Knee injuries are common among the general population. The risk for knee injuries increases with age, participation in certain sports, and other factors.
When you hurt your knee, your first thought is probably about whether it is sprained or torn. There are different types of sprains and tears, so it’s important to know what you are dealing with.
Here’s what you should know when evaluating your knee injury.
Sprains vs. Tears: What’s the Difference?
Knee sprains happen when one or more ligaments around your knee break or stretch too far. This is typically a more serious injury than a knee tear, but both can be painful.
Knee sprains are caused by overstretched ligaments in your knee. Ligaments link your bones together using strong connective tissues.
There are different degrees of knee sprains.
Grade 1 knee sprains indicate an overstretched knee ligament. You may experience moderate pain when walking or completing other activities.
Grade 2 knee sprains indicate severe overstretching and potential ligament tears in your knee. It’s important to keep weight off of the affected knee entirely while it heals.
Grade 3 knee sprains mean that one of your knee ligaments has completely torn into two or more pieces. Any movement in the affected knee can cause intense pain until it heals.
Knee Strain and Tearing
A knee tear, on the other hand, occurs when the muscle fibers or tendons surrounding your knee joint are strained.
Muscles and tendons function differently than ligaments do. Tendons attach your muscles to your bones.
Knee tears can cause pain due to inflammation and impact your ability to play sports or simply move around in your daily life.
How to Evaluate Your Injury
If you have recently hurt your knee, you might not know if you have a sprain or tear yet. There are a few things to keep in mind when evaluating your injury.
Knee sprains typically cause immediate pain, along with a popping sound and extreme swelling. Knee tear pain usually sets in later on, causing pain later in the day or week after your injury.
You might not even know about a knee tear when it happens. Knee sprains, however, are unmistakable; they cause lots of pain and limit your movement immediately.
Ability to Bear Weight
Your ability to put weight on the affected knee can indicate whether it’s a sprain or tear. Some tears cause significant pain, but you should still be able to briefly put weight on your knee.
Knee sprains can make your entire knee joint unstable and unusable. You will likely have to keep all weight off of the affected knee until the sprain heals.
What is Regenerative Medicine for the Healing Process
Recognizing when you have torn your knee versus when you have sprained it is important. Both injuries cause discomfort and limited mobility, but your healing process depends on proper treatment.
Regenerative medicine, also known as stem cell therapy, can potentially help with the healing process of a knee injury by promoting the growth of new tissue and reducing inflammation. When stem cells are injected into the damaged knee joint, they can differentiate into the various types of cells needed to repair damaged tissues, such as cartilage, tendons, and ligaments. This can help to stimulate the healing process and potentially regenerate damaged tissue.
Additionally, stem cells have been found to have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help to reduce inflammation in the knee joint. Inflammation is a common response to injury, but chronic inflammation can cause further damage to the joint and prolong the healing process. By reducing inflammation, stem cell therapy can help to improve the overall healing process and reduce pain and swelling in the knee joint.
This post was written by a medical professional at Stemedix Inc. At Stemedix we provide access to Regenerative Medicine for knees, also known as Regenerative therapy for Knees! Regenerative medicine has the natural potential to help improve symptoms sometimes lost from the progression of many conditions.