Knee Sprain Treatment in Lafayette, LA
A knee sprain is a common injury among athletes, especially those who participate in sports that involve weight-bearing on the knee as it bends or twists, such as soccer. A sprain occurs when a ligament – a tough, pliable band of soft tissue that connects a bone to another bone – is stretched beyond its normal capacity or torn.
In the knee, there are four main ligaments: the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), the medial collateral ligament (MCL), and the lateral collateral ligament (LCL). These ligaments connect the thighbone (femur) to the shin bone (tibia) and provide support and stability to the knee joint. The ACL is the most frequently sprained knee ligament.
Typically, a knee sprain causes pain, swelling, and limited mobility. Additionally, a severe knee sprain may produce an audible popping sound when the injury occurs, as well as knee buckling and bruising.
How Is a Knee Sprain Treated?
The key to effective treatment for a knee sprain is an accurate diagnosis, which may involve ruling out other conditions that can cause similar symptoms, such as a meniscal tear or tendon injury. Also, more than one injury may be present; for instance, a knee sprain may be accompanied by a kneecap dislocation.
Oftentimes, a knee sprain will cause immediate pain and swelling. In order to ensure that the knee joint and ligaments are not further damaged, it is important to seek professional medical attention before returning to weight-bearing activities or athletic training. PRICE therapy – protection, rest, ice applications, compression, and elevation – can be effective for relieving discomfort and stabilizing the affected leg both before and after a medical evaluation. Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can also be taken to reduce swelling, if needed.
Most knee sprains can be treated conservatively. Many people benefit from a physical therapy program that includes stretching and weight training to help restore joint strength and flexibility. To address a severe knee sprain, a surgical procedure may be suggested to repair the damaged ligament.
If you think you might have a knee sprain, turn to Peter D. Vizzi, MD, for a comprehensive diagnosis and treatment plan. Dr. Vizzi is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon and avid athlete who practices in Lafayette, Louisiana.