We'll discuss the knee sprain, its causes and symptoms, in this section. While there are a significant number of ways this can occur, we will highlight some of the most common causes and their associated symptoms.
Sprains are generally under-appreciated injuries, because to many people, the term "sprain" doesn't seem to imply a high degree of severity; "Oh. it's not broken, it's just sprained". For the most part, when dealing with a knee sprain, it doesn't take the injured person long to realize it's more than just a minor injury.
As will be repeated in other sections of this site with other joints and body parts, sprains, by definition, are stretch-type injuries inflicted upon the various ligament structures that serve to stabilize the knee. This typically occurs when significant stress is applied to it in directions the knee wasn't originally meant to function.
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Well, what does that mean?
The ligaments most commonly involved in injuries such as these, are the collateral ligaments. The knee has collateral ligaments on both the outer, or lateral, aspect of the knee, and the inner, or medial, aspect. These ligaments serve to stabilize the knee against side-to-side injuries, while allowing free bending and straightening.
In severe collateral ligament sprains, there is the danger of additional injury and damage to the central, anterior cruciate ligament deep within the knee joint.
When forces are exerted against either the lateral or medial collateral ligaments, as is frequently seen in football tackling and soccer injuries, and is beyond their capacity to protect, they stretch and frequently can tear. The degree of stretch and/or tearing determines the severity of the sprain.
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