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How Long Do Knee Sprains Last

Should I Run If I Have Runners Knee

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Avoid doing any intense running, such as long runs, intervals or speed work, as these may cause further damage to your knee and increase inflammation. If your level of pain is above a 3 out of 10, you may want to stop running entirely. However, you should continue training your cardio with low-impact cross training.

How Do I Know If I Sprained My Knee

A knee sprain is a common injury that occurs when one of your four major knee ligaments stretches too far or partially tears. This is often a sports-related injury.

The four ligaments are the anterior cruciate ligament , posterior cruciate ligament , medial collateral ligament and lateral collateral ligament , which work together to stabilize your knee joint. The ACL and PCL form an X as they cross each other inside your knee and work together to control the back and forth motion of your knee. The ACL is in the middle of your knee and is responsible for keeping the tibia from sliding in front of the femur . The PCL runs down the back of your knee and prevents the tibia from sliding behind the femur. Your MCL is on the inside of your knee. This ligament makes sure your femur does not swing too far outward. The LCL is across from the MCL on the outside of the knee and also controls the femurs side to side movement.

Are There Any Complications With Knee Sprains

Some possible complications can be prolonged healing time if activity is resumed too soon, proneness to repeated injury, inflammation at the attachment to bone or sometimes, prolonged disability. Unstable or arthritic knee following repeated injury. With a first-time injury, proper care and sufficient healing time before resuming activity should prevent permanent disability.

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Advent Physical Therapy Is Ready To Help You Recover From An Mcl Sprain

If youre wondering how long an MCL sprain lasts, physical therapy can help reduce your recovery time. Our specialists at Advent Physical Therapy are experts in treating knee injuries and conditions. We are prepared to build you a personalized treatment plan to address your MCL sprain.

Contact our team today for more information about MCL sprains or to schedule an initial appointment.

Of : Caring For Your Knee At Home Over The Long Term

How Long Does A Sprained Knee Last
  • 1Take any medications prescribed by your doctor. Your doctor may recommend an anti-inflammatory, for instance, if you have a sprain or other ligament problem. Alternatively, if you have something like gout, the doctor will prescribe something to treat it. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions about the medication.XTrustworthy SourceMayo ClinicEducational website from one of the worlds leading hospitalsGo to source
  • Ask your doctor about what over-the-counter medications you can take to help.
  • Your doctor may also prescribe you creams to help numb the pain.
  • 2Use over-the-counter NSAIDs to help with pain and inflammation. Try aspirin, ibuprofen, or other NSAIDs like naproxen sodium. These medications have some anti-inflammatory properties that may help the swelling, and they will also help with the pain.XExpert SourceSports Orthopedic Surgeon & Joint Preservation SpecialistExpert Interview. 1 October 2020.
  • Always read the instructions on the back of the bottle when taking any medication. Talk to your doctor about which one is best for you.
  • You can also try over-the-counter pain relief creams.
  • 3Wear a knee brace or cast if you have a fracture or ligament injury. The doctor will likely recommend you get one of these to immobilize your knee with certain types of injuries. They help keep your knee in place so it has a chance to heal.XResearch source
  • You can find crutches at pharmacies, big box stores, and medical supply stores.
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    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.

    Phase : Increase Flexibility & Range Of Motion

    Once the swelling has begun to subside, you are ready to enter the next phase of recovery increasing flexibility and range of motion in the joint. At this point, enlisting the help of a physical therapist can help restore strength and balance to your knee or ankle while decreasing the likelihood of re-injuring it in the process. A physical therapist can perform cross friction massage that ensures the ligaments will not improperly adhere to the bone. PT at this stage also involves several hands-on therapies that continue to control swelling and manage pain without the use of large doses of pain medications.

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    Grade 1 Knee Sprain: 4 Weeks

    We call this a mild sprain.

    In this type of sprain, your ligaments can still keep your knee joint stable. Theyre overstretched, but not torn.

    Symptoms of a mild knee sprain include :

    • You can bear weight on the injured leg.
    • Theres mild swelling and/or bruising.
    • You can bend and straighten your knee joint with little to no pain.
    • You didnt feel a pop at the moment of injury.
    • Your knee feels stable.

    The treatment for a mild knee sprain includes :

    Please go to a doctor if your pain or swelling increases or feel like your knee is giving out.

    How Does The Knee Usually Work

    How long does it take an MCL injury of the knee to heal?

    Three bones make up your knee joint:

    • Your thighbone .
    • Your shinbone .

    Ligaments hold the bones together. There are two types:

    • Collateral ligaments: These ligaments are on the sides of your knee. The medial ligament connects your femur and tibia. The lateral collateral ligament connects the femur and fibula. Thanks to these ligaments, you can move your knee sideways.
    • Cruciate ligaments: Your cruciate ligaments are inside your knee joint. They cross each other and they form an X. These ligaments control the way your knee moves back and forth.

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    What Is A Knee Strain Or Sprain

    A knee strain occurs when a muscle or tendon is torn or stretched. The tendons are fibrous cords that connect muscles to bones.

    A knee sprain occurs when the ligaments in the knee joint stretch or tear. Ligaments connect the bones of your lower leg to the bones in your thigh together in your knee joints.

    When Should I See A Healthcare Provider For A Sprain

    You should see your healthcare provider if:

    • You have a concern about your injury. Sometimes what seems like a mild sprain can take longer than you think to heal. Seeing your doctor can be helpful to answer questions, get a brace, an order for physical therapy or for reassurance.
    • You have severe pain and cannot put weight on the injured joint.
    • The injured area looks crooked, has lumps and bumps that you do not see on the uninjured joint. You may notice asymmetry between the affected/injured joint and the normal joint.
    • You cannot move the injured joint.
    • There is numbness in any part of the injured area.
    • You see redness or red streaks spread out from the injury. This is especially a concern if the skin is broken or there could be a possible infection.
    • You injure an area that has been injured before.
    • You have pain, swelling or redness over a bony part of your foot.

    A note from Cleveland Clinic

    As we move around each day and do our normal activities, theres always a risk of tripping, falling and getting injured. If you experience a sprain, reach to your healthcare provider. Its usually a good idea to make sure its only a sprain and not a more severe injury. You can also get a treatment plan that will get you up and moving again.

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    Knee Sprain Recovery Time

    The recovery time for a knee sprain depends entirely on the severity of the injury and the subsequent rehabilitation or surgical needs. Typically, a grade 1 knee sprain or a grade 2 knee sprain involving the MCL or LCL will heal in 2 to 4 weeks. More severe sprains or injuries involving the other ligaments may take anywhere from 4 months to an entire year.

    Should I See A Doctor For Knee Sprain Treatment

    How Long Does A Sprained Knee Take To Heal?

    If you suspect you have sprained your knee, try and restrict movement and physical activity. Its recommended that you ice your knee in intervals of 15 to 20 minutes to combat swelling. Within a day or so of your injury, youll have a good idea how severe your sprain is based on the pain and discomfort you feel trying to move. If the pain is still intense and youre struggling to move around, youll want to see a healthcare provider to determine the severity of the injury and to make sure you didnt tear one of your knee ligaments.

    Your healthcare provider will examine your injured knee and check for swelling, tenderness, discoloration, and fluid inside the knee joint, among other symptoms. He or she may also test your range of motion and the strength of your ligaments. To determine the source of a more severe injury, your physician may order additional diagnostic tests. The initial visit will likely entail and exam of the knee and x-rays. If there is a concern for significant ligament or cartilage injury, you will be referred on to an orthopedist and may ultimately need an MRI.

    Grade 3 knee sprains or sprains involving damage to multiple ligaments will likely require surgery. This may involve the reconstruction of one or more ligaments using tissue from you or a donor.

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    How To Heal A Ligament Tear In Knee Naturally

    How I Healed My Knee Naturally 1 I tried everything. Ice and heat rotating. 2 Ligament Tear in Knee Home Remedy: From my experience, it takes more than one approach 3 Essential Oils for Knee Pain and Healing. My favorite ligament tear in knee home remedy is essential 4 Layering Essential Oils for Knee Pain

    How Do Health Care Professionals Diagnose A Knee Injury

    The diagnosis of a knee injury is made by a physician on the basis of history, physical examination, and sometimes the use of X-rays or MRIs.

    Depending on the how the knee was injured and whether or not there are accompanying medical issues, the doctor will perform specific tests involving bending or twisting the knee to test the stability of the ligaments and check for damage to the cartilage. Knee-bending tests done by your doctor are designed to isolate specifically which ligament or part of the cartilage has been damaged.

    Further testing with X-rays, CT scans, or MRIs may be necessary to evaluate the extent of the injury and help determine treatment and prognosis. X-rays and CT scans are used to asses for bony injuries , and MRIs are used to evaluate soft-tissue damage .

    Treatment for a knee injury depends on the part of the knee that is damaged and the extent of the damage.

    Some injuries such as simple strains or sprains are treated with home remedies such as RICE therapy . Taking time off from sports and exercise may be enough for minor injuries and knee pain to heal. Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen or naproxen may help treat the pain and inflammation from these minor injuries. Chronic knee injuries may respond to heat therapy.

    See a doctor for knee pain and injury if you experience the following:

    • Severe pain

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    Are There Different Degrees Of Sprain

    Yes, similar to other injuries, there are different degrees of severity with sprains. The degrees are determined by how badly the ligaments in the ankle or wrist are injured.

    • Mild sprain: There is only a little stretching of the ligaments.
    • Moderate sprain: There is a combination of stretching and a little tearing of the ligament.
    • Severe sprain: There is a complete tear of the ligament.

    You Misjudged Its Severity

    How Long Does It Take to Recover From a Sprained Ankle?

    When you first hurt your knee, maybe you didnt think it was so bad and kept on keeping on.

    Failing to rest from exercise when there is severe pain often causes an injury to progress from mild to severe, Bayes says. Simple rest alone will heal many knee injuries.

    Listen to your body, and never push through knee pain, Schulz adds.

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    What Is A Sprain

    A sprain is when the ligaments in a joint stretch, tear, or overextend, often when under stress.

    Fibrous tissue makes up the space and helps bridge the gap between two bones that constitute a joint, and ligaments are the tough bands within this fibrous tissue. A sprain is not to be confused with a strain, which is an injury affecting the muscles and/or tissue that connect a muscle to a bone.

    The most common location for a sprain, as demonstrated above, is the ankle. Sprains can also occur in the knee, wrist, thumb, foot, leg, and back.

    For example, if our character from the introduction were to have fallen to the ground after jumping in the air, instead of landing awkwardly on their ankle and having stretched out their hand to break the fall, they could have sprained their wrist.

    Common symptoms of a sprain include pain, tenderness, weakness, bruising, swelling, muscle spasms/cramping, limited range of motion in the affected area, and hearing/feeling a pop at the time of injury.

    If you cannot move or bear weight on the injured area, have pain in the surrounding bones, or are experiencing numbness in the affected region, you should see a doctor, as this sprain may be severe. You may have broken a bone if you hear a crack at the time of your injury, or if the injured region is misshapen, discolored, numb, or cold to the touch. A broken bone will also require immediate medical attention.

    Surgical Removal Of The Bursa

    This is the last resort. People with persistent bursitis may need to get it removed. This will avoid recurrent episodes of bursitis.

    The orthopedic surgeon will need some imaging tests before surgery. This will show the size of the fluid-filled sac on your knee.

    After the surgery, you may need treatment to recover. Including working with a physical therapist to heal the affected area.

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    When To See A Doctor

    Most people can manage a mild knee sprain at home and recover fully with home exercises. However, it is important to get the opinion of a medical professional if you suspect your knee injury is something more serious. How can you tell if your symptoms are worthy of a visit to the doctor? Here are some telltale signs that your knee injury needs to be looked at:4

    • Your knee is locked
    • You have severe pain and/or significant swelling
    • You cannot put weight on the injured leg
    • Your knee buckles
    • You have sharp pain in a specific location
    • Your symptoms do not improve with home remedies

    What Can Be Done To Promote Healing

    How Long Does High Ankle Sprain Take To Heal

    In order to shorten the knee sprain healing time, there are a few things you can do to help. You need to follow a treatment plan and take care of yourself. Immediate recovery begins around 24 to 48 hours after the injury, so it is important to use the “RICE” protocol early on. Here is how to treat a sprained knee:

    Treat Initial Swelling

    Immediately after the injury, get ice on the injury to reduce the swelling. Talk to your doctor about taking an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory.

    • Rest For 48 hours after you injure your knee, you should put as little weight on it as possible. Stay off your feet and only get up to use the restroom. Ask your doctor or clinic for crutches to prevent weight bearing. You may need to stay home from work or school and avoid sports or other activities that cause you to put weight on the injured leg.
    • Ice Immediately ice the injured area. Keep an icepack on your knee for 20 minutes and then take it off. Do this up to eight times the first 24 hours and then every four hours over the next few days. Make sure you wrap icepacks in a towel and never leave more than 20 minutes to prevent frostbite to the area.

    If you have severe swelling and pain during your knee sprain healing time, make sure you consult with your doctor. You may need further imaging to make sure there are no major injuries to the knee.


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    How To Tell If You Strained Your Knee

    This article was co-authored by Jonathan Frank, MD. Dr. Jonathan Frank is an Orthopedic Surgeon based in Beverly Hills, California, specializing in sports medicine and joint preservation. Dr. Frank’s practice focuses on minimally invasive, arthroscopic surgery of the knee, shoulder, hip, and elbow. Dr. Frank holds an MD from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine. He completed an orthopedic residency at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago and a fellowship in Orthopedic Sports Medicine and Hip Preservation at the Steadman Clinic in Vail, Colorado. He is a staff team physician for the US Ski and Snowboard Team. Dr. Frank is currently a scientific reviewer for top peer-reviewed scientific journals, and his research has been presented at regional, national, and international orthopedic conferences, winning several awards including the prestigious Mark Coventry and William A Grana awards.There are 16 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 93% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 54,812 times.


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