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Definition of Knee Sprains By definition, a knee sprain is an injury to a knee ligament.

The sprain may var y in severity from a slight stretch to a complete tear of the ligament. A mild, or grade 1, sprain simply stretches the ligament and causes pain and swe lling. A moderate, or grade 2, sprain partially tears the ligament and is much m ore disabling. A severe, or grade 3, sprain is a complete rupture and often need s surgical repair.

Description of Knee Sprains Most ligament injuries of the knee involve a tearing of either the medial collat eral ligament (MCL) on the medial side of the knee (medial means toward the midl ine of the body, and lateral means away from the midline), the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) deep inside the joint, or both ligaments. The posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) is much less likely to sustain an injury than the ACL. Text Continues Below --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Causes and Risk Factors of Knee Sprains The most commonly sprained ligament is the medial collateral ligament (MCL). Thi s ligament can be sprained by a blow to the outside of the knee, particularly if your foot is planted on the ground when you are hit. The blow causes the knee t o move toward the inside of the body and stretches the ligament. You will feel t enderness and pain on the inside of the knee, and the knee will feel like it may buckle or give way to the inside. Anything more than minimal pain should be tre ated by a doctor. A sprain on the outside of the knee, the lateral collateral ligament, is caused by a blow to the inside of the knee, which forces the knee to the outside. This is much less common than an MCL sprain because it is hard to get hit on the insi de of the knee. Usually, your leg gets in the way and takes the blow. Athletic or occupational trauma is usually the cause of an ACL injury. Sports th at involve sudden acceleration and deceleration, such as basketball, soccer, fie ld hockey, football and skiing, are frequently associated with ACL injuries. Nev ertheless, ACL injuries can occur in any sport if the knee undergoes acceleratio n-rotation-type movement. Disability may be immediate because of pain and (frequ ently) swelling, which sometimes appears as soon as 1 to 4 hours after injury. H owever, immediate disability does not suggest the degree or severity of a partic ular type of injury. Patients may report that the knee "gave way" or became unst able; an audible "pop" raises the specter of an ACL tear. A good rule of thumb for these injuries is: if you receive a blow to the knee an d the pain is on the same side of the knee that was hit, it is probably just a b ruise, and the pain will go away rapidly. If the pain is on the opposite side of the knee, consider this a serious injury that needs careful treatment.

Treatment of Knee Sprains

These muscles control the knee and must be restrengthened. if your range of motion is too limited or you find it too painful. Once you lift the weigh t. which is the most important part of the lift. Wrap it in an elastic bandage in between icings. hold at full extension for three seconds. and then very slowly lower your leg . Muscle contraction against weight while the muscle is lengthened builds t he most strength. Before surgery. Do the leg curl while lying on your stomach. if there is significant atrophy of the quadriceps an d hamstrings. Just pedal back and forth until you can come over the top. this is not necessary. If you are using a weight machine. Self Care The immediate treatment for a sprained knee is the standard RICE formula. Questions To Ask Your Doctor About Knee Sprains Where is the sprain located and how severe is it? . Physical therapy m ay help enhance balance and proprioception. then do isometric quadriceps exercis es first. It is not uncommon for patients with ACL-deficient knees to have had multiple pr ocedures to remove articular or meniscal cartilage fragments. you should hold for three seconds with the le g bent. These steps will help re duce swelling and pain. an early rehabilitation program using a station ary bicycle and leg extension and curl exercises is all you need. This i s an acronym for Rest. you are simply interested in moving th e knee. and the patient may b ecome a surgical candidate based on overall knee instability. an intensive retraining period should be instituted before surgery .Surgery is needed for patients who fall into the high or moderate risk category based on job. Rest the knee while it ac hes and ice it intermittently several times a day. Do the leg extension while seated at a bench or a table. Surgery may be considered f or patients who are not at high risk but who experience symptoms during everyday activities. it is necessary to establish whether there is a full r ange of motion in the knee. and keep it elevated as much as possible. if needed. and speed the healing process. Ice. that is. you may not be able to pedal all the way around. In the very beginning. With the loss of t hese secondary restraints. Rehabilitation If the MCL sprain is a mild one. Do not put any drag on the bike. Ten lifts make a set. Do five sets of this exercise and rest f or 30 seconds or more. If you have a problem doing the leg extensions. Concentrate on the slow movement down. Keep the seat high so that the range of motion is minimal. The purpose of these exercises is to strengthen the quadriceps muscles in the fr ont of the thigh (leg extensions) and the hamstring muscles in the back of the t high (leg curls). Compression. such as walking on uneven surfaces and performing simple twisting m aneuvers. Begin by ridin g the bicycle for 20 minutes. after each set. Do 10 lifts per set for five sets. If you are using free weights. the knee becomes more unstable. recreational. and Elevation. and/or athletic demands.

your leg gets in the way and takes the blow. You will feel t enderness and pain on the inside of the knee. or grade 2. A severe. Anything more than minimal pain should be tre ated by a doctor.What treatment do you recommend? What rehabilitation program do you recommend? Will surgery be recommended? Can conservative treatment be tried first? Will the knee ligaments be permanently weak or susceptible to injury Definition of Knee Sprains By definition. sprain partially tears the ligament and is much m ore disabling. A sprain on the outside of the knee. the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) deep inside the joint. or grade 1. Description of Knee Sprains Most ligament injuries of the knee involve a tearing of either the medial collat eral ligament (MCL) on the medial side of the knee (medial means toward the midl ine of the body. sprain is a complete rupture and often need s surgical repair. the lateral collateral ligament. The blow causes the knee t o move toward the inside of the body and stretches the ligament. This is much less common than an MCL sprain because it is hard to get hit on the insi de of the knee. . which forces the knee to the outside. A moderate. Usually. is caused by a blow to the inside of the knee. or grade 3. a knee sprain is an injury to a knee ligament. A mild. The sprain may var y in severity from a slight stretch to a complete tear of the ligament. The posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) is much less likely to sustain an injury than the ACL. particularly if your foot is planted on the ground when you are hit. and lateral means away from the midline). sprain simply stretches the ligament and causes pain and swe lling. Text Continues Below --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Causes and Risk Factors of Knee Sprains The most commonly sprained ligament is the medial collateral ligament (MCL). or both ligaments. Thi s ligament can be sprained by a blow to the outside of the knee. and the knee will feel like it may buckle or give way to the inside.

Rehabilitation If the MCL sprain is a mild one. Do the leg curl while lying on your stomach. ACL injuries can occur in any sport if the knee undergoes acceleratio n-rotation-type movement. Just pedal back and forth until you can come over the top. and then very slowly lower your leg . Ten lifts make a set. after each set. soccer. If you are using free weights. it is probably just a b ruise. recreational. immediate disability does not suggest the degree or severity of a partic ular type of injury. you may not be able to pedal all the way around. such as basketball. an audible "pop" raises the specter of an ACL tear. Do the leg extension while seated at a bench or a table. Nev ertheless. and the patient may b ecome a surgical candidate based on overall knee instability. Sports th at involve sudden acceleration and deceleration. if there is significant atrophy of the quadriceps an d hamstrings. and the pain will go away rapidly. A good rule of thumb for these injuries is: if you receive a blow to the knee an d the pain is on the same side of the knee that was hit. Keep the seat high so that the range of motion is minimal. Surgery may be considered f or patients who are not at high risk but who experience symptoms during everyday activities. Treatment of Knee Sprains Surgery is needed for patients who fall into the high or moderate risk category based on job. Do 10 lifts per set for five sets. you should hold for three seconds with the le g bent. the knee becomes more unstable. which sometimes appears as soon as 1 to 4 hours after injury. hold at full extension for three seconds. If you are using a weight machine. Muscle contraction against weight while the muscle is lengthened builds t he most strength. an intensive retraining period should be instituted before surgery . Do not put any drag on the bike. Disability may be immediate because of pain and (frequ ently) swelling. Concentrate on the slow movement down. Begin by ridin g the bicycle for 20 minutes. this is not necessary. are frequently associated with ACL injuries. such as walking on uneven surfaces and performing simple twisting m aneuvers. it is necessary to establish whether there is a full r ange of motion in the knee. In the very beginning. Once you lift the weigh t. With the loss of t hese secondary restraints. football and skiing. Before surgery. H owever. which is the most important part of the lift.Athletic or occupational trauma is usually the cause of an ACL injury. If the pain is on the opposite side of the knee. and/or athletic demands. Physical therapy m ay help enhance balance and proprioception. The purpose of these exercises is to strengthen the quadriceps muscles in the fr ont of the thigh (leg extensions) and the hamstring muscles in the back of the t . you are simply interested in moving th e knee. if needed. Do five sets of this exercise and rest f or 30 seconds or more. Patients may report that the knee "gave way" or became unst able. consider this a serious injury that needs careful treatment. It is not uncommon for patients with ACL-deficient knees to have had multiple pr ocedures to remove articular or meniscal cartilage fragments. an early rehabilitation program using a station ary bicycle and leg extension and curl exercises is all you need. fie ld hockey.

These steps will help re duce swelling and pain. if your range of motion is too limited or you find it too painful. Rest the knee while it ac hes and ice it intermittently several times a day. If you have a problem doing the leg extensions. and keep it elevated as much as possible. that is. Compression. and Elevation. This i s an acronym for Rest. Ice.high (leg curls). and speed the healing process. then do isometric quadriceps exercis es first. Self Care The immediate treatment for a sprained knee is the standard RICE formula. These muscles control the knee and must be restrengthened. Wrap it in an elastic bandage in between icings. Questions To Ask Your Doctor About Knee Sprains Where is the sprain located and how severe is it? What treatment do you recommend? What rehabilitation program do you recommend? Will surgery be recommended? Can conservative treatment be tried first? Will the knee ligaments be permanently weak or susceptible to injury .