A knee sprain is one of the most common athletic injuries and it is often referred to as a twisted knee. The problem is that they can come in many different forms since the knee is such a complex structure. You could suffer LCL Sprain, MCL Sprain, ACL Sprain, or PCL Sprain and they would all be considered to a knee sprain. It is essential that you get these injuries evaluated, treated and rehab properly to avoid future injuries.
What is a Knee Sprain|Twisted Knee?
Many can be confused by the terms sprain vs. rupture or saying “I blew my knee out.” They can all mean the same thing. When a knee ligament is sprained to the worst degree, it is considered to be a full separation of the ligament, and that is a 3rd-degree knee sprain. People rarely call these knee sprains though preferring more aggressive terminology like a Twisted Knee.
A knee sprain can occur to any of the four ligaments that surround the knee. Meaning there are four different types of a sprained knee.
- MCL Sprain
- ACL Sprain
- LCL Sprain
- PCL Sprain
What Are The Grades of Knee Sprain?
These grades of sprain can happen for an MCL Sprain, ACL Sprain, LCL Sprain, and a PCL Sprain.
Grade 1 – This is the mildest of knee sprains, and it involves very little damage to the ligament. There could be some stretching of the ligament and maybe a bit of tearing. There is not enough damage to limit weight bearing.
Grade 2 – A grade 2 knee sprain or twisted knee is a moderate sprain that involves tearing of some of the ligament. The grade 2 sprain can be much more difficult to put weight on.
Grade 3 – This is the severe sprain, and it occurs when the ligament has been completely torn away from the bone. Surgery is required to repair this grade of injury.
To know which grade of a sprain you have, it is strongly suggested that you get evaluated by one of the following healthcare providers.
- Athletic Trainer
- Athletic Therapists
- Physical Therapists
- Naturopathic Doctors
- Sports Medicine Physician
Symptoms of a Knee Sprain | Twisted Knee (Including an ACL Sprain, MCL Sprain, PCL Sprain, and an LCL Sprain)
The symptoms can be very different. Some people have torn their ACL and been able to finish whereas others they know immediately that they are done for the season. You should always get knee pain evaluated, but typical symptoms of a knee sprain include.
- Trauma to the knee
- Hearing a loud pop from the knee
- Swelling in the knee after injury
- The feeling of instability in the knee
- Unable to bear weight on the knee after injury
- Stiffness or less mobility
Specifics of Twisted Knee – MCL Sprain (Medical Cruciate Ligament)
An MCL sprain occurs when the lateral part of the knee is stricken or when the knee collapses medially from landing. The MCL is supposed to stop the tibia and femur from sliding medially.
- All contact sports
Specifics of a Twisted Knee – ACL Sprain (Anterior Cruciate Ligament)
An ACL sprain occurs when the tibial head shifts forward away from the femur. It often happens to land in weird positions or trying to make quick, athletic cuts.
- Twisted knee from slipping or falling
- Women are more likely due to their Q angles
Specifics of Twisted Knee – PCL Sprain (Posterior Cruciate Ligament)
A PCL sprain is the opposite of an ACL Injury. Instead of the tibial head shifting forward, it shifts backward. This is one of the few knee sprains that actually can frequently occur outside of sports like in car accidents. PCL sprains are the least common of the knee injuries. The injuries are due to blows to the knee when it is in a bent position.
- Striking the knee against the dashboard during an auto accident
- Falling on a bent knee
- Contact sports
Specifics of Twisted Knee – LCL Sprain (Lateral Cruciate Ligament)
An LCL sprain is the opposite of an MCL Sprain. The injury is due to a hard blow to the medial portion of the knee that strains the ligament on the lateral part of the knee. The LCLs job is to stop the tibia or femur from sliding laterally.
- Contact Sports
Treatment Immediate Sprained knee symptoms After Injury
Right after injury, it is best to compress the knee and put knee above the heart to help with draining the inflammation. If the pain is too much to bear, you can also ice the knee to help with pain management. No matter the grade of injury that you think you have, it will be in your best interest to see a healthcare provider as soon as possible. The best bet is to see a sports doctor, but if you have another health care provider, you trust they can evaluate you and let you know how bad it is. You also may need to spend the money getting a sprained knee brace.
Long-Term Treatment for Knee Sprain | Twisted Knee Injury
For the long-term health of the knee no matter if it is an MCL sprain, ACL sprain, PCL sprain, or an LCL sprain, you are going to need to get an MRI on the knee to know the depths of the injury. Once you fully understand the damage, a healthcare provider will be able to help you put together a proper gameplan for what to do next.
If you suffered a completely torn ligament, then it is most likely the case that you will need surgery. Regardless of the grade of injury though you will need to do some form of rehab. The rehab serves two purposes, helping to get the knee healthy again, and then working to prevent the injury from happening in the future. If you are an athlete, this must be an aggressive rehab that involves high-intensity sport specific movements by the end.
How to Find The Best Healthcare Team to Take Care of Your Knee
Kho Health is the best place to start your search for a healthcare provider. Kho Health lets you search for the type of provider you need as well as the skill sets you to want them to have. You can look for a Physical Therapist that also knows acupuncture if you think that will help your twisted knee.
If you are unsure where to start your journey, Kho Health will ask you questions and help you figure out the best starting place. The platform makes it easy to compare health providers as they are all given a Kho Number.