Knee Sprains and Strains

What Is Knee Sprains and Strains?

When you participate in sports and physical fitness activities, you can injure the soft tissues of your body. Even simple everyday activities can damage these ligaments, tendons, and muscles.

Some of the soft-tissue injuries you are most likely to experience include:

  • sprains
  • strains
  • contusions
  • tendonitis
  • bursitis
  • stress injuries

Any of these can be the result of a single episode, such as a fall, a sudden twist, or a blow to the body.

What Causes Knee Sprains and Strains?

Sprains

The joints of your body are supported by ligaments. Ligaments are strong bands of connective tissue that connect one bone to another. A sprain is a simple stretch or tear of the ligaments.

The areas of your body that are most vulnerable to sprains are your ankles, knees, and wrists.

A sprained ankle can occur when your foot turns inward. This can put extreme tension on the ligaments of your outer ankle and cause a sprain.

A sprained knee can be the result of a sudden twist.

A wrist sprain most often occurs when you fall on an outstretched hand.

Most mild sprains heal with “R.I.C.E.” (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) and exercise. Moderate sprains may also require a period of bracing. The most severe sprains may require surgery to repair torn ligaments.

Strains

Your bones are supported by a combination of muscles and tendons. Tendons connect muscles to bones.

A strain is the result of an injury to either a muscle or a tendon, usually in your foot or leg. The strain may be a simple stretch in your muscle or tendon, or it may be a partial or complete tear in the muscle-and-tendon combination.

The recommended treatment for a strain is the same as for a sprain: rest, ice, compression, and elevation. This should be followed by simple exercises to relieve pain and restore mobility.

For a serious tear, the soft tissues may need to be repaired surgically.

What Are The Symptoms of Knee Sprains and Strains?

  • swelling
  • weakness
  • buckling
  • bruising
  • tenderness
  • pain
  • popping
  • stiffness
  • muscle spasms

What Are The Treatment Options For Knee Sprains and Strains?

Most mild sprains heal with “R.I.C.E.” (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) and exercise. Moderate sprains may also require a period of bracing. The most severe sprains may require surgery to repair torn ligaments.

The recommended treatment for a strain is the same as for a sprain: rest, ice, compression, and elevation. This should be followed by simple exercises to relieve pain and restore mobility.

For a serious tear, the soft tissues may need to be repaired surgically.

Good Care

If you are an athlete or a fitness enthusiast, you should pay close attention to your body’s warning signs.

Recreational athletes can help prevent injuries by a brief warm up, then stretching, before exercise.

Fatigue and pain are usually a signal that you are pressing too hard. Be sure to stretch thoroughly before your work-out, and stop before you are exhausted.

Stress injuries can also result from poor muscle balance, lack of flexibility, or weakness in soft tissues caused by previous injuries.

These injuries to the muscle, bone ligaments, and tendons may require a prolonged amount of time to heal, in spite of appropriate care.

Consult your orthopaedic surgeon for treatment of these injuries to the soft tissue and bone. Besides treating the problem, he or she can develop a program of exercise or rehabilitation to restore function.

Our team is here for you

We offer the best, least invasive and least aggressive options to relieve your pain and symptoms so you can get back to the life you love. Atlantic Orthopaedic Specialists Joint Replacement Care Center has convenient locations in Virginia Beach, Norfolk and Chesapeake.

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