KNEE CONDITIONS TREATED WITH PHYSICAL THERAPY

Walker Physical Therapy and Pain Center is honored to treat patients suffering from many knee injuries, pains, sports injuries, sprains, strains, fractures, and those preparing for and recovering from surgery. We have a team of expert physical therapists who pride themselves on getting positive results with patients through individualized care and “hands-on” physical therapy. We have successfully rehabilitated acute and chronic injuries, ranging from work and auto accidents to overuse injuries.

Here is a list of just some of the knee conditions that we treat:

  • Balance Problems
  • Chondromalacia Patella
  • Difficulty Walking
  • Ligament Injuries (ACL Tears, PCL Tears, MCL Tears)
  • Meniscus Tears
  • Patella Femoral Syndrome
  • Patellar Mal-Alignment
  • Pre-Surgery and Post-Operative Therapy and Rehabilitation for Knee Surgery
  • Sprains and Strains
  • Tendonitis (Knee)

BALANCE PROBLEMS

Contrary to popular belief, balance disorders are not a normal part of aging. Although some may report that feeling unsteady or weak is just a byproduct of aging, that’s not accurate. Balance issues need to be treated in order to prevent falls, which can cause serious injury, particularly to the elderly. Furthermore, balance issues ought to be addressed because fear of being unsteady on your feet may unnecessarily cause you to miss out on fun activities in life.

Physical therapy as a way to treat balance issues and disorders has proven to help countless people, regardless of age. Our licensed physical therapists will generally begin an assessment of a patient reporting balance difficulties by checking for musculoskeletal causes. These include tests to check your range of motion, your muscle strength, your posture, your muscle tone and your flexibility. Our physical therapists will also consider your personal medical history, and have you perform other functional tests in order to design a custom treatment plan to help you improve your balance. Therapies generally include strength and flexibility exercises, in addition to postural re-education and gait training.

CHONDROMALACIA PATELLA

The knee condition known as chondromalacia patella is any abnormal softening of the cartilage under the kneecap (patella). This knee condition generally shows symptoms of pain in the front of the knee, and this is often a chronic condition. The pain is often exacerbated by physical activity such as running, jumping, or climbing. The knee may swell as well. Chondromalacia patella often serves as the precursor to patella femoral syndrome (runner’s knee).

Stretching and strengthening exercises are used to reduce pain from chondromalacia. Aquatic therapy, MTT, massage, cold therapy, stationary bike riding and other modalities may be recommended by one of our expert physical therapists in order to help you to recover from this knee injury.

DIFFICULTY WALKING

Weakness or difficulty in walking may lead to a fear of falling which can cause a big disruption to your life. Falls are responsible for millions of injuries each year. As part of a rehabilitation treatment program following an injury, or for general safety and prevention reasons, fall prevention is gladly provided by our licensed physical therapists. Your fall prevention program will begin with an evaluation of the muscle strength in your legs, including your knees. Based on the results of your evaluation, our experts will begin a physical therapy program with you which will include a combination of strengthening exercises. These may include core strengthening exercises, muscle strengthening exercises, balance training and gait training.

LIGAMENT INJURIES (ACL TEARS, PCL TEARS, MCL TEARS)

ACL tears are extremely common. As one of the primary ligaments in your knee, the Anterior Cruciate Ligament runs diagonally in front of the knee. The ACL is a vital ligament, and a tear can result in knee instability. If you’ve suffered an ACL tear, your knee may have seemed to pop or completely give out. You also noticed the swelling and stiffness. ACL tears require immediate attention. After you’ve seen your doctor, you’ll learn whether or not surgery will be necessary. In many cases, the R.I.C.E. method of treatment, coupled with bracing will allow the tear to heal. In more severe tears, surgery will be necessary. Our physical therapy and rehabilitation facilities offer complete physical therapy programs to help you recover from an ACL tear.

MENISCUS TEARS

Torn cartilage in the knee is known as a meniscus tear. The meniscus is a cushion for the knee joint, and is situated between the femur and the tibia. A sudden tear, such as in a trauma or sports injury, will result in swelling, and pain. You may feel as if your knee is popping. However, meniscus tears can also occur over time as a gradual weakening of the cartilage in the joint. Strengthening exercises, coupled with range of motion exercises, and other modalities of physical treatment have been very successful in helping patients to recover from a meniscus tear.

PATELLA FEMORAL SYNDROME

Sometimes called runner’s knee, patella femoral syndrome or chondromalacia patella is pain felt in the front of the knees. Overuse of the knee is to blame, causing the patella (knee cap) to shift out of the femoral groove, so that it is no longer aligned properly. This knee condition may require surgery. If surgery is required, physical therapy will likely be advised post-surgery in order to expedite your recovery time.

Physical therapy will likely begin with cold therapy (icing) as well as anti-inflammatory medication (Advil/Motrin). However strengthening of the knee will be necessary. This may be accomplished through a variety of strengthening exercises, as well as the use of aquatic therapy and stationary bicycling. Isometric exercises will also likely be employed, and it may be suggested that you wear a brace for a period of time.

PATELLAR MAL-ALIGNMENT

The patella (knee cap) should be directly aligned straight down from what is known as the femoral groove (groove in the femur). However, injuries including sports injuries, and overuse injuries may cause the patella to become mal-aligned. When this occurs, knee pain, and knee instability, may result.

Patellar mal-alignment can be treated using physical therapy in conjunction with other treatments. Our expert physical therapists have successfully helped thousands of patients with patellar mal-alignment to reduce their pain through stretching and strengthening exercises as well as electrical stimulation.

PRE-SURGERY AND POST OPERATIVE THERAPY AND REHABILITATION FOR KNEE SURGERY

Our full service physical therapy and rehabilitation centers specialize in pre-surgery and post-operative treatment. Whereas physical therapy following knee surgery has been recommended for years, new studies have shown that physical therapy prior to surgery may help patients to recover from surgery faster, thereby getting back into their normal routines quicker. Pre-surgery physical therapy generally involves a combination of exercise based physical therapy customized for the specific surgery, and injured area of the body. Post-operative or post-surgery physical therapy for the knee may involve a combination of stretching, massage, joint mobilization, postural reeducation, strengthening, nerve gliding, strengthening exercises, flexibility exercises, range of motion exercises, ultrasound, electric stimulation and more.

SPRAINS AND STRAINS

When you sprain your knee, you have injured the ligaments that hold the joints of the knee together. Caused by injury, overuse, accident, trauma, and degenerative conditions, when you sprain or strain your knee, the ligaments are stretched beyond their comfort zone. Knee sprains, may result in swelling, pain, a feeling of not being able to put pressure on the knee, and bruising. More severe sprains may even be marked by a popping or snapping sound within the knee.

Our physical therapists help patients with sprained and strained knees to rebuild strength in the joint through a variety of physical therapy techniques. Some of the most common exercises and therapies include muscle strengthening exercises, range of motion exercises, functional training, activity specific training and body awareness/balance training.

Muscle strengthening exercises are used to help patients with a sprained knee to prevent long term instability. Moreover physical therapists work with patients with sprained knees to prevent the risk of new injuries. Our licensed physical therapists will work with you to design a muscle strengthening exercise regimen to help you to strengthen the knee while it heals.

TENDONITIS (KNEE)

Tendons are connective tissues that attach muscle to bone, and allow for joint movement. The irritation or inflammation of tendons in knee is called tendonitis. Tendonitis of the knee may cause pain, burning, weakness, loss of motion, tightness, swelling, and difficulty walking or playing sports. In some cases tendonitis may interrupt daily activities. Knee pain or tenderness directly over the injured tendon can radiate throughout the legs.

There are many different modalities and therapies your physical therapist may use to help alleviate your pain from tendonitis in the knee. These may include manual therapeutic technique (MTT), soft tissue or deep tissue massage, therapeutic exercises (stretching and strengthening), ultrasound, electric stimulation, RICE, cold laser, and neuromuscular reeducation (NMR). Our physical therapists will work with you to customize a treatment program utilizing the most effective physical therapy modalities available to help reduce your pain, and regain your range of motion and strength in your foot and ankle.