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How To Know If Your Knee Is Sprained

You Cant Put Weight On It

Knee sprain or ACL injury: How to tell the difference

If its immensely painful to stand or put any weight on your injured knee, theres definitely something serious going on.

Inability to bear weight after a knee injury could be caused by a fracture, bone contusion, cartilage injury or ligament tear, explains Dr. Brown. Initial treatment includes using crutches or a steerable scooter to take pressure off the injured limb and minimize additional damage to the knee.

If this sounds like you, listen to what your body is trying to tell you. Dr. Brown warns that the old adage of no pain, no gain doesnt apply in this situation.

He advises seeking orthopedic evaluation as soon as possibleeven that same day if you can.

After a minor injury like a twist or fall, you might not be able to put weight on your leg immediately. Thats not necessarily a cause for alarm, but if you dont feel like youve recovered within a few minutes, this could indicate something more serious.

Its similar to when you injure a wrist or ankle. If you fall on your wrist or twist your ankle, you may experience searing pain for a moment or two. When the injury isnt severe, youre able to shake it off and resume your life after a few minutes at the most. However, if youve experienced a sprain, the pain doesnt subside. Instead, it gets worse.

Recovery From A Knee Strain Or Sprain

It is important to work with your physician closely before you return to your everyday routine. When recovered, you should be able to perform simple exercises such as squatting, running, side to side motions and jumping without pain.

A mild sprain is healed after six weeks of resting and treating the knee. A severe strain or sprain can take as long as three to four months. The exact recovery time will depend on the treatment plan that your doctor and physical therapist recommend for you as well as the nature of the injury.

Broken Hand Symptoms: How Do I Know If I Have A Broken Hand

Approximately 6 million people suffer a broken bone every year in the United States, and broken fingers are very common. The location and severity of the hand fracture will determine the symptoms the patient experiences and the available treatment options. So what does a broken hand feel like? Lets take a look at a few of the most common broken hand symptoms.

Fractured hand symptoms involving the metacarpals include pain, swelling, general tenderness along the site of the injury, and bruising. These metacarpal fractures symptoms may be more pronounced as the patient makes a fist or even loosely grips items. Metacarpal fractures may also give the involved fingers a shortened appearance. For example, Boxers fracture symptoms may include the knuckle appearing indented or crushed inward due to displacement along the neck of the metacarpal. Broken finger symptoms include pain, decreased range of motion, swelling, and sensitivity to even the lightest touch. Fractured finger symptoms may also include bruising, and its possible for the finger to appear deformed or misaligned. Broken thumb symptoms include swelling, bruising, sensitivity to the touch, and decreased range of motion. Some patients also report numbness or feelings of cold around the injury. In some cases, the hand or fingers may change colors, becoming pale or even blue, after a fracture of the hand. Patients may also notice other tactile sensations, such as tingling.

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Grade Ii: Moderate Sprain

This is a partial tear of one or more ligaments. Your joint will likely feel unstable with this type of knee injury. Other symptoms of a knee sprain grade II include:

  • Pain and swelling.
  • Difficulty walking or bearing weight.

Rest is key here as it reduces the risk of worsening the sprain.

Wearing a knee brace helps as well because it helps protect your injury. Recovery time is around 10 weeks.

What Is The Recovery Time For A Knee Injury

Ankle Sprain Treatment

The recovery time for a knee injury depends on the type and severity of the injury. If the injury is significant enough to require surgery and/or physical therapy, the recovery time will be longer.

Simple strains or sprains can last for one to two weeks. More extensive injuries requiring arthroscopic surgery may take one to three months to heal.

Major traumatic injuries to the knee may take up to a year to heal.

Following the doctor’s instructions for rest, immobilization, staying off your feet, and avoiding exercise that aggravates the injuries will help speed recovery.

Physical therapy can also speed recovery time. It is important to follow directions of your physical therapist to insure you are doing the exercises correctly and attaining the best results.

Chronic knee injuries that do not require surgery may flare up from time to time. Physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, and cortisone injections are used to provide temporary relief.

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Dont Ignore Wrist Injuries

Wrist fractures, like essentially all broken bones are best treated when treated early. This may be as simple and putting a brace on, which will immobilize and protect the bone easing the pain and preventing displacement.

Some fractures, like the scaphoid fracture, have poor outcomes when treated late. Due to its unique blood supply, scaphoid fractures have higher risk of non-healing or nonunion than other wrist bones. When this bone does not heal, it will, overtime, develop a predictable pattern of wrist arthritis.

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Different Types Of Knee Sprains

  • Grade 1- The ligament in your Knee is either slightly stretched or mildly hurt. You can still put weight on your Knee, but activities will be limited to how much pain youre in.
  • Grade 2- This is when the ligament is stretched out to the point where a potential tear in the Knee can occur. You will not be able to put any weight on your Knee often based on how much damage has already happened.
  • Grade 3- At this point, the ligament is in a complete tear and split into two pieces. The Knee joint is very unstable, and you will not be able to put any weight on it, and it can be excruciating to move at all.

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Other Treatment Options For Knee Sprain

RICE Therapy: If you have suffered a sprained knee, it is important to allow a period of rest to allow the knee to heal. For mild to moderate sprains, doctors recommend RICE therapy. This includes R , I , C , and E .

Pain Medications: You can use nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen. They provide short-term relief of pain and swelling. These drugs can help reduce symptoms and allow you to begin a rehabilitation exercise program. This is important to strengthen and stabilize the knee and prevent you from injuring it again.2

Bracing: Sometimes doctors recommend wearing a knee brace for a short period. This takes the load off the ligaments and supports the knee while it heals.2

Surgery: A torn ligament sometimes needs surgical repair. This can usually be done with a minimally-invasive approach called arthroscopy. A tiny camera is inserted into the joint to guide the surgeon in repairing the ligament.2

Signs Of A Broken Wrist

Knee Sprain

While you will have pain in your wrist regardless of if its broken or sprained, you will have significantly more pain if you break your wrist.

Some of the signs of a broken wrist include:

  • Swelling
  • Tenderness to touch

You might also experience tingling in your fingers.

Another sign to consider is if you are completely unable to move your wrist either because you have so much pain or because of the swelling.

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How To Tell If You Strained Your Knee

Last Updated: August 13, 2020ReferencesApproved

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, 98% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 54,091 times.

Hairline Wrist Fracture Cast Or Splint

Immobilization may require a custom splint or a cast. For workers or athletes who need to continue their activity while healing, an ActivArmor cast may be an option. ActivArmor is the latest technology in casting. This allows 3D scanning and printing of a hard plastic custom cast. This allows the fractured area to get wet and protects against potential forces.

Hairline Fracture Wrist Cast in ActivArmor

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The Cruciate Knee Ligaments

These are the anterior cruciate ligament and the posterior cruciate ligament . They form an X within the knee joint, giving it stability from front to back.

Anterior cruciate ligament

Most knee sprains are on the ACL. This injury is common in running and contact athletes. It can happen after changing directions while running or after a direct hit.

An ACL sprain often feels like a pop at the moment of injury. The knee can give out afterward. The inflammation tends to appear in the first 24 hours. Some people may have difficulty bearing weight on the injured leg.

Posterior cruciate ligament

PCL injuries are uncommon. They happen when an extreme force pushes the shin bone backwards when your knees are bent. Like God forbid in car accidents when your knee slams the dashboard. It can happen after falling on your knees, too.

The main symptom is feeling pain behind the knee. Kneeling often makes symptoms worse. Some people may have pain walking downhill as well.

You Notice An Obvious Deformity

How do I know if I sprained my knee?

If you notice your knee jutting outward in a way it never has before, take note. A dislocated or fractured patella can cause injuries like this, explains Brian Schwabe, C.S.C.S., board-certified sports physical therapist based in Los Angeles.

While some deformities occur over time, when the deformity is a result of an injury, it could be the result of a fracture or chronic wear on the knee joint. If you are already experiencing any kind of misalignment in your lower extremities, then you could be more prone to this type of injury.

If you notice a bone deformity after an injury, he recommends seeking the assistance of an orthopedic doctor immediately. The doctor will likely take x-rays as well as perform a visual diagnosis to determine if you need surgery.

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How Am I Still Able To Walk With A Torn Acl

If you do not feel severe pain and are in a position to preserve your balance, you can definitely walk . Nevertheless, it is important to avoid twisting movements while walking with a torn ACL Your doctor might likewise recommend you to begin walking right after you have actually recuperated from your injury or do not feel serious pain.

Treatment For A Knee Strain Or Sprain

Many patients can self-treat knee strain or sprain with rest, ice, compression, elevation and anti-inflammatory medication. If the pain is moderate to severe, your physician may require you to wear a brace over the knee to provide stability. More advanced knee strains or sprains can be treated with the following treatments:

  • Physical therapy and rehabilitation physical therapy is crucial to help strengthen the knee after a strain or sprain your physical therapist will work with you to gradually add exercises that will help restore mobility in the knee.
  • PRP therapy PRP therapy for knee strains or sprains is a newer therapy where your orthopedic physician will remove a blood sample from the patient, put the blood in a centrifuge to separate out the platelets and then inject them back into the patient at the affected site in the knee.

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Symptoms Diagnosis And Treatment Of A Broken Bone In The Hand Or Wrist

Many times, when a bone is broken in the hand or wrist during game play, the person knows it. Breaking a bone hurts, and sometimes it can even be heard. At the time of the injury, you may hear or feel a snapping or grinding. After the injury, it may be painful to touch or move the area that was hurt playing sports. Swelling and bruising may follow the injury, and the area may continue to hurt constantly or when touched.

Broken bones need to be evaluated. When you see a hand specialist for a suspected broken bone in the finger, hand or wrist, the doctor may take x-rays or occasionally order a CT scan or MRI to see the structure of the bones, tendons, ligaments and nerves. Some broken bones require realignment you may hear your hand specialist call this a reduction. Depending on the break location, type of fracture, severity and other factors, you may be given a brace or cast to immobilize the area. The hand specialist may also give you medication and prescribe physical therapy after a time. Some of the most serious breaks may require surgery, which should be done by a hand specialist.

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Types Of Knee Sprains Strains & Tears

How I Sprained My Knee

Doctors at NYU Langone diagnose and manage all types of knee sprains, strains, and tears.

The knee is the largest joint in the body. It consists of ligaments, bones, cartilage, and tendons. Four ligaments, which are tough cords of tissue, connect the thigh bone, or femur, to the lower leg bones, called the tibia and fibula. These ligaments keep the knee stable when a person walks, jumps, bends, or pivots.

In between the femur and tibia is a thick layer of smooth cartilage called the meniscus. This tissue, which is molded to the shape of your bones, helps the knee absorb and distribute body weight during movement. Tendons anchor muscle to bone.

Many knee injuries occur during athletic activitiesparticularly contact sports, such as soccer and football. But everyday mishaps, such as twisting your knee as you step off a curb, may also cause an injury.

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Visit The Urgency Room To Treat Your Knee Sprain

If you suffered a nasty knee sprain or if one of your kids hurt their knee, come visit us at the Urgency Room and have one of our experienced physicians treat the injury. We have three convenient locations in Woodbury, Vadnais Heights and Eagan. By coming to the Urgency Room, you wont have to sit in the waiting room for long while your knee sprain gets worse. Wait times at the Urgency Room are usually under 15 minutes and you can check out live waiting room times at each location here. By checking the wait time before you arrive, youll avoid an unexpected lengthy visit, such as is often the case when you seek treatment at the ER.

Each Urgency Room is owned and operated by the Emergency Physicians Professional Association and is staffed with highly qualified and experienced physicians, nurses and medical technicians. Check out our comprehensive medical services offered when you need it most. Each location is open 365 days per year, including holidays, from 8 A.M. to 10 P.M.

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Surgical And Other Procedures

You might need surgery to implant pins, plates, rods or screws to hold your bones in place while they heal. A bone graft might be used to help healing. These options might be necessary if you have:

  • An open fracture
  • A fracture in which the bone pieces move before they heal
  • Loose bone fragments that could enter a joint
  • Damage to the surrounding ligaments, nerves or blood vessels
  • Fractures that extend into a joint

Even after reduction and immobilization with a cast or splint, your bones can shift. So your doctor likely will monitor your progress with X-rays. If your bones move, you might then need surgery.

In some cases, the surgeon will immobilize your fracture by using an external fixation device. This consists of a metal frame with two or more pins that go through your skin and into the bone on both sides of the fracture.

With external fixation, a metal frame outside your body immobilizes the fracture with two or more pins that pass through your skin and into the bone on either side of the fracture.

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What Does A Sprained Knee Feel Like

Recognizing a sprained knee can be challenging because of the similarities in symptoms to conditions like arthritis or muscle strain. However, one of the telltale signs of a sprained knee is a feeling that the leg will give out when you stand. If the joint is painful but stable, it may not be a sprain.

Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries

Ankle Sprain &  Fractures

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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