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I am Jannatin Naim from Pabna, Bangladesh and my favorite subject of study is English. I am also interested in Biomedical Science. If anyone felt a twist in one’s knee or suddenly have an injury such as a knee sprain, he/she can have some easy medical treatment at home or elsewhere. So, I would like to share my knowledge about it.

Spraining your knee means that you have damaged one or more of the ligaments that surround the joint. These ligaments are critical to the stability of the knee joint and when injured may require specialized treatment. When a knee sprain is suspected, a careful examination and specialized tests can be performed to determine the extent of the injury and the optimal treatment. If the ligament stretches too much, it can tear, which is a very serious injury that requires surgery most of the time to repair the ligament. So, it is necessary to have knowledge about the techniques and also learn to use it in a proper way. Otherwise, it can be harmful. The primary problem with calling an injury a knee sprain is that these words do little to convey much useful information. Knowing the specific ligament injured will help your doctor and you team up to find the best treatment to ensure you return to your normal activities as soon as possible.


  • What is a knee sprain
  • Causes
  • Symptoms
  • Diagnosis
  • Grades
  • Treatment

KNEE SPRAIN: A knee sprain means that you have injured one of the ligaments around the knee joint. Sprains and strains are often confused. A sprain is an injury to a ligament, and a strain is an injury to a muscle. There are four major ligaments that contribute to the stability of the knee and connect two bones. The collateral ligaments of the knee prevent excessive side-to-side motion, while the cruciate ligaments are important in both rotational and forward/backward stability. For example, when Dr. Stoddart was about to climb the stairs to his house, he suddenly felt a twist in his right knee which was a knee sprain injury.

CAUSES: Knee sprains can be caused by a variety of injuries. Sometimes the injuries occur as a result of athletic activities. In athletics, knee sprains can occur both as a result of contact injuries as well as noncontact events. Knee sprains often occur after falls and other trauma that can occur at home or at the workplace. Knee sprains were also common after automobile accidents. Similar injuries can lead to other common knee joint problems including fractures and dislocations. For that reason, it is important for people with symptoms of a knee sprain to be evaluated by a medical professional to determine if further testing is necessary.

SYMPTOMS: The most common symptoms of knee sprain are pain and swelling. Typically after people who have injured their knee causing damage to the ligaments, they will have immediate symptoms. Sometimes these symptoms worsen over the first 48 hours, and then gradually dissipate, depending on the severity of the injury. For example, the next day Dr. Stoddart went to the hospital as the pain was unbearable like below: 1. Knee pain 2. Swelling of the knee 3. Stiffness of the joint 4. Instability/giving-out/buckling

DIAGNOSIS: Evaluation of someone who is injured in her knee involves testing the different ligaments that may be injured as a result of a knee sprain. There are specific maneuvers in tests they can isolate each of these ligaments to help your doctor determine the exact cause of your discomfort. Often specialized tests such as X-rays and MRIs will be performed if there is a concern of a more serious injury or if the diagnosis is unclear.

X-ray of knee

Saying someone has a "knee sprain" is not a terribly useful diagnosis for two reasons: 1. It does not tell you which ligament is injured. This is important because different ligaments are treated very differently. For example, ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) injuries often need surgical reconstruction. On the other hand, MCL (medial collateral ligament) injuries seldom require surgery. 2. It does not tell you how badly the ligament is injured. The reason this is important is that minor injuries usually require minor treatment. More severe injuries may require more substantial treatment, rehabilitation, and possibly surgery. Despite this, patients are often told they have a knee sprain. If you are diagnosed with a knee sprain, try to get more information. Find out which ligaments are injured, and then you will be able to understand more about what possible treatments and rehabilitation are necessary. For example, by following the above proses, the doctor inspected Dr. Stoddart and diagnosed him with a knee sprain injury.

GRADES: How long a knee sprain lasts depends on the type of knee sprain, the severity of your injury, your rehabilitation program and the types of sports you play. Often knee ligament injuries are graded to define the severity of the injury. A grade of injury is meant to give an indication of the extent of damage to the ligament. In general, most physicians grade on a scale of 1 to 3. The grades of a ligament tear are:

Grade I: A minor injury that will likely recover with rest and activity modifications over the course of 1-2 weeks.

Grade II: A moderate injury with partial tearing of the ligament that will require more limitations in activities and may take 4-6 weeks for recovery.

Grade III: A complete or near-complete tear of the ligament. Depending on the ligament damaged, this may require either more prolonged rehabilitation or surgical intervention.

Grade of Knee Sprain

It is important to keep in mind that these general classifications are somewhat arbitrary, and the truth is a ligament can be damaged in many ways across a spectrum from no injury to a complete tear. Therefore, these categories are used most notably to give athletes a sense of the severity of the injury and a timeline for an expected return to their athletic endeavors. That’s why we need to confirm that which grade of injury Dr. Stoddart has faced.

TREATMENTS: Rest your knee and do not exercise. Do not walk on your injured leg if you are told to keep weight off your knee. Rest helps decrease swelling and allows the injury to heal. You can do a gentle range of motion exercises as directed to prevent stiffness. If Dr. Stoddart has a Grade I or Grade II knee sprain, I will probably recommend that he must follow the RICE rule: R=Rest the joint. I=Ice the injured area to reduce swelling. (Ice your knee for 20 to 30 minutes every 3 to 4 hours to lessen the pain and swelling.) C=Compress the swelling with an elastic bandage. E=Elevate the injured knee. If Dr. Stoddart has a Grade III knee sprain, I will probably recommend that he must follow the following rules:

1. Compress your knee. 2. Raise your knee on a pillow when you're sitting or lying down. 3. Wear a knee brace to stabilize the knee and protect it from further injury. 4. Knee flexion with heel slide 5. Lie on your back with your knees bent. 6. Slide your heel back by bending your affected knee as far as you can. Then hook your other foot around your ankle to help pull your heel even farther back. 7. Hold for about 6 seconds, and then rest for up to 10 seconds. 8. Repeat 8 to 12 times. 9. Take anti-inflammatory painkillers.

Immediate medical attention: Ask someone to drive you to urgent care or the emergency room if your knee pain is caused by an injury and is accompanied by a joint that appears deformed. Popping noise at the time your knee was injured.


A sprained knee can keep you off your routine for a couple of months or more. Begin to massage the muscles above and below the knee to relax the muscles and to add comfort. An easy exercise to increase mobility is to simply bend and straighten the knee. Any type of knee injury considered to be mild, such as a sprain, typically does not cause significant discomfort. Over time, injuries such as mild sprains and strains, as well as mild meniscal tears, may heal on their own. Your doctor may recommend medications or arthrocentesis to relieve knee pain. Regular activity such as walking or swimming will get your joints and muscles moving. Any usual exercise, as tolerated, is helpful and will assist your recovery. Increase your activities steadily and in stages.

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