Knee Ligament Injury: What is a Sprain?
The ligaments of the knee
There are ligaments within the knee that when suddenly stretched or torn can produce a “sprain”. The knee ligaments surrounding the knee are tissues that primarily hold the bones of the knee together. They serve to support the knee, keeping the joint and the bones in place. They give us the flexibility to twist, turn, walk and run.
It is common to sprain a ligament, especially in sport or during exercise. A knee sprain undoubtedly will require some downtime and take extra precautions during the healing phase will prevent further soft tissue injury from occurring. Depending on the severity of the knee injury, one could find themselves unable to return to physical activity for up to 4 months. A sprain is classified as either a Grade 1, Grade 2 or Grade 3 Injury. The following information outlines the length of time required for a knee injury to heal sufficiently.
Grade I Sprain – Healing Recovery Time
No-one who enjoys being active and staying fit likes to hear that they are going to be out of commission for an extended period. The work it has taken you to get where you are, coupled with a host of basement emotions from anger, fear and devastation., perpetuated to an even fuller extent once the topic of “Healing Time frames” is discussed. So as not to cause further damage, treatment of a knee ligament injury varies in severity dependent on its location.
Healing Time for a Grade 1 Sprain = 3-6 weeks
At around six weeks, the collagen fibres have matured so much time as you have allowed the injury to benefit from rest and the removal of tension and stress. Anti- inflammatory medications are useful in the repair and recovery of a knee ligament injury. However, there are some other alternative approaches. Physiotherapy has been the treatment of choice for many in rehabilitation; that helps speed up the healing process. In physiotherapy, they employ some different methods including specialised sports massage, strengthening and joint exercises as well as electrical modalities to proactively assist the ligament fibres of the knee to heal correctly. Taking this care, you are protecting yourself from future injury.
Grade II Sprain – Healing Recovery Time
Healing Time for a Grade II Sprain = 6 weeks
When a grade II sprain occurs, use of a weight-bearing brace is very common in early treatment. A weight bearing brace will give you relief from the pain, and will protect you from stretching or applying unnecessary weight on the healing ligament. Following a grade II injury, most patients can return to their activities so long as the joint is stable and there is no more presence of pain.
Oftentimes this may take up to six weeks. Physiotherapy helps speed up the healing process where they use electrical modalities, massage, strengthening and varied joint exercises to guide the direction that the ligament fibres heal. This is all to prevent future injury and assist the body in a quick heal.
Grade III Sprain – Healing Recovery Time
Healing Time for a Grade III Sprain = 3-4 months
A grade III injury will require that you wear a hinged brace for protecting the injury from weight and stress. Physiotherapy is a must for successful treatment from a grade III knee ligament injury. Patients should not return to their full level of activity for at least 3-4 months. These injuries are most successfully treated via physiotherapy and may also find a more rapid healing with peptide supplementation. In all cases, make sure you get professional advice.