Knee Sprain

A knee sprain is the stretching or tearing of ligaments that support the knee. Ligaments are strong bands of tissue that connect bones to each other.

  • Causes

    Knee sprains may be caused by:

    • Forced twisting of the knee
    • Stopping suddenly while running
    • Shifting your weight while running or skiing
    • Landing awkwardly after jumping
    • Blow to the outer or inner side of the knee
    • Blow to the front of the knee while the knee is bent and the foot is firmly planted on the ground

  • Definition

    A knee sprain is the stretching or tearing of ligaments that support the knee. Ligaments are strong bands of tissue that connect bones to each other.

    Ligaments of the Knee
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  • Diagnosis

    Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and how the injury occurred. The knee will be checked to see how stable the joint is and how severe the pain is.

    Images may be taken of your bodily structures. This can be done with:

    • X-rays
    • MRI scan


    A minimally invasive procedure may be done to look inside of your knee. This can be done with
    arthroscopy
    .

  • Prevention

    To reduce your risk of spraining a knee:


    • Warm up and
      stretch
      before exercise. Cool down and stretch after exercise.
    • Take a break from sports and exercise when you feel tired.

    • Do exercises that
      strengthen
      the leg muscles.
    • Learn the proper technique for sports and exercise. This will decrease stress on all your muscles, ligaments, and tendons, including those around your knee. Also, wear the proper equipment.
    • Ask your doctor if you should use a brace.

  • Risk Factors

    Factors that may increase your chance of developing a knee sprain include:

    • Playing sports
    • Poor coordination
    • Poor balance
    • Inadequate flexibility and strength in muscles and ligaments
    • Loose joints

  • Symptoms

    Symptoms include:

    • Pain in the knee
    • Swelling, redness, warmth, or bruising around the knee
    • Decreased range of motion in the knee
    • Inability to stand on the affected leg
    • Tenderness where the injured ligament attaches to a bone in the knee
    • Swelling within the knee

  • Treatment

    Treatment
    includes: