Knee Sprain (ACL, PCL, MCL, LCL) :: Nationwide Children's Hospital

Knee Sprain (ACL, PCL, MCL, LCL)

What is a knee sprain?

  • Knee sprains can be significant injuries that occur from a stretch or tear of the ligaments in and around the knee.
  • Ligaments are string-like bands of tissue that connect your bones and create stability for the joint.
  • The four main ligaments of the knee most often damaged are the Anterior Cruciate (ACL), Posterior Cruciate (PCL), Medial Collateral (MCL) and Lateral Collateral (LCL). The ACL and PCL are located inside the knee joint. The MCL and LCL are located on the sides of the knee joint.

What causes a knee sprain?

  • Knee sprains can be caused by non-contact twisting of the knee.
  • A direct blow to the knee.

 What are the symptoms?

  • Immediate pain in the knee after a direct blow or twist.
  • Pain with movement or activity in the knee.
  • Swelling in the knee.
  • Walking with a limp or a feeling that the knee is going to “give out” with standing and walking.
  • The feeling of a “pop” or “snap” felt in the knee when the injury occurred.

What can I do to feel better?

  • Rest. Do not do things that cause pain.
  • Ice for 15-20 minutes at a time will help decrease swelling and pain.
  • Compression can be helpful to decrease swelling and pain.
  • If walking is painful, crutches are often recommended to allow for optimal healing.

When should I see a medical professional?

  • If rest, ice, and compression are not improving the condition.
  • If you are unable to put weight on your leg.
  • If you are unsure about the severity of the condition.

Request an Appointment

Nationwide Children's Hospital
700 Children's Drive Columbus, Ohio 43205 614.722.2000