Knee hyperextension injuries can either be a mild strain or become extremely painful – to the point where you are unable to walk without an increased risk of a tendon rupture. Those who play high-impact sports like soccer and basketball or maintain an active lifestyle know this condition well. However, it is not always easy to indicate without a proper diagnosis from a chiropractor near LAX.
What Is Knee Hyperextension?
Hyperextension of the knee, also known as “genu recurvatum,” is when the leg gets overly straightened at the knee joint, which increases stress on the surrounding area. While it is a frequent occurrence for athletes, it can happen to anyone!
In most cases, it occurs when the knee gets hit with excessive force or an individual comes to a quick deaccelerated stop. As the knee hyperextends, it often bends the wrong way causing swelling, pain, and tissue damage. Unfortunately, surrounding ligaments may be sprained or ruptured as well. There are a few symptoms to look out for, such as:
Knee Instability: Many patients diagnosed with knee hyperextension experience their leg giving out when walking or standing.
Pain: Pain is localized in the knee joint. Depending on how much the injury hurts, a sports doctor near LAX can assess surrounding ligaments and structures for damage. The injury can feel like a dull ache or sharp pain in the back of the knee. Those with discomfort in front of the knee feel a tight, pinching pain.
Decreased Mobility: If you have trouble bending or straightening your leg, it could be because of excessive swelling. Unfortunately, you may have to take it easy and find a way to reduce the inflammation. Make a note of the damage to surrounding internal structures like the cruciate ligament (ACL) or posterior cruciate ligament (PCL).
Swelling and Bruising: This is an immediate or delayed reaction but is likely to occur as your body naturally responds to injured tissues.
We recommend you follow the RICE method as you wait for your next appointment with a specialized sports doctor for any soft tissue injuries.
Rest: Seek immediate medical attention and take a break from high-impact activities. Gentle motion exercises are best, but we encourage you to rest. Anti-inflammatory medications can help to reduce swelling and pain.
Ice: Ice your knee for 15 minutes several times a day. Along with anti-inflammatory medications, it will bring down swelling and help manage discomfort. Make sure to wrap the ice in a piece of fabric or towel to prevent skin irritation.
Compression: A compression wrap or bandage should be placed around the knee when you feel it’s best to cut the pain in half.
Elevation: As you rest, elevate your leg (above your heart). Try placing it on a pillow or prop it up as you recline back in your chair.
Surgery: Although this is not likely to happen, be wary of tendon tears. ACL ruptures are common in cases of extreme hyperextension, which need surgical repair. When multiple internal structures get damaged at once, the recovery is seldom as straightforward.
2 – 4 Weeks to Recovery
To fully recover from this knee injury, it can take between two to four weeks. For immediate results, make sure to limit activities that add stress to your knee. Instead, manage swelling and pain using the RICE method until you see a physical therapist that will work with you to increase your strength and rehabilitate surrounding muscles.