A twisted knee is an injury that can range from mild to severe and is usually painful, even debilitating, depending on the extent of injury and damage to the knee joint. The term twisted knee is a catchall for two different types of injuries: a sprained knee, which involves injury to the ligaments around the knee joint, and a strained knee, which involves the muscles and/or tendons. Injuries are usually referred to as twisted knees in order to avoid confusion.
Eric S. Millstein, MD, has years of experience diagnosing and treating twisted knees, in particular for active individuals. In order to understand how a twisted knee injury happens, Dr. Millstein believes that it’s important to first understand a bit of the knee’s anatomy to get an accurate, larger picture. The thighbone, or femur, and the shinbone, or tibia, come together to form the knee joint. The kneecap, or patella, protects the knee joint and allows for a bit of extended motion, while the calf bone, or fibula, acts as a secondary support in the leg for the body’s weight.
Cartilage covers the ends of the thighbone, shinbone, and the patella to cushion the knee joint as a whole. Ligaments then hold it all in place. There are two ligaments that run on the outside of the joint (medial collateral ligament and the lateral collateral ligament) along with the well-known ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) and PCL (posterior cruciate ligament) that connect the shinbone to the thighbone. These ligaments keep everything in place, stopping the knee from sliding too much one way or another.
Ligament Injuries With Twisted Knees
When a twisted knee injury occurs, it usually involves a ligament, in particular the ACL. The ACL limits the forward motion and the twisting motion of the shinbone and is thus prone to injury when the knee is extended beyond a normal range. Ligaments can stretch and even tear depending on the severity of motion. More than one ligament can be injured with a twisted knee, but more often than not it involves only one. However, that’s still more than enough to cause a great deal of discomfort.
Diagnosing A Twisted Knee
The level of pain and immobility that results from a twisted knee depends on the severity of the movement and injury. Luckily, if the ligaments that surround the knee have not sustained significant damage, they should heal themselves within days or weeks. Twisted knee injuries can be scary events, that’s why it’s important to see a sports medicine professional like Dr. Millstein to be sure about what’s best for you.
Seek Professional Treatment For Your Twisted Knee
Dr. Millstein is an expert surgeon who specializes in diagnosing and treating twisted knee injuries. He completed an Orthopedic Fellowship in Sports Medicine and Arthroscopy at the Southern California Orthopedic Institute and is the recipient of numerous awards, including Castle Connolly’s Top Doctor award and the prestigious Patients’ Choice Award. If you or someone you love has suffered a twisted knee injury, don’t hesitate to call Dr. Millstein at 310.595.1030. Seeking immediate medical treatment is the best way to return to the activities you love and ensure your body’s long-term health and function.