A hyperextended knee can occur frequently. It is a known fact that the knee can be easily stretched or twisted in a way that tears the ligaments and results to intense pain, discomfort or even long-lasting effects. There are immediate signs and symptoms that manifest if the knee is hyperextended and can continue days after the injury.
A hyperextended knee injury can occur once the knee extends way beyond its normal range of motion in a straight position. Fundamentally, the knee bends back on itself. Hyperextension can range from a minor injury which is sore but heals in a span of 2-4 weeks or even a severe injury that would require surgery and extensive administration of medications for knee pain.
Immediate signs and symptoms
If the individual has a hyperextended knee, the individual will experience several symptoms immediately. There is a popping sound or sensation and it feels as if the knee has been thrown out of its proper position.
There is also pain at the sides and back of the knee accompanied by swelling within the initial hours after the injury was sustained. More importantly, the individual is unable to continue with activities such as running or jumping using the knee.
The knee will also become unstable, but it is not readily noticeable due to the swelling. The individual can still walk using the affected knee, but it causes a lot of pain.
First aid care
The first aid care for a hyperextended knee basically includes elevation when lying down or sitting, application of ice on the injury and using crutches. Over-the-counter medications for pain are also given to minimize the pain.
Take note that the treatment for knee pain depends on the severity of the injury. Rest and physical therapy might be required for the mild cases, while surgical intervention can be considered as an option for hyperextension that results to a tear in the ligaments.
When to seek medical care for a hyperextended knee?
If the individual has been injured resulting to the swelling, instability, impaired movement or pain at the knee, it is important to seek medical care and treatment so that the injury can be properly evaluated by the health care professionals as soon as possible.
Do not attempt to treat injuries on your own. Always remember that the knee is considered as a complex joint and can likely sustain various injuries. Proper treatment of these injuries is vital for full recovery.
If it is a mild hyperextension of the knee, it will take only 2-4 weeks to fully heal. The combination of rest and physical therapy are vital while pain medications for the knee are also prescribed. In case the knee sustained a ligament tear during the injury, it would require surgery and physical therapy as well as 6-9 months of rest before able to resume any athletic activity.