Knee Sprain

(Sprain, Knee)


A knee sprain is the stretching or tearing of ligaments that support the knee. Ligaments are strong bands of tissue that connect bones to each other.
Ligaments of the Knee
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Knee sprains may be caused by:
  • Forced twisting of the knee
  • Stopping suddenly while running
  • Shifting your weight while running or skiing
  • Landing awkwardly after jumping
  • Blow to the outer or inner side of the knee
  • Blow to the front of the knee while the knee is bent and the foot is firmly planted on the ground

Risk Factors

Factors that may increase your chance of developing a knee sprain include:
  • Playing sports
  • Poor coordination
  • Poor balance
  • Inadequate flexibility and strength in muscles and ligaments
  • Loose joints


Symptoms include:
  • Pain in the knee
  • Swelling, redness, warmth, or bruising around the knee
  • Decreased range of motion in the knee
  • Inability to stand on the affected leg
  • Tenderness where the injured ligament attaches to a bone in the knee
  • Swelling within the knee


You will be asked about your symptoms and how the injury occurred. The knee will be checked to see how stable the joint is and how severe the pain is.Images may be taken of your bodily structures. This can be done with: A minimally invasive procedure may be done to look inside of your knee. This can be done with arthroscopy .


Knee sprains are graded according to their severity. The injury is considered more severe if more ligaments are involved.
  • Grade 1
    • Stretching and microtearing of ligament tissue
  • Grade 2
    • Partial tearing of ligament tissue
    • Mild instability of the joint when tested
  • Grade 3
    • Severe or complete tearing of ligament tissue
    • Significant instability of the joint
Grade 2 Sprain of Knee
Sprained ligament knee
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

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