The most important thing to consider when trying to treat a twisted knee is to decide the extent of the damage. A twisted knee is also known as a sprained or strained knee. The knee is a major joint that attaches the thigh bone to the shin bone through a series of tendons and ligaments. Twisted knees are fairly common and can occur at any age or level of physical activity.
To determine the extent of the damage, there are three simple tests that can be done. First, feel the knee itself with your hands. The knee should feel cool to the touch, but slightly tender. Sitting down, move your leg up and down, and then move it from left to right. If the leg is able to move through the entire range of motion but is slightly sore, it is probably a twisted knee.
If the knee is hot to the touch, visibly swollen, bruised, discolored, and unable to accept any weight, go to the doctor or medical clinic. Apply an ice pack to reduce the swelling, but understand that this is a temporary measure to increase your comfort and is not a treatment. Do not wait to see if the knee improves, as the heat and swelling is an indicator of deeper damage.
To treat a twisted knee, there are three things you should do as soon as possible after the injury occurs: rest, ice, and elevate. Avoid putting any weight or pressure on the knee by using crutches or a cane when walking. Apply an ice compress for 30 minutes at least three times a day. Elevate your knee when sitting by using a stool or chair to keep the knee up. Avoid keeping it too straight, as this may strain the joint and make the knee feel stiff.
The three-step treatment plan should be followed for no more than five days. If the twisted knee is still sore after five days, it is best to see a doctor. There may be something else wrong with the knee. Once the knee is no longer sore, strengthening exercises are normally prescribed to strengthen the tendons and reduce the chance for repeated injury.
The first exercise to strengthen a twisted knee is to add a weight bag to the ankle and lift the foot straight up while in a seated position. Repeat this exercise 15 times at least three times a day. Alternate this exercise with a sweeping motion moving the foot from left to right. These two exercises together will strengthen the primary supporting tendons in the knee.