Sprained Knee Treatment in Dallas
Sprained Knee or Twisted Knee
Can You Sprain Your Knee?
You have probably heard of a sprained ankle, and maybe even experienced one yourself. A sprained knee, however, is not as commonly mentioned. These injuries are painful, and can happen in a number of different ways to anybody. If you play sports or engage in physical activities, your risk of a sprained knee is even greater.
Sprained knees usually result from torn or overstretched ligaments, which are the tissues that connect your bones. There are four main ligaments in the knee, each with a specific function.
- ACL (anterior cruciate ligament): Stabilizes the front of the knee.
- PCL (posterior cruciate ligament): Stabilizes the back of the knee.
- LCL (lateral collateral ligament): Stabilizes the outside of the knee.
- MCL (medial collateral ligament): Stabilizes the inside of the knee.
Over time, injuries to these ligaments may cause other complications, such as arthritis. If you suffered a knee sprain and seek treatment, contact our experienced Dallas and Frisco orthopedic surgeons to discuss your options. SPORT is an orthopedic practice located in Dallas and Frisco, Texas, providing advanced surgical and non-surgical treatments for knee injuries to help patients get back to their active lifestyles.
What are the Causes of a Sprained Knee?
Many different physical activities or accidents cause knee sprains. In general, any activity that may twist or move your knee out of its natural position could cause a sprain.
Oftentimes, the ACL sustains injuries during football, basketball, or gymnastics. This is usually due to sudden jumping or twisting. Additionally, you can injure your ACL by over-straightening your knee. The PCL often sustains injuries during car accidents or sports if the front of the knee is struck with great force.
The LCL and MCL experience sprains if either side of your knee is struck by something or twisted to an unnatural position. The least common of these injuries is a damaged LCL, as your other leg tends to protect this area.
What Are Knee Sprain Symptoms?
After a knee sprain, any symptoms you experience will depend on which ligaments tore or overstretched during the injury. Below, we will outline how your knee might feel when each ligament sustains an injury.
- ACL: At the time of the injury, your knee might make a popping sound. You feel as though your knee can no longer support you.
- PCL: You will feel pain at the back of your knee, and it will worsen if you kneel.
- LCL/MCL: Your knee will feel tender on whichever side sustains the injury, and it will tend to buckle on the side opposite the injury.
After a sprained knee injury, you will likely experience at least one or two of the following symptoms.
- Muscle spasms
- Knee weakness
How Can I Get a Diagnosis?
If you think you injured your knee, call our office right away to schedule an appointment. Your knee’s ligaments are extremely important to the integrity of the knee. Don’t wait to see a doctor about your sprained knee, as it will very quickly worsen if you continue to put weight on it.
During a diagnosis, our professionals will test each ligament in your knee by carefully stressing them and observing for signs of instability. We will examine your knee for any swelling or bruising, move it around to examine the mobility, and compare it to the uninjured knee.
We’ll ask you various questions about what activities you were doing when the injury occurred, whether you heard a sound at the time of injury, and how soon the pain set in. We may also recommend imaging tests such as X-rays.
What Is a Grade 1 Knee Sprain?
We rate sprained knees in three different grades, each increasing in severity. Depending on which grade we assign to your injury, we will adjust our treatment plan accordingly. For example, Grade 1 sprains receive non-surgical treatments, while Grade 3 sprains often require surgery. Below, we explain the different grades of knee sprains.
- Grade 1: Your ligament sustained mild damage and stretching, but it still maintains your knee’s stability.
- Grade 2: Also known as a partial tear, your ligament stretches to the point of becoming loose.
- Grade 3: This is a complete tear of the ligament. The ligament split into two pieces, and the knee’s stability is compromised.
How Is a Sprained Knee Treated?
Before treating a sprained or twisted knee, your SPORT orthopedic physician will take down information on your medical history. The most important aspects in developing a treatment plan for your injury are severity and which ligament sustained the injury. The ligament most likely to receive surgical treatment is the ACL.
For milder injuries, our physicians will recommend at-home treatment. These treatments include over-the-counter pain medication to alleviate discomfort, plenty of rest, intermittent ice pack treatments, or compression bandages to help with swelling. Additionally, we might give you a brace to prevent too much movement of the knee, as well as to stabilize it during the healing process.
We also recommend undergoing physical therapy at one of our convenient Frisco & Dallas locations, largely depending on the severity of the injury, as well as where you are in recovery. Below, we list the best exercises for a sprained knee or twisted knee.
- Thigh or calf stretching
- Leg lifting
- Knee bending
- Thigh strengthening exercises
- Raising up on your toes
- Simple weight training exercises, hamstring curls, or leg presses
If your ligament is completely torn, we will most likely recommend surgery. This is especially true if the affected ligament happens to be your ACL. Our Dallas knee replacement surgeons have extensive experience in reconstructing, reattaching, and replacing ligaments in the knee.
During surgery, we will make small incisions in the knee. In order to attach a ligament graft to your bones, we will drill small holes in the bones of your thigh and calf. The graft attaches to the bones, which then grow around the graft. We call this an “arthroscopic” procedure.
You must wait at least several weeks, but up to several months, before resuming your normal activity level. We do offer, however, progressive physical therapy treatments to assist in the restoration of your range of motion.
How Long Does a Knee Sprain Last?
Recovery time for a sprained knee or twisted knee varies depending on the extent of your injury, as well as which ligament sustains the injury. When you no longer experience pain or swelling, and have full range of motion, you have fully recovered.
The most important thing to remember is that you must allow your knee to fully heal before resuming your normal level of physical activity. If you rush the healing process, you will injure your knee again, and potentially worsen the original injury.
Grade 1 and Grade 2 sprains typically heal within 2 to 4 weeks. If you need surgery, your recovery could last as long as 6 months. We maintain that around 80% of ACL injury cases experience full recovery. Unfortunately, those who sustain these injuries may still develop arthritis over time.
Full rehabilitation is a long process, but SPORT has the tools to restore your full range of motion, as well as the strength of your joint. Because gradual physical therapy is an important part of the recovery process, we offer on-site physical therapy for all kinds of orthopedic conditions.
Sprained Knee & Twisted Knee Treatment in Dallas
At SPORT, we know how scary and inconvenient knee injuries are. Our goal is to provide affordable, thorough, and transparent treatment in a compassionate space. With our highly-trained Dallas orthopedic surgeons, you can feel safe. We promote safety and healing, and offer a wide range of treatment options for every kind of injury. To schedule an appointment with one of our orthopedic specialists, call (469) 200-2832 or visit our website for more information.