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Knee Sprain

Ligament Injury to the Knee Joint


Updated July 15, 2014

knee sprain

The knee joint is supported by four major ligaments.

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A knee sprain means that you have injured one of the ligaments around the knee joint. There are four major ligaments that contribute to the stability of the knee. In addition, there are many smaller ligaments that can cause pain after injury. Saying you have a "knee sprain" is not a terribly useful diagnosis for two reasons:

  • First: it does not tell you which ligament is injured. This is important because different ligaments are treated very differently. For example, ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) injuries often need surgical reconstruction. On the other hand MCL (medial collateral ligament) injuries seldom require surgery.


  • Second: it does not tell you how badly the ligament is injured. The reason this is important is that minor injuries usually require minor treatment. More severe injuries may require more substantial treatment, rehabilitation, and possibly surgery.
Despite this, patients are often told they have a knee sprain. If you are diagnosed with a knee sprain, try to get more information. Find out which ligaments are injured, and then you will be able to understand more about what possible treatments and rehabilitation are necessary. For more information about knee sprain injuries:


Also Known As: Knee ligament tear, knee ligament injury

Common Misspellings: Knee strain

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