Stretching and rupturing of knee joints - symptoms and treatment

Femoral and tibia bones are connected with the help of not only the joints, but also the ligaments. They additionally fix each joint and allow it to move only in a certain direction.

Uncharacteristic or abrupt movements cause the ligaments to tighten strongly, because of which their fibers can burst.

If only a part of the fibers "suffer" in this case, the trauma is called stretching. If the integrity of the connective tissue is violated completely, and not partially, they say about the rupture of ligaments.


  • 1Than the rupture of ligaments is different from stretching
  • 2Degrees and symptoms of elongation and rupture of knee ligaments
  • 3Methods of treatment and removal of pain
  • 4Rehabilitation after trauma
  • 5Prevention

Than the rupture of ligaments is different from stretching

From the stretching of knee ligaments, the gap is different:

  • painful sensations(the pain is stronger at rupture and weaker at a stretching);
  • motor ability(when stretched, it functions only half, and with the break, the ability of the ligaments to lose control of the amplitude of movements, which leads to its increase and "looseness" of the joint).
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The causes of rupture / extension of knee ligaments are usually incorrect landing after jumping (most often with this faced basketball players, volleyball players, gymnasts), sit-ups and similar actions, during which the ligaments are strongly stretch.

Degrees and symptoms of elongation and rupture of knee ligaments

With any stretching of the knee ligaments, the redness of the injured area and the appearance of pain become the primary symptoms.

There are three degrees of severity of this trauma, each of which has its own peculiarities:

  1. Lightweight(a small area of ​​connective tissue is damaged, slight pain sensations are observed, there is no edema);
  2. Moderate(the ligaments are partially damaged, the pain is much stronger, there is a hematoma and a small swelling, the joint becomes "incapacitated");
  3. Heavy(the ligaments are completely damaged, the pain becomes acute, there is a large swelling, bruises, "loose").

In some cases, after a trauma of 2 nd and 3 rd degree there are complications that remain after the rehabilitation period:

  • formation in the injured tendon of small nodules that create friction and cause its chronic inflammation;
  • the rupture of nerve fibers passing through the tendon. This leads to frequent tingling in the knee and chronic pain;
  • pain shock sometimes leads to vasospasm, which is why blood flow decreases and tissue degeneration begins.
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There are several symptoms, in the presence of which you need to immediately consult a doctor:

  • numbness of the injured area;
  • Piercing pain, which does not allow moving the damaged joint;
  • excessive mobility;
  • crackling sound in the injured area;
  • the appearance of a large hematoma, a strong redness;
  • fever, chills;
  • lack of well-being for several days.

Methods of treatment and removal of pain

Restoration of the affected area depends on the severity of the injury. Rupture of ligaments involves treatment only in a medical institution.

With an easy degree of stretching, you can cope at home if you provide:

  • no load on the damaged area (it is especially important to ensure complete rest in the first two / three days) with a gradual increase in mobility;
  • Applying cold to reduce pain and inflammation (immediately after stretching for 20 minutes, and then every 3 hours);
  • fixation with the help of elastic bandage or special orthopedic bandage (caliper), which will keep the joint in a fixed position and remove puffiness;
  • holding the injured limb in a suspended position, which will improve the outflow of blood, remove swelling, reduce pain.

Trauma of moderate severity is treated with:

  • the application of a plaster bandage (for 3 or 4 weeks);
  • use of anti-inflammatory drugs;
  • use of special food additives, application of ointment from stretching of muscles and ligaments;
  • physiotherapy, massage, gymnastics.

A severe degree of stretching involves treatment in the following ways:

  • surgical intervention (to replace damaged fibers, the doctor takes connective tissues from the body of the patient / donor);
  • plaster cast (for 8 or more weeks);
  • finding a patient under the supervision of an orthopedic doctor.

As a pharmacological treatment, anti-inflammatory drugs such as ketanov, diclofenac, ibuprofen are used.

. . .
These drugs can not be used for longer than a week, as this can lead to side effects in the form of duodenal ulcers or stomach ulcers.

There are also creams / ointments based on these medicines, but their effectiveness is somewhat lower.

In some cases, with severe pain, doctors can prescribe opioid analgesics (usually codeine).

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During the entire treatment of the damaged area it is important to observe the following recommendations:

  • try to provide the joint with the greatest possible rest;
  • avoid during the first 3 days after stretching / rupturing the ligaments of any "thermal" procedures (taking a hot bath, going to the sauna, sauna);
  • Do not drink alcohol-containing drinks (this will intensify edema and slow down the process of restoring connective tissue).

Rehabilitation after trauma

The total duration of recovery after stretching is the sum of how many connective tissue breaks heal and how long it takes to restore the function of the joint.

The first day immediately after the injury needs peace, so that the damaged fibers will grow together.

But if the leg is left without movement for a long time, muscles can atrophy (for the "start" of this process, there is enough a week of inactivity).

To prevent this from happening, doctors select special sets of exercises for the patient, which are designed to restore the motor activity of both the muscles and the joint itself.

If the damage is insignificant (1st degree), the rehabilitation period begins already on the third day. If the tension is moderate, recovery begins on the 5th day with no pain.

First, warm-up movements are done carefully, without heavy loads on the leg. Then the load is gradually increased to the full recovery of the patient. Do such exercises daily 2-3 times a day. Also in the rehabilitation activities include massage, swimming, "thermal procedures".

With a mild to moderate stretching, the recovery time ranges from, to 3 months, and in severe trauma requiring surgery - from 4 to 6 months.


To reduce the risk of this injury, the following recommendations should be observed:

  • during training, do not neglect the means of protection for knee joints - special equipment designed for a particular sport;
  • choose a quality and comfortable sports shoes with a spring sole and special insole, do not engage in shabby shoes;
  • before training always do warm-up (walking is particularly effective, exercise on the stationary bike);
  • Do exercises that will strengthen the muscles of your legs, and try to keep them always toned;
  • when performing strength exercises, increase the load, the duration of training and their intensity gradually;
  • listen to the advice of experienced instructors;
  • Do not start training if there is not enough time after the injury. It is so easy to damage the knee even more and get a chronic disease;
  • To avoid overloading the joints, keep your weight in check.
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Follow the doctor's recommendations, take care of the joints and stay healthy!

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