Knee Sprains – Causes and Symptoms
Have you ever landed improperly while jumping and felt something pop in your knee? Or maybe you hit your knee hard upon a collision, or suddenly twisted or pivoted while skiing, dancing, or playing.
Suddenly your knee may start hurting and buckling under your weight. Within a few hours, you may notice swelling and tenderness, and limited mobility.
If this has happened to you, you may have a knee sprain. A knee sprain is an injury affecting one of the 4 ligaments of the knee.
The 4 knee ligaments are –
- Anterior cruciate ligament or ACL, and Posterior cruciate ligament or PCL, stabilize the knee and control the forward and backward motions of the lower leg.
If you are an athlete, you may have injured your ACL. Such an injury may make you collapse under your body weight. The injury is extremely painful and disabling.
PCL sprains are usually not as painful and can heal on their own.
- Medial collateral ligament or MCL braces the knee on the inside. MCL sprains are the result due to direct impact to the outside of the knee.
- Lateral collateral ligament or LCL braces the outside of the knee joint. The LCL is the least likely injured ligament.
Symptoms of Knee Sprains
The symptoms of a knee sprain include –
- Noticeable bruising around the site of the injury
- Instability in the knee, making the knee buckle under your weight
- In ACL sprains, you may not be able to put weight on the knee
- In LCL sprains, knee may buckle toward the inside
- In MCL sprains, knee may buckle toward the outside
- In PCL sprains, knee may buckle from behind
- Pain upon movement
- Popping sensation or sound at the time of injury
- Stiffness or immobility causing trouble bending and straightening the knee
- Swelling over the knee
- Tenderness over the site of the injury
If you think you’ve sprained your knee, take your weight off your injured knee, rest your leg, ice the injury, see an orthopedic doctor as soon as you’re able.
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