Knee sprain

Pain, swelling or tenderness around the knee joint

Problem can occur during everyday activity or as a sports injury

What is a knee sprain?

If you have pain, swelling or tenderness around or inside your knee, you may have a knee sprain. Sprains can happen if you've damaged or injured the muscles or one of the four ligaments that support the knee. Ligament sprains are graded (from one to three), depending on how bad your injury is. Common causes include tired muscles and playing sport.

Types of knee sprain

Medial ligament sprain

Medial ligament sprains are often a result of an impact on the outside of the knee. They tend to cause pain on the inside of the knee.

Lateral ligament sprain

Lateral ligament sprains are often a result of an impact on the inside of the knee. They tend to cause pain on the outside of the knee.

An anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) sprain

The ACL criss-crosses with the posterior cruciate ligament over the middle of the knee. A sprain can occur due to twisting or impact.

A posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) sprain

The PCL criss-crosses with the anterior cruciate ligament over the middle of the knee. A sprain can occur if the knee is forced back the wrong way.

Need to know

  • What are the symptoms of knee sprain? icon plus

    There are different types of knee sprain, each with their own set of symptoms. Generally speaking, the common symptoms are:

    • pain, tenderness or weakness inside or around the knee
    • difficulty putting weight on it
    • cramping or muscle spasms
  • How is a knee sprain diagnosed icon plus

    Your consultant will discuss your symptoms with you and help to make a diagnosis.
  • Potential treatment options icon plus

    Ligament sprains are graded from one to three to reflect the extent of your injury. Your prescribed treatment may depend on the grade of your sprain. For example, you may be asked to perform mobility exercises for grade two sprains, while grade three sprains may require surgery. Your consultant will explain which treatment is best for you.

Our knee consultants

We're proud to work with leading orthopaedic experts specialising in probelms and conditions of the knee, and whose skills are matched by their integrity and compassion.
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Our locations

From complex knee surgery to diagnostic tests and procedures, we provide exceptional orthopaedic care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

Request a knee appointment

We're happy to help you make an appointment with one of our experienced knee consultants. We can also make imaging and outpatient physiotherapy appointments for you.

Call us today

020 7079 4344
This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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