How Do I Treat Knee Hyperextension?

A man wearing a brace for knee hyperextension.
A physician might use X-rays to assess damage from knee hyperextension.
A diagram of the knee.
A patient may need to use crutches during knee hyperextension.
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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 04 August 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Knee hyperextension is a condition in which the knee is straightened beyond the normal limits of the joint. When this happens, the possibility of some type of knee injury is greatly increased. Even a mild and momentary bend of this type can result in straining knee ligaments, especially the anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL. The main focus of treating knee hyperextension involves relieving the unnatural stress at once, as well as minimizing swelling and inflammation. In some cases, surgery may be needed if the knee ligaments are badly damaged.

In the event that knee hyperextension occurs due to some type of exercise or an accident that bends the knee in an awkward position, there is a good chance that one or more ligaments will be strained or possibly torn. Swelling is likely to begin immediately, which only places additional stress on the already damaged ligaments. Applying ice as quickly as possible will help to reduce the swelling, and also help to ease the pain that is probably shooting up and down the leg.

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After applying ice, it is important to seek medical attention as quickly as possible. A physician can assess the damage, often with the use of X-rays or some type of scanning equipment. Depending on the severity of the damage, it may be possible to prescribe anti-inflammatory medications and apply a compression bandage that will hold the kneecap and ligaments in place while the damage heals. If the damage is severe, however, some type of surgery to reconnect the ligaments may be necessary.

For minor instances of knee hyperextension, a regimen involving the application of ice several times a day, along with taking an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drug such as ibuprofen, may work very well. Elevating the damaged leg, taking care to provide adequate support for the knee joint, will also expedite the healing process. Keeping weight off the leg for a few days will also make a big difference in the rate of recovery. If you must move about, wearing a compression bandage that is just tight enough to hold the damaged knee in a natural position will help to minimize the stress. Use crutches to get around until your doctor instructs you to begin putting weight back on the leg.

For the most part, the best way to avoid knee hyperextension is to be mindful of the knee posture while walking, standing, or engaging in sports activities. While it is fine for the knee alignment to be straight, far too many people do stand with the bottom portion of the leg extended forward. Posture of this type makes it much easier to overextend the knee in the wrong direction and lead to a hyperextension of the knee joint.

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Discuss this Article

anon962112
Post 12

I had an aerobic exercise injury to my right knee 30 years ago. All the doctor did at that time was drain the fluid (mostly blood) from my knee and put me on crutches, no physical therapy was ordered that I know of. I was a minor so I don't know if my parents just decided I didn't need to go or what?

Anyway, I've always have had problems with it just going out and now over the years it over hyper-extends but really over-extends and has been for years. I have to walk with a cane and only can do that for a very little while. Other than a knee brace is there anything that I can do for this?

With this condition as it is now, over the years (since I can't walk much) my leg has atrophied (muscle has wasted away to very little) so I can't walk much and when I do it immediately, and every time, it hyper-extends.

I am currently doing physical therapy and have done many times. I am working out to build the muscle but I've been told that, that won't be enough. Do I need knee replacement, would that work? I just want to be able to walk again without problems. Can you please tell me what my options are to correct this?

anon956203
Post 11

I'm 14 and I hyper extended my knee a week ago. It's been sore for a week. It's gotten to the point at times I cannot walk. I haven't seen a doctor or physio yet. Do you think I need to?

anon951724
Post 10

I hyper extended my knee a couple of years ago and I'm now 13, but whenever I run a lot or walk for a long time, the inner side of my knee hurts a ton. What causes this and what should I do?

anon237138
Post 7

O.K. The NSAIDS hinder healing and are liver/kidney toxic.

Homeopathic arnica works great for pain reduction,with no insidious side effects

Run -- er, hobble to your nearest Osteopath or Rolfer who will realign the entire body as well as the knee components.

Cease and desist all dairy. When we're injured, guess where the fecal bacteria, (millions in a cup of milk is permitted by law!) etc., is headed? Yep, to the injury site.

Take mega amounts of vitamin C and take epsom salt baths, which will speed removal of inflammation and accelerate healing.

anon180668
Post 6

A second opinion is what I recommend.

anon170086
Post 5

I suffered a knee injury about 20 years ago (three hyperextensions). Is there anything that can be done to help it, besides surgery?

anon167319
Post 4

I am suffering with both knee hyperextension with flat foot deformities. Where can i get better treatment for this problem? What should i do for this type of thing? I'm facing many more problems in both the knee and ankles. Please kindly help me.

anon152704
Post 3

quad raises. work that muscle as much as you can everyday it will prevent hyperextension.

chrisinbama
Post 2

@anon91825: The first treatment for your hyperextended knee is crutches. You don’t need to put any weight on the leg of the injured knee. When you are sitting, you need to keep it elevated. Acetaminophen can help with the pain.

You may be a candidate for physical therapy. Yours sounds a little more serious if you have been in pain for that long. It is possible that you may have damaged the ligaments in your knee. The ligaments could be torn or detached. In that case, surgery may be required.

In the event that surgery is required, you will have to wait several months before returning to any strenuous activity.

anon91825
Post 1

I'm 16 years old and I've been dealing with my knee hyper extending on a regular basis, beginning when i was eight years old. I'm constantly aware of my knee, and I'm always in pain. Sometimes its barely enough to notice and other times I can't walk.

I tried talking to my family doctor about it, but he just told me to work the muscle around it so it wouldn't happen anymore. (Which I've tried)

What should I do?

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