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Knee sprain

If you have pain, swelling or tenderness around or inside your knee, we can help

About

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.

Need to know

  • 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
  • Screening and diagnosis 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.

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.
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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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