All About Knee Sprains


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All About Knee Sprains

  1. 1. All About Knee SprainsOn This Page1) What is a Sprained Knee?2) Grades of Knee Sprain3) Signs and Symptoms of a Sprained Knee4) First Aid of a Knee Sprain5) Caring for a Sprained Knee6) Preventing Knee Sprain1) What is a Sprained Knee?A sprained knee is a common form of knee injury. The knee joint is made up of fourligaments, namely the lateral collateral ligament, medial collateral ligament, posterior cruciateligament, and anterior cruciate ligament (popularly known as the ACL). These ligaments givesupport to the knee joint and help us to turn, walk, and twist. When one or more of theseligaments are injured, it results in knee sprain. So, knee sprain is defined as an injury ordamage to the ligaments or fibers surrounding the knee joint. Injury may be due to tearing orsudden stretching of the ligaments during a twisting movement. The medial collateral ligament isthe ligament which is most commonly affected during a knee sprain. Lateral collateral ligamentinjury is a very rare form of injury as it occurs only during accelerated rotation as opposed toother types of movement.2) Grades of Knee SprainThere are three grades of knee sprain. In grade 1, few fibers are damaged which heals on itsown and does not need any medical assistance. In grade 2, damage occurs to more fibers withthe ligament being intact which requires treatment. In grade 3, rupture of the ligament takesplace. A grade 3 sprained knee typically requires surgery. 1/4
  2. 2. The general causes of knee sprain are abnormal twisting of the knee and abrupt movement ofthe knee during sports which include running, changing direction, and jumping. Knee spraincommonly occurs in sports such as hockey, basketball, skiing, and football due tohyperextension of the knee. Knee sprain also occurs due to direct hits to the back, sides, orfront of the knee, usually occurring during a football tackle. Falling or tripping when the kneesare bent also causes sprained knee.3) Signs and Symptoms of a Sprained KneeSymptoms of knee sprain are generally experienced immediately, but the symptoms can showeven after two days of injury. The symptoms experienced depend on the severity of the kneesprain. You can identify knee sprain with the following signs and symptoms:- inability to move the knee- stiffness- pain- tenderness- painful popping sounds that can be heard- swelling- bruising- knee buckling when walking4) First Aid of a Knee SprainFirst aid in case of an emergency can be done to prevent exacerbation of the injury and itssymptoms. First aid is given to control pain and swelling of the knee area. The P.R.I.C.Emethod should be followed during first aid treatment. P.R.I.C.E means protect, rest, ice,compress, and elevate.Protect – Splints, braces, bandages, and crutches are used to restrict the movement of theknee joint thereby preventing further injury to the ligament.Rest – Rest speeds up the healing process, but complete bed rest should be avoided in order to 2/4
  3. 3. prevent deconditioning. Three-limb exercises which include the use of arms and the uninjuredleg can be done to regulate conditioning of the heart. Rest should be given to the injured kneewith keeping weight off the knee until the pain fades away.Ice – Icing the injured area helps in reducing swelling and redness since ice causes constrictionof blood vessels. Immediately after the injury, an ice pack can be applied to the area. Ice can bewrapped in a towel and applied to the affected area. It is applied for 15 t0 20 minutes at a timefor 2 days.Compression – Compressing the affected area also helps in reducing swelling of the kneejoint. This can be done with the use of elastic bandage and compressive sleeves or wraps.Elastic and neoprene bandages are the best for knee sprain. Wrapping the knee in criss-crossdirection will provide effective results. The elastic bandage can be loosened or tightenedaccording to the comfort of the individual. The bandage should not be very tight causingnumbness or tingling.Elevation – Elevation helps to relieve the pain as well as swelling of the affected area.Supporting and propping the knee with few pillows will provide relief. Excess fluid is drainedback into the body through elevation. Lying down and raising the leg higher than the heart levelis very effective. Elevation can be continued until the swelling decreases and can be doneovernight and even during the day.5) Caring for a Sprained KneeOver-the-counter pain medications and nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs suchas ibuprofen, naproxen, aspirin, acetaminophen, and indomethacin are also administeredto provide pain relief and decrease swelling. Braces, bandages, and crutches can be used untilweight-bearing can be tolerated. Heat should be applied on the joint after some time to bringback flexibility to the joint.If the sprain does not improve, it is better to get medical assistance. In case of severe kneesprain, it is advisable to consult a physician or orthopedist who will diagnose the severity of thesprain using imaging such as MRI. The physician will advise rehabilitation exercises includingphysical therapy, range of motion exercises, and strengthening exercises.If there is a possibility of infection, the synovial fluid from the knee joint is drained out with thehelp of a needle and syringe assembly and sent to pathology for the presence of any infectiousorganisms. In case of a ligament rupture, reconstruction surgery using a graft from a donor isthe only option to recover from the injury.6) Preventing Knee Sprain 3/4
  4. 4. There are some steps to prevent sprained knee. Her are a few suggestions: - warming-up and stretching before exercising - strengthening calf and ankle muscles - wearing correct shoes with appropriate shock absorption and shoe inserts - wearing required protective gear for sports - maintaining appropriate body mass index - avoiding sudden increase in the intensity of physical exercises - using specially designed shoe cleats during sports - using two-mode release bindings during skiing Strengthening of the lower body also helps in preventing knee sprains. This includes strengthening of the quadricep muscles, gluteal muscles, hamstring muscles and calf muscles which play a vital role in supporting the knee joint. Athletes are the most frequently affected by knee sprain, so taking care during sports can prevent the occurrence of knee sprain. READ MORE 4/4Powered by TCPDF (