Knee Sprains and Strains
Also known as: knee injuries, knee pain.
What are knee sprains and strains?
A sprain refers to an injury to a ligament, which are the bands of tissue that join bones to one another. And a strain refers to an injury to the muscles or tendons around the bones. When these injuries occur in the knee, they’re known as knee sprains and strains.
What causes knee sprains and strains?
Common causes of knee sprains and strains include direct injuries to the knee due to falls, sports injuries or other causes, or overuse of the knee. Not stretching well, having poor posture or wearing improper footwear are other factors that can contribute to knee sprains and strains.
What are the symptoms of knee sprains and strains?
Pain, swelling, tenderness, bruising, numbness, difficulty moving the knee or stiffness are all potential symptoms of knee sprains and strains.
What are knee sprains and strains care options?
Mild or moderate knee sprains and strains can be treated with rest, ice, compression, elevation, avoidance of activities and over-the-counter pain relievers. Wearing a brace can help support the knee, and exercises can assist with healing. Surgery may be required for more severe injuries.
Reviewed by: Annie L Casta, MD
This page was last updated on: September 09, 2020 11:26 AM
Learn more about
Knee Ligament Injuries
The knee has four ligaments: MCL, LCL, ACL, and PCL. Injuries to one or more of these ligaments can cause a number of problems.
Knee Overuse Injuries
Overuse injuries of the knee are problems that occur with the knees due to performing a repetitive motion. They include issues such as runner’s knee, IT band syndrome, patellar tendinitis and others.
Anterior Knee Pain
Anterior knee pain is the medical term for pain that occurs at the front of the knee (as opposed to posterior knee pain). It can range from mildly irritating to debilitating in severity.
Peroneal Nerve Injury/Palsy
The peroneal nerve is an important nerve in the lower leg. It provides sensory input from the lateral aspect of the lower leg and the dorsum (top) of the foot. It also provides motor input to the muscles responsible for dorsiflexion (lifting the foot off of the ground) and eversion of the foot. When this nerve becomes injured, it can lead to sensation and movement problems, most commonly, a condition known as foot drop.