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Knee Sprain - How It Can Be Treated?

Written and reviewed by
Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons (FRCS), Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons (MRCS), MBBS, Fellow of Academy of General Education (FAGE)
Orthopedic Doctor, Hyderabad  •  18 years experience
Knee Sprain - How It Can Be Treated?

 A knee sprain is a disorder that is characterized by tearing of the ligaments of the knee. The ligaments are tissues in the knee, whose function is to keep the bones together. They also help in keeping the bones and the knee joint in their proper position. In terms of function, they help you walk, turn and twist. Usually ligaments get sprained due to sports or exercise related injuries.

Causes

  1. If the knee is directly hit: Sprains occur when the knee is hit directly by a strong force on the sides, front or back of the knee. It may also occur, if you trip or fall on your knees. Car accidents and football tackles are other instances where the knee may be impacted in this manner.
  2. A sudden twist to the knee joint: If the knee joint is suddenly twisted, then it may result in knee sprain. This usually occurs in situations wherein you plant your foot and then suddenly turn from the knee. This can occur in various sports such as football or hockey where you run and change direction suddenly.

Symptoms
The symptoms of knee sprain are pain in the knee joint, impaired movement and swelling. You will have difficulty while walking as the knee may give out or buckle. In some cases, you may also hear a painful pop from the knee joint.

Treatment
The treatment of a knee sprain begins with a proper diagnosis wherein you may have to undergo various tests such as X-rays or MRI. Once the diagnosis confirms that it is a knee sprain, treatment will begin. The various modes of treatment include:

  1. Acetaminophen: This medication is used to reduce fever and pain resulting from knee sprain.
  2. NSAIDs: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen also reduce swelling and pain.
  3. Physical support devices: You may also use splint or an elastic bandage to provide support to the knee joint so as to allow the area to heal faster.
  4. SurgerySevere ligament tears in young patients will require surgery to regain full and normal function to carry on playing regular sports in future.

In addition to the treatment, plenty of rest is required. Do not carry out tasks that require you to move your knee excessively as it may damage it further. Perform stretches and strengthening exercises to keep the joints strong and mobile. Sometimes ligament injuries are serious and do not settle down with the above measures.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

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