A knee sprain is when a force pushes the bones of the knee apart. If the force is strong enough, the ligament comes apart. This can happen from things like:
- Forced twisting of the knee
- A sudden change in direction
- A misstep that causes a sudden strain at a joint
- An impact with an object or another person
Problems may be:
- Pain and tenderness, especially putting weight on the knee
- Swelling, warmth, or bruising around the knee
- Problems moving the knee
- A popping sound
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history. You will also be asked how the injury happened. A physical exam will be done. It will focus on the knee.
It can be hard to tell a sprain from a fracture or dislocation. Pictures may be taken. This can be done with:
- MRI scan
The doctor may need to view the inside of the knee. This can be done with a minimally invasive procedure called an arthroscopy.
|Sprain of Knee|
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Treatment will depend on the joint and how severe the injury is. The goal of treatment is to ease pain and improve movement. Choices are:
- Supportive care, such as rest, ice, a compression bandage, and raising the knee to ease pain and swelling
- Medicine, such as over the counter pain relievers
- Supportive devices, such as a brace or crutches
- Physical therapy to improve strength, flexibility, and range of motion
Some people may need surgery to repair a ligament that is torn.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
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