There are three grades of knee sprains that range in severity from mild to severe. The necessary treatment and the duration of your recovery depend on the seriousness of the sprain. Most knee sprains are Grade 1, which means they can usually heal on their own, even if it takes time. If the ligaments are stretched farther or are partially torn, you may have a Grade 2 sprain.
Symptoms of a Grade 2 Knee Sprain
There are four major ligaments in the knee, and the symptoms of a sprain will be different depending on which ones are affected. These symptoms can include popping, stiffness, buckling and pain. If you are experiencing any movements or sensations that are not normal for you, then it is time to see a specialist.
The RICE rule applies to nearly all orthopedic injuries. You can usually prevent additional damage to the area caused by the swelling or by the additional use of the joint by remembering this therapy. This can even begin before you see your orthopedic specialist. Remember that RICE stands for:
- Rest the joint as quickly as possible
- Ice the area for up to 20 minutes at a time, wait at least 45 minutes before icing again
- Compress the area with an elastic bandage or compression sleeve
- Elevate the joint, preferably above your heart
Your specialist may recommend physical therapy to help you strengthen the muscles surrounding the joint to help prevent another knee sprain. This is usually started after the sprain has healed. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to stabilize the knee if physical therapy does not restore it.
Every knee sprain is different based on the ligaments affected and how the injury occurred. Your activity level before the injury, your weight and other factors all need to be considered before your doctor can estimate how long your Grade 2 knee sprain recovery will take. However, some patients can see significant improvement in four or five months while others can take a year or more.
It’s important to have any knee sprain evaluated quickly to make sure you get the right treatment. If you suspect you’ve injured your knee, schedule your appointment with Dr. Reynolds as soon as possible.
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39180 Farwell Dr., Suite 110
Fremont, CA 94538
Phone: (510) 899-9200