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The knee joint is stabilized by four major ligaments that hold the femur, tibia and fibula in place. When the knee suddenly twists or bends due to a sports injury, trauma or accident, it can stretch or tear the ligaments in the knee, causing a knee sprain. At DOCS Health, we have sports injury specialists that can perform effective knee sprain treatment at our medical center in Los Angeles.

A sprain is an injury that damages a ligament. In knee sprains, there are four major ligaments that can be damaged and to varying degrees. A slight twist of the knee may stretch one or more ligaments and cause a slight sprain, but the ligaments can heal and recover. More serious knee sprains can partially or completely tear one or more ligaments in the knee, requiring more extensive treatment for recovery.

Knee Sprain Types and Symptoms

The ligaments of the knee are needed for stability and range of motion. When a ligament is stretched or torn in a knee sprain, there is almost always immediate pain, swelling and some level of instability. The type or grade of sprain determines the degree of symptoms and what treatment is needed:

  • Grade 1 sprain – One or more knee ligaments are stretched, but the knee joint is still stable. Pain, swelling and possibly bruising is present.
  • Grade 2 sprain – One or more knee ligaments are partially torn, resulting in looseness and knee instability. The symptoms can include pain, swelling, bruising, instability, weakness and knee buckling.
  • Grade 3 sprain – One or more ligaments are completely torn. This injury will have all the symptoms of grades 1 and 2, plus there may be a popping sensation when the injury occurs, and the knee may not be able to hold weight.

Milder knee sprains can be treated with conservative methods like rest, ice, compression and elevation. Physical therapy, NSAIDs and assistive devices can also be used. For moderate to severe knee sprains or ligament tears, surgery may be required to repair the ligaments to restore knee function.

If you suffer a knee sprain and need treatment, contact us at DOCS Health. We offer cutting-edge sports injury treatment for knee sprains and ligament tears at our state-of-the-art orthopedic medical center in Los Angeles.