MCL.
  • Inadequate Warm-Up or Flexibility: Neglecting warm-up exercises before physical exertion makes the MCL less prepared for sudden movements. Tight muscles around the knee can increase the likelihood of overstretching the MCL during activity.
  • Previous Knee Injuries: Earlier knee injuries, including past MCL tears, 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.

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 vary based on the severity of the tear. Typical symptoms of an MCL tear are:

  • Pain: Pain usually occurs on the inner side of the knee. The pain can range from mild to severe depending on the grade of the tear.
  • Swelling: Swelling can develop around the inner knee shortly after the injury. Swelling tends to worsen within 24 hours post-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 can feel tight or stiff.
  • Instability: A sensation that the knee is unstable or might give out when walking or bearing weight. 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 noticeable limp due to pain and instability. Discomfort leads to avoiding weight on the affected leg.
  • Locking or Catching: In some cases, the knee might lock or catch with movement.

Diagnosing an MCL Tear in St. Louis, MO

Diagnosing an MCL tear usually requires a physical exam and may involve imaging tests like MRI or X-ray to determine the injury’s extent. At Axes Physical Therapy, we offer free injury screenings in St. Louis, MO. With Direct Access Physical Therapy, you can get evaluated and start your recovery without the need for a physician’s referral.

Treatment Options in 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: Knee braces offer support and help prevent additional injury during recovery.

Surgical Treatments

Surgery is usually required for severe MCL tears (Grade 3) or when the MCL tear is combined with other ligament injuries, such as ACL tears. Surgery is sometimes required if non-surgical treatments do not restore knee stability and function over time.

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 is essential for recovery before and after surgery. At Axes Physical Therapy in St. Louis, MO, we provide customized rehab programs to prepare your knee for surgery by enhancing strength and flexibility. Post-surgery, our St. Louis, 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. Louis, MO Physical Therapy for MCL Tears

Physical therapy in 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 St. Louis, 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: 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:

  • Stick to your physical therapist’s guidance and exercise routine
  • Refrain from activities that could stress your knee too soon
  • 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. Louis, MO.

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

If you suspect you’ve suffered an MCL tear, visit Axes’ St. Louis, MO physical therapists for an assessment and to begin your recovery journey. At Axes Physical Therapy, we are aware of the challenges and frustrations knee injuries bring. Our experienced St. Louis, MO physical therapists are dedicated to providing personalized MCL tear care that addresses your unique needs, helping you regain strength and mobility. Don’t allow an MCL tear to keep you off your feet any longer than necessary. Reach out to Axes Physical Therapy in St. Louis, 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
  • Work Conditioning/Hardening
  • Functional Capacity Evaluations
  • Certified Hand Therapy (Coming Early 2024)
  • Sports Physical Therapy
  • Throwing Athlete Rehabilitation Specialist (TARS)
  • Pediatric Orthopedic Physical Therapy
  • Geriatric Physical Therapy
  • Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization
  • Running Gait Analysis with DorsaVi (Coming Soon October 2023
  • Vestibular Therapy and Post-Concussion Rehabilitation
  • Trigger Point Dry Needling
  • Free Injury Screenings
  • Kinesio Taping®
  • Blood Flow Restriction Therapy

Our Team

Zac Schniers
PT, DPT, CMPT
Ashley Kraus
Front Office

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