What are the symptoms of a sprained knee?

The symptoms of a knee sprain generally depend on the ligament involved. However, in most cases, a sprained ligament in the knee will be painful and will cause swelling. There are three grades of sprain, and the severity of symptoms will vary depending on the grade. An athlete or physically active person may sometimes feel unstable in the joint and may find that the knee bends to the side. Other symptoms include tenderness, bruising, and stiffness.

Symptoms of a knee sprain can vary between patients because the injury can affect one of several ligaments. If the anterior cruciate ligament is sprained, for example, this is often much more serious than a medical collateral ligament injury. For this reason, symptoms of a knee sprain can range from minor discomfort and swelling to severe pain and instability that require surgical intervention. In most cases, a knee sprain refers to a minor injury, although it is important to get an accurate diagnosis from a doctor.

There are three degrees of knee sprain. Grade one sprains involve the least severe symptoms, since the fibers of the ligament are not torn. Grade two sprains involve a tear of some ligament fibers, but not all, and grade three sprains involve a complete ligament tear. Symptoms become more severe as the number of torn fibers increases.

A knee sprain will often be accompanied by pain. For minor sprains, the pain may only appear when a person stops exercising. Severe sprains will prevent any further athletic activity and are much more painful. The pain is often felt when the knee is under stress, such as going up or down stairs, although simply walking after the initial injury can also be painful. Along with the pain, the patient may also notice some swelling around the knee joint that can restrict movement.

Knee sprains commonly occur during sports activity; they are often the result of sudden turns that put a lot of stress on the joint. If the knee sprain causes a significant tear in the ligament, the athlete may feel unsteady while walking. Depending on which ligament is torn, the knee can also bend laterally. In some cases, an audible sound is heard when the ligament is damaged.

There are several other potential symptoms of a knee sprain. Tenderness around the knee joint is often present; This usually persists until the swelling has subsided. This may be accompanied by a visible bruise. The knee may also feel stiff to bend, and a person may sometimes have difficulty walking.

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