What is a Knee Sprain?
A knee sprain is the tearing or overstretching of the ligaments in the knee. The ligaments are strong bands of connective tissue that help stabilize the knee by bridging the bones together, the thighbone, and the shin bone. These ligaments are strong but still susceptible to trauma and overstretching.
It is important to get proper knee sprain treatment; otherwise, it can create problems over time, including arthritis.
Grades of Knee Sprain
A knee sprain can be graded according to the severity of injury to the knee.
Grade 1 Knee Sprains
Grade 1 Knee sprains are the most common ones. In the United States high schools, the knee is the most frequently injured joint among athletes who compete in wrestling, soccer, or football. The ligament is mildly injured in grade 1 knee sprain and is still able to help keep the knee joint stable.
Grade 1 knee sprains sound simple; however, knee sprain treatment must be availed to ensure complete recovery.
Grade 2 Knee Sprains
Grade 2 and Grade 3 knee sprains are more severe and require more recovery time, as more ligaments are injured or completely torn.
Sprained Knee Symptoms
Sprained knee symptoms vary depending on the ligament that is injured.
ACL Sprained Knee Symptoms
- A ‘popping’ sensation and sound in the knee at the time of injury.
- Significant swelling of the knee.
- Severe knee pain.
- Inability to participate in physical activities.
- Discoloration around the knee (black-and-blue).
- Instability in the knee.
PCL Sprained Knee Symptoms
- Mild swelling of the knee.
- Difficulty in moving the knee.
- Pain at the back of your knee that aggravates when you try to kneel.
MCL and LCL Sprain Knee Symptoms
- Knee pain and swelling.
- Knee closing towards the outside (in MCL injury).
- Knee closing towards the inside (in LCL injury).
- Tenderness and redness at the inner side of the knee (in MCL injury).
- Tenderness and redness at the outer side of the knee (in LCL injury).
Knee Sprain Treatment
In cases of grade 1 knee sprain, conservative treatments are utilized.
- Rest the knee joint to promote healing.
- Apply cold packs to reduce the swelling.
- Apply compression to the sprained knee.
- Elevate the knee with the use of pillows.
In cases of a more severe knee sprain, surgical options are considered.
- Torn ligament surgical reconstruction.
- Arthroscopic minimally invasive knee surgery.
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Can You Walk on a Sprained Knee?
- Avoid walking if your leg is injured or you feel pain while moving legs.
- Give proper rest to your knee, and do not put pressure on the legs.
- By taking rest at regular intervals, the recovery rate gets high as an injury starts to heal properly.
What Is the Fastest Way to Heal a Sprained Knee?
- You can adopt the following tips to heal the sprained knee at a faster rate:
- Applying ice on the knee after regular intervals help in reducing or alleviating the pain.
- By resting the knee at an elevated position can help in accelerating the recovery process.
- Wearing a knee brace can greatly help in the protection of the knee.
Is a Sprained Knee Serious?
- A knee sprain is the tearing or overstretching of the ligaments in the knee.
- It can be serious if it is stretched to the extent that it tears apart.
- In such cases, the injury becomes serious and requires surgery to fasten the repair mechanism of the ligament.
How Do You Know If Your Knee Is Sprained or Torn?
- It takes almost a period of eight to ten days for getting recovered from a mild or intermediate knee sprain.
- In case if the ligament is completely torn, then it undergoes a surgical procedure as it causes inflammation and swelling in the knee and becomes a reason for severe pain.