Knee Sprain

Does your knee hurt and appear swollen from a bad fall and twisting your leg? All signs point to a knee sprain. What should you do? Follow these tips and learn more about the physical causes and possible treatments for healing properly.

What is a sprained knee?

A sprained knee is often caused by a twisting of the joint. In other words, the leg twists and the foot remains locked on the ground, so your joint over-rotates. This type of injury immediately limits your movement and is particularly painful.

A knee sprain consists of an injury (stretch or tear) in one or more ligaments. The knee has four  :

  • The collateral ligaments – inner and outer
  • The central, or cruciate, ligaments – anterior and posterior

What care is needed for a sprained knee?

The location of pain and swelling depends on the severity of the sprain and where the knee is affected. There are different degrees of sprain:

  • Mild sprain: Ligament stretching without tears. Healing is fairly quick.
  • Moderate sprain: Partial tear of one or two ligaments. Rest time required.
  • Severe sprain: A tear that is often accompanied by meniscus injury and sometimes a bone tear. When the cruciate ligaments are affected, knee stability is severely compromised. The person often experiences a feeling of dislocation, accompanied by very intense pain.

The severity of the sprain will determine the appropriate response: from a little rest for a mild injury to complete immobilization and surgery for serious cases.

A knee sprain is an unexpected injury caused by a false move, accident or fall. Have you had the misfortune of spraining your knee? Here are some tips for treating it properly.

Here’s what to do immediately after the injury:

  • Rest your leg.
  • Apply an ice pack for 10 minutes every 2 hours for the first 3 days. Continue as needed for swelling.
  • Raise your leg, taking care to support the knee.

If pain persists or is very severe, do not wait to see a doctor. They will tell you if you need to immobilize your leg for a few weeks or have surgery.


What products are recommended for knee sprains?

Orthopedic products such as orthoses and splints support healing. When used properly, they help rehabilitate the joint and minimize the risk of another sprain. In short, they help you resume a safe and active lifestyle.

Four tips for healing after a sprained knee

1. Get moving

Immobilization leads to stiffness and muscle loss faster than you might think. So unless your doctor says otherwise, keep moving your injured leg (in moderation). You will help it regain good mobility faster.

2. Be patient

Don’t be tempted to go too fast. While complete immobilization is not the best idea, neither is resuming your usual activities at 100%. Go slowly and know your limits. Choose your activities based on what you’re capable of doing. It’s all about listening to your body and its signals—pain, instability, lack of strength. You’ll be better off later, when your knee recovers gradually and effectively.

3. Be safe

Your injured knee will take time to regain stability. To safely resume your favourite physical activities, protect your knee with a stability orthosis.

4. Prevent injury

Consider doing a warm-up before your workout. Make sure to wear proper footwear for the activity and adjust your equipment (for example, your ski bindings).

Following these tips will help you quickly regain full use of your knee and avoid another sprain.