What Causes The Condition
Hyperextension occurs when the knee joint is forced to move backwards beyond its normal range of motion. This puts more stress on the four ligaments in the surrounding area and can even cause painful tears as a result. A hyperextended knee is usually caused by sudden trauma, most commonly while playing sports dancing or getting in a car accident.
What Is The Immediate Management Of A Hyperextended Knee
The first thing to do is apply your basic first aid management of a tissue injury. By applying PRICE and weight bearing as able for the first 24-72 hour period the symptoms will hopefully start to settle. The knee should then start to feel less acutely painful, accept load more readily and remove the sensation of giving way or buckling under load. If not, then seek an urgent physiotherapy opinion. During this phase anti-inflammatory medication may be of benefit and consulting your local pharmacist worthwhile.
What Is Pain At The Back Of The Knee
painpainback of the kneeSigns and symptoms of an ACL injury usually include:
Make an appointment with your doctor if your knee pain was caused by a particularly forceful impact or if it’s accompanied by:
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What Are The Symptoms
When you get a knee hyperextension injury, there are many signs and symptoms that develop in the knee. When these signs exist, it is recommended to have a qualified physician examine the knee to determine what is damaged, and the extent of the damage. See below as I go through the main signs and symptoms of having knee hyperextension.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Hyperextended Knee
When a hyperextended knee first occurs a pop or crack sound can often be heard as the knee is forced backwards. The pop maybe simply a release of gas in a similar way to a joint manipulation but can also signify a possible ligament injury. A crack can sometimes be heard as the bony surfaces in the knee hit each other at speed.
The injury can cause significant pain, bruising and swelling. If the knee swelling is immediate it may signify a ligament rupture but it may come on within the first hour or two. In this case it is more likely to be a standard effusion within the joint itself. In some cases, if the knee ligaments are torn, the knee may feel unstable. But if the instability felt is related to sharp pain then this can be due to a protective pain inhibition response.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Knee Hyperextension
Symptoms of a hyperextended knee may vary from mild to severe depending on how far backward the knee was pushed and the severity of damage to the ligaments and surrounding tissues.
Common symptoms of a hyperextended knee include:
- Feeling of weakness: Feeling a sensation of giving out or buckling of the knee.
- Instability of the knee: The affected knee is less stable or sturdy than the healthy one.
- Knee pain: Moderate to severe localized knee pain, mild to sharp pain in the back of the knee, or pinching pain in front of the knee joint.
- Limited mobility: Difficulty bending or straightening the injured knee due to damaged ligaments, swelling of the knee, and weakness in the joint and pain.
- Popping sound: A hyperextended knee that is accompanied by a popping sound or sensation indicates that one of the knee ligaments is torn.
- Swelling: Fluid accumulates within the knee joint called water on the knee, causing swelling that reduces knee mobility.
- Visible bruising: Mild or severe bruising may appear on the skin in response to the injured soft tissues, ligaments, and/or cartilage.
What Is Knee Hyperextension
There are many situations where one could end up with a knee hyperextension injury. As mentioned above, this usually happens after a hard landing when jumping.
Sometimes, this can also happen when the knee is hit hard when doing sports or when performing rigorous exercises. When you have a knee hyperextension injury, your knee will be bent out of its normal shape.
Its common for gymnasts to end up with knee hyperextension injury, especially when performing jumping stunts. But this can also happen to basketball and volleyball players.
This injury could damage your ligaments and cartilage and render your knee unstable. Youll suffer from extreme pain and your knees will start to swell and develop bruises that could limit your mobility.
Depending on the severity of the injury, treatment may include physical therapy, surgical repair, and the use of crutches.
How is Hyperextension Diagnosed?
If you end up with a knee hyperextension injury, you need to see a physician for proper diagnosis. Youll undergo an examination to assess the level of your injury.
When making the diagnosis, the physician will consider the bruising or swelling of the affected area, joint mobility, visible injuries etc. For severe injuries, imaging may be required, especially if the doctor is considering surgery.
The patient might also be asked to undergo X-ray imaging and MRI.
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Stop Hyperextending Your Knees
Just stop. Please. Hyperextending your knees is doing all sort of bad things to your body. I teach people to walk because of the way I hyperextended my knees. Born with very loose joints, no one ever told me not to hyper-extend themespecially my kneeseven when I started taking yoga classes. Sadly, the hyperextension of my knees allowed me to go deeply into many poses that were not available to others.
Ten years ago my knees were hyperextending ninety percent of my waking hours. Now I would put that number at ten percent and my body is extremely appreciative. After three knee surgeries while presumably walking the path towards a fourth, I finally decided to examine why I was breaking down repeatedly.
Two structural changes went most of the way to alleviating the back pain I had been dealing with. I unlocked my knees and untucked my pelvis. Those two shiftswhich are way more radical for a forty-year old body that it might seemallowed me to learn how to walk correctly. Something that wasnt available to my turned out, tucked under, and hyperextended gait.
Not everyone is capable of hyperextending the knees but the percentage of people who can and do are staggering, especially while walking. If you know that you hyperextend your knees, stop right now. If you arent sure spend the next day or so checking in with the back of the knees. They should be soft and relaxed. While the knees shouldnt be bent you shouldnt be bearing any of the bodys weight at the back of the knee.
Hyperextended Knee Specialist In Dallas
Our board certified orthopedic surgeons see hundreds of patients with hyperextended knee conditions. If your knee bends backwards, you likely have a hyperextended knee injury and should consult a physician immediately. At SPORT Orthopedics in Dallas, we do offer Urgent Care for emergency hyperextended knees treatment in Dallas and Frisco.
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Treatment For Less Severe Cases
Most of the hyperextended knee cases that occur on the sportsfield are treatable without surgery. The depth of care depends from case to case, but the following elements are normally helpful:
Getting plenty of rest with your leg elevated is a must. Youve got to give the ligaments enough time to heal. For minor cases, recovery time can be between 2-4 weeks.
Ice and compression should be part of your treatment. They speed up the healing process and provide relief from the pain and inflammation.
If the pain is too much to bear, you can take over-the-counter pain medications like ibuprofen.
You may benefit from the use of a knee brace while you get back on your feet. Knee braces help prevent further injury.
You should definitely consider a chiropractor. Contrary to popular belief, chiropractors arent just for your spine. A chiropractor who works with all joints can be of invaluable assistance.
What Causes A Hyperextended Knee
Hyperextension of the knee usually occurs due to a direct blow to the knee or by anything that forces the knee joint to bend too far backward. Common causes of a hyperextended knee include
- Car accident: During a car accident when the knee may be forcefully impacted.
- Falling: Falling when the foot is caught.
- Landing hard: Landing incorrectly after a jump or unbalanced landing.
- Jumping on the back: When someone jumps on a persons back suddenly without warning, it can cause the person to be off-balance, resulting in a hyperextended knee.
- Skiing: If a skier crashes on a snowbank, their body will continue to move forward while the feet are fixed, leading to a hyperextended knee.
- Sports: A hyperextended knee may be caused during sports that involve
- Extreme contact at high speeds such as football, soccer, skiing, or lacrosse.
- Flexibility and landing such as gymnastics.
- Quick changes in direction and leaping such as basketball.
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When Do Hyperextended Knees Occur
There are a number of ways for hyperextension injuries to occur. However, the most common causes include:
* An awkward landing that forces the knee back on itself whilst landing from a jump. For example: a jumping basketball, netball or football player landing with a straight knee that then becomes hyperextended under the landing load.* An opponent striking the front of the knee whilst playing a contact sports. In rugby the shin contacts with a tackling opponent forcing the knee backwards on a fixed foot.* A skier running into an obstacle such as a bank of snow or other obstacle at speed and continuing to travel forward whilst the skis stop suddenly. This often happens when the heel binding doesnt release and so the knee becomes hyperextended. A good reason to make sure you check your bindings are set at the right level before you go skiing!
What Are The Causes
An excessive amount of flexibility in the structures of the knee can predispose the knee joint to hyperextend.
b)Poor control of muscles
Over extension of the knee can result from an imbalance in the muscles that stabilize the knee.
c)Weak and/or Overstretched muscles at the back of the knee
The following muscles are responsible for minimizing the amount of end range extension available in the knee.
- Lower Hamstrings
b) FRONT of the knee
There is compression of the following knee structures:
- Front portion of the Meniscus
- Patellofemoral joint
Not sure if your knees are hyperextended? Try this quick test.
- Take a photo of your side profile whilst standing.
- Draw a line between the ankle and hip joints.
- Locate the center of the knee joint.
- What is the position of the knee joint relative to this line?
How to tell if you have Hyperextend Knees: The knee will be positioned behind the line between the ankle and hip.
Note: It is completely normal to have the ability to hyperextend the knee to ~5 degrees. Issues may arise if you overly lock your knee in this position whilst standing.
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How Does Knee Hyperextension Affect The Spine
Theres nothing you can do about the natural aging process that eventually affects your spines bones, joints, and discs. However, you can make an effort to avoid certain mistakes with your posture that tend to accelerate degeneration. One of the most common posture-related mistakes that can affect your spine is hyperextending your knees. Hyperextension refers to the act of extending a joint beyond its normal range of motion or flexibility. Heres a closer look at the connection between knee hyperextension and your spine.
Recovery From Knee Hyperextension
Your expected recovery time depends on the severity of your injury, but physiotherapy can help speed things up. Keep in mind that the recovery speed of each person is different.
Mild sprains often feel better after two weeks of normal treatment measures like rest. But, recovery from ligament repair surgery takes around six months. Your doctor will advise you to do physiotherapy exercises during this time, and they may also ask you to use crutches. You might be able to resume sports only after six months.
If you start to use your knee before it’s fully healed, you could cause permanent damage.
American Journal of Sports Medicine: The effects of generalized joint laxity on risk of anterior cruciate ligament injury in young female athletes.
Hopkins Medicine: “Knee Ligament Repair.”
Journal of Rheumatology: “Knee Pain and a Prior Injury Are Associated with Increased Risk of a New Knee Injury: Data from the Osteoarthritis Initiative.”
Mayo Clinic: “Hyperextended knee: Cause of serious injury?”, “Knee Pain.”
OrthoInfo: “Combined Knee Ligament Injuries.”
NHS: “Knee Ligament Surgery,” “Recovery – Knee ligament surgery,” “Sprains and strains.”
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How Do You Know If Your Knee Being Hyperextended
Most of the time, signs and symptoms that you hyperextend your knees will appear within a few minutes after the injury occurs. However, you will know that you are having this type of injury if you heard or felt a popping sound in your knee. You may or may not feel any discomforts while walking or moving your leg.
From there, you can check the condition of your knee by standing sideways in front of a mirror and observe the alignment of your legs. Normally, your legs will be straight from the hip to the ankle. If you have got the knees hyperextended, there will be a curve in the affected leg.
Symptoms Of A Knee Sprain
Symptoms of a knee sprain vary depending on which knee ligament youve injured. Nearly all knee sprains, however, have some or all of these symptoms:
- Bruising. Some knee sprains will be accompanied by noticeable bruising around the site of the injured ligament. This is most common with ACL sprains. The bruising is generally on the front of the kneecap and in the area surrounding it.
- Instability. The knee may buckle beneath your weight, or when you move from side-to-side. You may not feel confident you can stand without falling. Some instability will be the case for:
- ACL sprains
- LCL sprains
- MCL sprains
- PCL sprains
- Pain when you put weight on your leg or try to move normally.
- ACL sprains usually result in severe knee pain in the mid-center of the knee. You may have trouble standing and walking. Immediately following your sprain, participation in sports, dance, and other weight-bearing activities is likely impossible.
- LCL sprains
- MCL sprains
- PCL sprains
- Popping sound or sensation at the time of injury. This is most common with ACL sprains. If you hear or feel a popping deep inside the knee at the time of injury, you may have sprained your ACL.
- Stiffness/Immobility. Following your knee sprain, you may have some trouble bending and straightening the knee. This is most often the case with PCL sprains. Other sprains may experience difficulty with lateral motions.
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Causes Of Knee Hyperextension
When too much weight or pressure forces the knee into extension, the joint can extend further than its true range of motion, causing soft tissue damage, swelling, and potentially tears or strains of the MCL, LCL, ACL, or PCL. Common causes of knee hyperextension include:
- Pushing the femur or patella over the tibia and placing excess stress upon one or more of the major ligaments within the joint. This sort of impact might be experienced by a basketball player stopping unexpectedly and placing all of their weight on one leg to do so.
- Unexpected impact to the front of the knee, causing backward movement of the knee joint, may cause the ACL to strain or tear. This sort of impact would occur in traumatic physical situations, such as a football player being tackled by the legs or a soccer player being slid into.
The method by which a knee hyperextension is caused can predict the severity of the condition. In minor cases, an athlete will notice small amounts of pain or swelling. In traumatic injury, however, hyperextension of the knee may also cause damage to the surrounding ligaments, cartilage and soft tissues.
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What Is A Hyperextended Knee
Mayo Clinic explains that you sustain a hyperextended knee when the knee lands improperly and gets bent backward, damaging the ligaments, cartilage and other stabilizing structures. An especially bad hyperextension can even result in an injured anterior cruciate ligament . Penn Medicine adds that a hyperextended knee can also refer to an injury of the posterior cruciate ligament .
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These injuries can be partial or complete tears or stretches. Knee injuries like hyperextensions are troubling because, depending on the severity, they could last anywhere from a few weeks to a year, according to Harvard Health Publishing. In some cases, such as severe injuries where the ligament is completely torn and the knee is unstable, a patient might require surgery.
However, Harvard Health Publishing notes, a mild or moderate injury can usually be treated with RICE and a rehabilitation program provided by a doctor or therapist. In fact, 80 percent of people with PCL injuries can fully recover with the help of a physical therapy program.
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Knee Hyperextension Treatment Procedure
First aid for knee hyperextension includes elevating the knee while lying down or sitting, icing the injury, or using crutches if available. Acetaminophen may be taken to relieve pain. Mild hyperextension may be relieved with rest and physical therapy, while a serious injury may need to be treated with surgery. You may need to wear knee brace for a couple of years to provide support to your injured knee, and accelerate the recovery process.
This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.
If you want to read similar articles to What Does a Hyperextended Knee Feel like, we recommend you visit our Diseases & secondary effects category.