Knee hyperextension happens when your leg bends excessively at your knee joint, which places stress on your knee and the surrounding structures. While this can happen to anyone, it is more widespread among sports enthusiasts and athletes, particularly those who play soccer, football, lacrosse, or skiing. Forces generated when the knee stops moving very abruptly or direct jolt to the knee typically cause knee hyperextension.
How Do I Know If I Have Knee Hyperextension?
When you have a hyperextended knee, your joint won’t bend in the right way, leading to pain, swelling, and other symptoms. In more serious cases, ligaments like your PCL (posterior cruciate ligament), popliteal ligament, or ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) may become ruptured or sprained. In general, however, warning signs include:
- Localized Pain – The pain could vary negligible to very significanat and typically intensifies when knee structures or ligaments get torn or damaged. Patients described the pain as a sharp pain or ache in the back portion of their knee or like a pinched feeling in the front portion of the knee.
- Knee Instability – Lost of patients have reportedly experienced their leg suddenly giving out when they were walking, even at an unhurried pace, as well as struggling to stand on one leg.
- Bruising and Swelling – Following your injury, you might see delayed or immediate bruising and swelling on the affected knee, which the body’s typical response to tissue injury.
- Reduced Mobility – It’s very common to have difficulty straightening or bending your knee after your knee injury because the swelling restricts how far you’re able to move it. This might likewise be due to damage to the ACL, meniscus, popliteal ligament, or PCL.
How is a Hyperextended Knee Treated?
As with all other injuries to the body’s soft tissues, the first line of treatment for knee hyperextension is the classic RICE method, which involves, resting, icing, compressing, and elevating the knee. While knee hyperextension rarely leads to a tendon or ligament (usually the ACL) rupturing or getting torn, it does happen in more severe cases of knee hyperextension. In addition, popliteal tendon and PCL injuries could likewise occur as a result of severe knee hyperextension and might require a surgical procedure by your local knee surgeon in Orem. It’s also crucial to know that other knee structures such as the meniscus could also be damaged due to hyperextension of the knee.
How Long Will Recovery Take?
In most cases, mild to moderate cases of knee hyperextension will usually heal within two to four weeks with proper treatment. While in recovery, you need to make sure that you rest your injured knee and limit activities that could potentially make your injury worse. You can also expect a full recovery in about six or more months if your surgeon surgically repaired a damaged ligament. You will likewise need to undergo physical therapy for increasing your knee strength, make recovery faster, and rehabilitate your knee as well as the other injured structures. Do note though that certain factors such as your age, weight, gender, severity of the injury, and the recommended treatment will significantly impact your recovery time.