A knee has four ligaments that keep it stable. An injury to any of the ligaments, whether it’s the ACL, PCL, MCL, or LCL, is called a sprain. A knee sprain is often the result of a sudden pivoting motion while playing sports. It can also develop due to a direct blow to the knee, which is common in contact sports. Other causes of a sprained knee are accidents, such as falls or vehicular accidents.
Knee sprains are classified according to severity, with a grade I sprain being mild with microscopic tears in the ligament. A grade II sprain is characterized by a more significant tear and instability in the knee. A grade III sprain is severe, with the ligament completely torn from the bone.
Here are the symptoms of a sprained knee.
A Popping Noise
A popping or snapping noise is usually heard at the time of a knee sprain injury, which can be indicative of a torn ligament.
Pain and Tenderness
Pain usually follows the popping sensation at the time of injury. The type of pain can vary and is often characterized as dull, throbbing, sharp, or shooting by patients. In addition, the injured area may feel tender to the touch.
The knees are weight-bearing joints. With a sprained knee, there is a degree of instability to be expected, and you will feel unsteady when trying to balance on the affected knee. You may feel like your affected knee is buckling under pressure. The direction of the buckling may give a clue as to which ligament you’ve injured. Buckling towards the outside is likely an ACL tear while buckling towards the inside is likely an LCL tear.
Stiffness and Swelling
Right after the injury, your knee will likely swell. This is the body’s way of trying to heal the injury. A day or two after the injury, you may see a bruise develop at the injury site. You may also feel stiffness or a lack of flexibility in the affected knee.
Getting an accurate knee sprain diagnosis is crucial to receiving the right treatment. You will have to take time away from sports and other physical activities to allow your knee time to heal and recover. What’s tricky about a knee sprain is that it sometimes shares the same symptoms as a tendon injury or a meniscus tear. For this reason, you should see an orthopedic doctor for an accurate diagnosis and comprehensive treatment of your injury.
Sprained Knee Treatment in St. Charles County, MO
At Advanced Bone & Joint, we specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of orthopedic injuries, including knee ligament injuries. Our goal is to restore your knee function as soon as possible so you can return to an active lifestyle quickly.
Proceed to our orthopedic urgent care clinic for immediate treatment for your injury. There is no need to call or to wait to receive high-quality orthopedic care and treatment. For injuries that occurred more than 72 hours ago, please call us to request an appointment at (636) 229-4222 or request an appointment online. We also provide Telehealth services — schedule your appointment today.