What is Knee Hyperextension?
Kneecap (knee cap) is a protective covering of cartilage on the top part of your knee joint. It protects your kneecap from injury or wear and tear. Your kneecap contains many bones, ligaments, tendons, nerves and blood vessels. When you bend forward at the knees, it causes stress on these structures causing pain and inflammation in your knees.
Causes of Knee Hyperextension:
The most common cause of knee hyperextension is overuse. You may have been doing something for years without realizing it.
For example, if you were lifting weights regularly, but then stopped doing so because you felt soreness or tightness in your knees after a few weeks of no weight training, this would be one reason why your knees hurt when you bent forward at the knees. Another reason could be that you had a sports injury such as sprained ankle or torn ACL. These injuries are usually not serious, however they do put strain on your body which leads to pain and inflammation in your knees.
Symptoms of Knee Hyperextension:
Painful, swollen, red or tender knees are symptoms of knee hyperextension. If you have any of these symptoms, it means that there is some damage to the tissues around your knee joints.
Anatomy of Knee Hyperextension:
The major bones in your knee consist of the femur, patella, tibia and fibula. The patella, or kneecap, is part of your knee’s joint, located in the middle of your knee.
When you bend or straighten your knee, the kneecap moves in two directions. Sometimes, a bone can pop out of place. When this happens, you can hear a loud “crack,” or hear or feel a snapping sound in or near your knee. You may also feel a sharp pain in your knee.
Diagnosis of Knee Hyperextension:
The doctor will listen to your symptoms and do an exam on your knee by bending and straightening it. He may order an x-ray of your knee to see if there is a broken bone causing the hyperextension.
Treatment for Knee Hyperextension:
Knee injuries are treated with rest, ice, compression, and elevation also known as the RICE method. You may be given a knee brace or an elastic bandage to provide support and limit movement.
If there is minimal damage then you may need to wear this for a few weeks. Alternatively, if your knee is severely damaged, you may need to rest it for months or longer as it heals.
Prevention of Knee Hyperextension:
If you have had a knee injury and it is causing you pain while bending or straightening your knee, avoid putting too much pressure on it. If possible, use crutches or a walking stick to prevent too much weight going through your knee.
Always remember to stretch your legs and feet before and after exercise to prevent tightness which can cause knee problems further down the line.
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- Biomechanical and anatomical assessment after knee hyperextension injury (S Fornalski, MH McGarry… – … American journal of …, 2008 – journals.sagepub.com)
- Cruciate injury patterns in knee hyperextension: a cadaveric model (RC Schenck Jr, IS Kovach, A Agarwal… – … : The Journal of …, 1999 – Elsevier)
- Knee recurvatum in gait: a study of associated knee biomechanics (DC Kerrigan, LC Deming, MK Holden – Archives of physical medicine and …, 1996 – Elsevier)