Treatment Of A Torn Knee Ligament
The first course of action to take is RICE: rest, ice, compression, and elevation. If the tear or sprain is mild enough, this might be your only prescription, to allow your body to heal itself.
- Rest your knee. Do not put any unnecessary weight on your knee, but do use crutches if you need them.
- Ice your knee. Every 3-4 hours put ice on your knee for 20-30 minutes to reduce pain, inflammation, and swelling for as long as needed.
- Compress your knee. Use an ACE wrap or other form of elastic bandage to help control swelling and to stabilize the joint.
- Elevate your knee. Prop your knee up on a pillow or the arm of a couch as youre sitting or resting, as this will help ease swelling and fluid in the knee.
The other options outside of surgery are to wear a knee brace as you return to daily activities, take NSAIDS , and get doctor- and/or physical therapist-recommended stretches and strengthening exercises to avoid reinjury in the future.
Risk Factors For A Knee Strain Or Sprain
- Contact sports participating in contact sports such as football, basketball and soccer put you at a higher risk for knee sprains or strains.
- Prior knee strains or sprains prior sprains or strains to the knee make you more likely to suffer another knee sprain or strain.
- Improper footwear wearing improper footwear can put additional pressure on the knee joint and cause a knee strain or sprain.
Sprained Knee Recovery Time
A knee sprain is considered healed when theres no more pain or swelling, and you can move your knee freely.
Many grade 1 and 2 knee sprains heal within two to four weeks. People who need surgery, however, may take as long as four to six months to recover.
About 80 to 90 percent of people with ACL injuries and 80 percent of those with PCL injuries will experience a full recovery. MCL and LCL sprains tend to heal quite well. However, some people with sprained ACL or PCL ligaments can develop arthritis in their knee over time.
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Treatment For Fluid In Knees
As with any injury, it’s important to consult your doctor for the appropriate treatment for your situation. Here are some treatments and pain management options you may expect for fluid on the knee:
Aspiration – Your doctor may drain the knee to relieve the pressure of the knee fluid. If blood is present, then it is often sent to the lab to analyze the fluid to ensure that infection is not present. The knee may continue to fill with fluid after being aspirated.
PRICE Method – If knee trauma or injury is the cause of the knee fluid, then your doctor may recommend that you use the PRICE method of Protection, Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. The combination of these is often used as first aid treatment to minimize fluid in the knee after a traumatic injury.
Medications – There are different types of medications that may be used to treat the excess of knee fluid, depending on the cause of the issue. For example:
- Over-the-counter medications – Pain medications such as ibuprofen or aspirin may be used to help reduce inflammation
- Steroids – These may be taken orally or injected directly into the knee joint. This may be used if over-the-counter medications are not effective at reducing pain.
- Antibiotics – If your knee fluid is caused by infection, then antibiotics may be necessary to fight the bacteria
How Are These Injuries Diagnosed
Diagnosing a knee muscle or tendon injury starts with a physical examination and a discussion with your doctor about how the injury first came about. X-rays can help to identify damage to the bone. MRI or ultrasound scans can give a better picture of damage to the tissue, or may be used to rule out other injuries with similar symptoms.
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How Do Muscle And Tendon Injuries Happen
One common way of injuring knee muscles and tendons is through overstretching, where the fibres become strained or torn. Another common cause is a powerful impact such as a blow to the front of the knee, a heavy fall, or even a deep cut during an accident. The fibres can become overstretched, or they may tear either partially, or completely . Tendinitis is a condition where the tendon becomes inflamed, usually due to overuse . As well as pain and swelling, it can cause the tendon to become weaker, which in turn makes it more vulnerable to injury. Tendinosis is a condition where the tendon degenerates or becomes scarred due to a repetitive injury. Osgood Schlatters is a condition where tightened thigh muscles pull on the bone below the knee , causing it to become inflamed and painful. It is most commonly seen in adolescents, particularly after a growth spurt.
How Do Doctors Diagnose Knee Injuries
The initial evaluation by the health care professional will begin with a medical history. Whether the evaluation is occurring immediately after the injury or weeks later, the physician may ask about the mechanism of injury to help isolate what structures in the knee might be damaged. Is the injury due to a direct blow that might suggest a fracture or contusion ? Was it a twisting injury that causes a cartilage or meniscus tear? Was there an injury associated with a planted foot to place stress and potentially tear a ligament?
Further questions will address other symptoms. Was swelling present, and if so, did it occur right away or was it delayed by hours? Did the injury prevent weight-bearing or walking? Does going up or down steps cause pain? Is there associated hip or ankle pain? Is this an isolated injury, and have there been other occurrences?
Past medical history and information on medications and allergies will be helpful information to learn about the patient.
Sometimes X-rays of the knee are required to make certain there are no broken bones, but often with stress or overuse injuries where no direct blow has occurred, plain X-rays may not be initially needed and imaging of the knee may wait until a later date. Standing X-rays of the knees are used to assess the joint space and compare the injured knee to the uninjured one. An MRI might be considered to evaluate the ligaments and cartilage within the knee joint.
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What Are Risk Factors For Knee Injuries
Accidents happen, and injuries occur on the football field, on the basketball court, on the soccer pitch, and in daily life. Often knee injuries cannot be prevented. Maintaining a healthy weight, keeping fit, staying strong, and stretching may be helpful in minimizing the risk of many injuries, including those that involve the knee.
Imbalances of muscles that surround and support the knee can lead to knee injuries. If either the quadriceps or hamstring muscle groups become weak, the stability of the knee and ability to withstand an injury is decreased.
Similarly, an imbalance between muscles within the quadriceps muscles of the thigh may cause the kneecap to track improperly, causing patellofemoral syndrome or increasing the risk of patellar dislocation.
Pregnant women are at higher risk for knee injury and pain because of increased weight, the body’s shifted center of gravity, and hormonal changes that can weaken ligaments and make them more lax.
The knee joint absorbs a significant amount of the force that is generated with each step with walking or running. People who are significantly overweight may develop knee pain because of the excess weight that needs to be supported.
Causes Of A Knee Strain Or Sprain
- Injuries trauma, sports injuries or falls that overstretch the joints and soft tissue that surround the knee and cause a knee sprain or strain.
- Overuse building up too quickly in a sport, such as running, can overwhelm the body and lead to knee strains or sprains.
- Muscle weakness muscles that cant support the knee joints can cause a knee strain or sprain.
- Reduced flexibility tight muscles can restrict joint motion and lead to functional weaknesses at the knee joint to cause a knee strain or sprain.
- Running form overpronating when running or walking can increase stress to the knee and cause a knee strain or sprain.
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First Aid For Knee Injuries In The First 48 To 72 Hours
- Stop your activity immediately. Dont work through the pain.
- Rest the joint at first.
- Reduce pain, swelling and internal bleeding with icepacks, applied for 15 minutes every couple of hours.
- Bandage the knee firmly and extend the wrapping down the lower leg.
- Elevate the injured leg.
- Dont apply heat to the joint.
- Avoid alcohol, as this encourages bleeding and swelling.
- Dont massage the joint, as this encourages bleeding and swelling.
Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries
The anterior cruciate ligament is often injured during sports activities. Athletes who participate in high demand sports like soccer, football, and basketball are more likely to injure their anterior cruciate ligaments. Changing direction rapidly or landing from a jump incorrectly can tear the ACL. About half of all injuries to the anterior cruciate ligament occur along with damage to other structures in the knee, such as articular cartilage, meniscus, or other ligaments.
Learn more about ACL injuries:
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How Do I Get Ready For A Knee Ligament Repair
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Types Of Knee Sprains
Most knee sprains can be treated without surgery, but severe sprains may require surgical intervention. Below is a list of types of knee sprains and are graded on a severity scale.
- Grade 1 Sprains: The ligament is mildly damaged and slightly stretched but is still able to help keep the knee joint stable.
- Grade 2 Sprains: The ligament is stretched to the point where it becomes loose, often referred to as a partial tear.
- Grade 3 Sprains: Referred to as a complete tear of the ligament the ligament has been split into two pieces, and the knee joint is unstable.
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Oh Fuk Did I Tear Something In My Knee
I felt this twinge the other day on the right side of my knee cap earlier this week at work. I don’t know how it started or what I did to bring on the feeling in my knee. Today at the gym I was doing squats and felt it again, this time it was a more prevalent but not painful. I stopped doing legs after that. Now I feel a slight burning sensation on the same spot. I am not having any problems walking or standing up. Is this the sign of a slight tear or something along those lines?If anyones experienced this or something similar, i’d like to hear about it.
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It’s hard to say but if you’re worried about it and it’s bothering you I suggest you get it checked out. Just to be on the safe side.
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I highly doubt you did… I’ve had a few tears and after the first one there was never any doubt in my mind. IMO a tear is farrr worse then a broken bone.The first time I tore something in my knee it swelled up 3-4x its normal size and there was discoloring. The second time it wasn’t quite a tear but a ligament injury, my leg was locked out straight and I was unable to bend it for over 2 weeks.Chances are you have some kind of light sprain/ligament injury. Just don’t do legs for a few weeks and when you start again use high reps low weight for awhile. Its probably nothing major if you can still walk like normal and you aren’t in intense pain.
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Common Causes Of Swelling After A Severe Knee Injury Include:
Over 70% of athletes with a swollen knee who felt a pop while running and pivoting will have an ACL tear or a patella dislocation. Patella dislocations are more common than you think. All of you dread an ACL tear. But most of you are surprised when we see you in the office and tell you that your kneecap dislocated. Most dislocated kneecaps will reduce spontaneously on the field. That means that the kneecap will go back into place on its own.
Patellar dislocations may hurt just as much as an ACL tear. Because patella dislocations are such a common sports injury we wrote this post to go into far more detail about them.
With any of the above issues, most of you will find it very difficult to walk without severe knee pain. Crutches, icing, and elevation are beneficial in these cases. These knee joint injuries need to be evaluated for an X-ray. Fractures are rare, but they do occur. Very few knee injuries will require a brace unless you want to use it for comfort. The most important reason for seeing a sports medicine physician after an injury that causes swelling is to look for these most common severe injuries.
Many of these severe knee joint injuries should be evaluated sooner rather than later. The initial treatment will be a reliable examination to arrive at a diagnosis, which will be followed with an MRI to confirm the diagnosis. Depending on what we think you injured, we may consider rest, physical therapy, or surgery.
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Other Common Knee Injuries
As well as these nine common knee injuries there are a number of other causes of knee pain which tend to come on gradually rather than suddenly, such as tendonitis and bursitis.
If you have a longer term knee conditionor have been having knee pain for a while but dont know whats wrong, then go to the section devoted to common knee conditions.
Page Last Updated: 09/09/20
Why Does It Feel Like It’s Floating
You may feel something floating in your knee joint because loose pieces of cartilage could be in there. You may also hear strange clicking sounds coming from your knee.
The only way to know for sure if you have an articular cartilage injury in your knee is to book a consultation with Dr. Nolan. He does a physical exam that includes visual inspection of your knee, an assessment of your pain level, and an evaluation of your range of motion. He also orders diagnostic tests if necessary. Take action today to avoid mobility issues in the future by requesting an appointment online or calling 281-720-6910.
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Extent And Success Of Meniscus Repair
It’s best to keep as much of the meniscus as possible. If the meniscus can be repaired successfully, repairing it reduces the chance of knee joint degeneration compared with removing all or part of the meniscus.
Meniscus repair is more successful if:
- You are younger. Experts think people younger than about age 40 do best.
- Your knee has good stability from the ligaments.
- The tear is in the outer edge of the meniscus.
- The repair is done within the first few weeks after the injury.footnote 1
Meniscal repair may prevent degenerative changes in the knee joint. Many doctors believe that a successful meniscus repair lowers the risk of early-onset arthritis, because it reduces the stress put on the knee joint.
Professional Help For Knee Injuries
- Aspiration if the knee joint is grossly swollen, the doctor may release the pressure by drawing off some of the fluid with a fine needle.
- Physiotherapy including techniques to reduce pain, kneecap taping, exercises for increased mobility and strength, and associated rehabilitation techniques.
- Arthroscopic surgery or keyhole surgery, where the knee operation is performed by inserting slender instruments through small incisions . Cartilage tears are often treated with arthroscopic surgery.
- Open surgery required when the injuries are more severe and the entire joint needs to be laid open for repair.
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Your Knee Keeps Buckling
When you got hurt, did it feel like your knee gave way underneath you? Were not talking about a temporary sensation of weakness or some wobbliness, but more like your shin and thigh bone werent connecting or staying in place. A buckling knee could signal an ACL tear or a cruciate ligament injury.
It could start with a small pop or crack, or you could feel it after a strenuous exercise session or a soccer game.
Either way, your knee feels unstable or weak. Your knee may give out momentarily, which is scary because you might not trust yourself to walk safely when this happens. According to Dr. Howard Luks, an orthopedic surgeon, this could indicate a tear in the patella or the quadriceps tendon.
These tendons are on the front of your knees and offer a lot of support to keep you upright. If theyre not in top form, youre bound to feel weak in the knees , and you might not be able to walk at all. If this is the case, you could need surgery.
On the other hand, the weakness could be temporary, caused by wear and tear, improper footwear, or a strain. If youre a weekend warrior or youre over the age of 30 , you might experience this symptom on a regular basis.
However, if the weakness is recurring and happens every time you exercise, its possible you have a time bomb thats waiting to happen. When in doubt, seek advice from a physician.
If your knee buckles under you when you are walking, then it usually indicates instability, she says.