T Nation

Sprained Knee? or ACL Torn


Hi all…I had a Submission Wrestling tournament on yesterday and I twisted my knee bad…

Heres a picture of it…

As you can see, my knee instantly twisted the opposite way due to the weight and Instantly, i could feel the pain. I never had any major injuries prior to this one and I was wondering; how long do “Knee Sprains” take or “ACL” take to heal.

I’m getting it checked out hopefully this week by my family doctor and hopefully he’ll send me to a physio. I don’t know much about injuries so any suggestions would be appreciated.

Also, I can barely make my knee straight, and when I bend it back I instantly feel pain.

Knee injuries are shitty. I dislocated mine last august and I’ve reinjured it twice since. Once back at work and the other in rehab. With the dislocation I was off work for about 3months, and re injured in about 5, but even in that time I had not gotten back up to squating or dead lifting what I was pre injury.

Just from looking at the pic I really have no clue, just take it easy till you know for sure what is wrong. Ice it and keep it elevated.

Ugh, go to the doctor maybe?

Torn ACL’s don’t heal. Sprains can take weeks to months to heal.

Rest, ice , elevate and wrap it and get to a doctor.

Good luck.

Definitely could be MCL/ACL rupture. Often a meniscus problem is thrown into the mix with a valgus stress as you experienced. Most people with a ruptured ligament will comment on hearing a “pop” or a “snap” at the time of injury, but this is not always the case.

Go to the doctor, do what he says, and accept that you will need to relax for a while before going at it hard again.

Cool picture BTW.

Get lots of rest and ice it for now. That position in your picture definitely looks like you could have ligament or meniscus damage.

Another important aspect of the icing is that you want the swelling to be fairly reduced when you see a doctor.

After I blew out my PCL, I saw a doctor a few days later, and I had the doctor actually check out the knee and say it looked fine. The swelling was giving it a lot of stiffness. I had to actually request that the doctor refer me to get an MRI, which showed the complete PCL rupture.

As far as recovery, if you have a complete ligament tear, ACL or MCL, you’ll need surgery. Some bad meniscus tears might need surgery, others might heal. But as far as ligament surgery, you’re looking at not putting weight on the leg at all for at least a month post surgery, and probably not returning to full competition for about a year.

For me, one year post-surgery, I was out playing basketball again with what felt like something close to my old explosiveness, but it was not for about 18 months until I could play basketball two days in a row and not have my knee stiffen and swell up.

It was about the two year mark when I finally felt like my knees were equal again and my surgery knee didn’t feel drasticaly different than my good knee. Of course there are still some minor flexibility difference, and it will always be looser, but it feels fine. Also, I did have PCL surgery, which is not nearly as well understood as ACL surgery, so you may be in a lot better shape than I was.

Rehab needs to be extensive to regain your full strength, flexibility, and recoverability (usually about 3-4 Physical therapy sessions per week, with more at home treatment such as mobility, stretching, or icing).

I don’t mean to scare you, just trying to get you mentally prepared for it. You’ve probably got a serious knee injury. Intense competition often means big injuries. Unfortunately, you’ll be down for a while, but don’t worry, you can come back from it.

ACL repair surgery techniques have really improved a lot in the past few years. It will give you some new perspectives and new discipline on things in your training and life too. Good luck.

Ah …damn. I just got to see some doctor at a walk in clinic and he said I should be fine. To him, it looked just like an ordinary knee sprain, but I fear for the worst. I Still need to see my actual family doctor and request and MRI/X-Ray to be done.

Once I could find out wtf is going on with my knee, then I could rest. If it means taking time off…then so be it. I just can’t believe this happened right before summer starts.

It really sucks. I hope i’m lucky enough to get away with a knee sprain and no torn ANYTHING. I mean, I could walk better now, no crutches needed. :slight_smile:

[quote]jaymackz wrote:
Ah …damn. I just got to see some doctor at a walk in clinic and he said I should be fine. To him, it looked just like an ordinary knee sprain, but I fear for the worst. I Still need to see my actual family doctor and request and MRI/X-Ray to be done.

Once I could find out wtf is going on with my knee, then I could rest. If it means taking time off…then so be it. I just can’t believe this happened right before summer starts.

It really sucks. I hope i’m lucky enough to get away with a knee sprain and no torn ANYTHING. I mean, I could walk better now, no crutches needed. :)[/quote]

Go see another doctor and get an MRI. Any time someone gets a knee injury with a pop, I order X rays and am thinking MRI right away. I actually did ART on a fellow and had him off crutches in 15 minutes. I insisted on an MRI. He thought it was overkill because he felt fine.

The MRI showed a complete rupture of the ACL. The gapping test was normal, btw.

Ya I might get an MRI, just to make sure…but i’m pretty sure it’s nothing man. Just a stretched ligament or something along those lines.

[quote]jaymackz wrote:
Ya I might get an MRI, just to make sure…but i’m pretty sure it’s nothing man. Just a stretched ligament or something along those lines.[/quote]

Stretched ligaments are serious, they are a tear technically.

And my patient was sure nothing was wrong and he had a complete acl rupture. Remember, he was pain free and walking fine.

[quote]jaymackz wrote:
Ya I might get an MRI, just to make sure…but i’m pretty sure it’s nothing man. Just a stretched ligament or something along those lines.[/quote]

Are you a doctor? What education - formal or informal - qualifies you to reach this conclusion?

[quote]CaliforniaLaw wrote:
jaymackz wrote:
Ya I might get an MRI, just to make sure…but i’m pretty sure it’s nothing man. Just a stretched ligament or something along those lines.

Are you a doctor? What education - formal or informal - qualifies you to reach this conclusion?[/quote]

This is a classic case of what I hope it is as opposed to what it is. Doctors don’t know for sure what these things are without proper imaging.

That sucks. I just hyper extended my knee today, but it doesn’t seem to be nearly as bad as your injury. I hope everything goes well. Good luck with your recovery.

Definitely get an MRI and/or a second opinion. That’s serious business, that’s nothing you want to be guessing about.

I tore my ACL a couple of years back. I heard the loud ‘pop’ when it happened, and even though I was able to walk fine on it the next day with no pain or swelling, I still had it checked out by two doctors.

Whatever it is, I wish you well in your recovery.

Yeah, definitely get the MRI. Another thing too, with athletes who have great leg musculature, often times you can seem normal walking around because your muscle can compensate for everyday activities like walking. But you really have to be sure before you try to return to any kind of athletic competition, so you don’t do some more damage.

A friend of mine in high school completely blew out his MCL triple jumping (we had it video taped, it looked nasty). The high school trainer thought it was fine and actually had him icing, stretching and JOGGING around the track for like two weeks. It wasn’t getting too much better, so he finally went to the doctor, who took the MRI, and saw the blown MCL. The doctor basically told him that he was lucky he had such freaking strong legs (dude had the strongest squat in our high school), because his muscles had been the only thing holding his knee tight enough to allow him to jog.

So you may only have a sprain, you may have not completely torn any ligaments (you can have a partial tear), but the only way to be sure is get and MRI.

[quote]beans wrote:
Yeah, definitely get the MRI. Another thing too, with athletes who have great leg musculature, often times you can seem normal walking around because your muscle can compensate for everyday activities like walking. But you really have to be sure before you try to return to any kind of athletic competition, so you don’t do some more damage.

A friend of mine in high school completely blew out his MCL triple jumping (we had it video taped, it looked nasty). The high school trainer thought it was fine and actually had him icing, stretching and JOGGING around the track for like two weeks. It wasn’t getting too much better, so he finally went to the doctor, who took the MRI, and saw the blown MCL. The doctor basically told him that he was lucky he had such freaking strong legs (dude had the strongest squat in our high school), because his muscles had been the only thing holding his knee tight enough to allow him to jog.

So you may only have a sprain, you may have not completely torn any ligaments (you can have a partial tear), but the only way to be sure is get and MRI.[/quote]

Yep, the patient I mentioned had well developed legs.