Sprained Knee – If your partner, child or someone else close to you sprains their knee, it can be a deceptively serious injury. Knee sprains may sound like a common thing that will just get better with rest and an ice pack; however, the most serious sprains can be incredibly painful, and can require not only the use of crutches for a while, but also knee braces, and a proper rehabilitation program with exercises.
Here we look at how you can help someone close to you who has experienced a serious knee sprain, from what to do immediately after the injury happens, through to how to help them during their recovery.
What to do When a Sprained Knee is Suspected
Knee sprains can occur from all sorts of activities, but they are most common from falls. If someone you are with thinks they may have an acute knee sprain, the first thing to do is apply an ice pack (a pack of frozen vegetables will do). This will help to prevent the knee from swelling up too badly while you arrange to get them to the ER. There, they will be able to do an x-ray to check that the injury is actually a sprain, rather than something else like a muscular injury or a fracture. They will also be able to provide a brace for the knee if required, and recommend which painkillers the patient should be taking – they will definitely need some. For moderate sprains, an anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen may be sufficient, but in more serious sprains they may prescribe a stronger pain relief medication for the short-term period while the pain is still very acute.
Helping with Rehabilitation
Often, a severe knee sprain will require physical therapy to help the patient recover while avoiding any longer-term complications from the knee not healing properly, such as developing a limp, which can lead to further joint issues down the line. You can do more than just offer encouragement here, as they may need someone to help with some of their exercises. Make sure they get an appointment with an expert such as Kneecare Clinics, and you may need to drive them there too, given driving is often impossible while in the early stages of recovery.
An important thing to remember if you want to help your loved one through the injury, is that it can be very frustrating not to be able to walk easily or do any of the things you usually would. Offer support, help them out where you can by doing things like running errands they usually do, and above all, don’t trivialize the injury.
Hopefully this advice will help you and your loved one get on the path to recovery. Remember that knee sprains can vary a lot in severity, and rehabilitation can take anything from weeks to several months, so you may need to make some changes in your lifestyle for the medium-term future to help them get back on their feet.