What Is a Hyperextended Knee?
Knee hyperextension (Genu Recurvatum) in simple terms is when your knee is straightened beyond your joints normal range of motion. More technically speaking knee hyperextension is a condition where the back of the knee joint opens too far and the tibia is allowed to slip backwards. The normal range of motion of the knee-joint is from 0 to 135 degrees in an adult. Full knee extension should be no more than 10 degrees, so once you surpass that you are getting into hot water. As you can imagine, the damage from a hyperextended knee can range from mild to severe. A severe hyperextended knee can involve meniscus tears and/or ligament tears including your ACL, PCL, or MCL.
Symptoms You May Have a Knee Hyperextension
- You either hear or feel a pop at the time of the injury
- Swelling or Inflammation
- Instability – unable to bear weight or continue your activity normally
- Pain in the back or on the sides of your knee
- Elevate – get your leg up
- Knee Brace
- Physical Therapy
- If there is ligament damage or tear involving your Anterior Cruciate, Posterior Cruciate, or Medial Cruciate ligaments
- If there is cartilage damage or tear involving your Meniscus
For a mild knee hyperextension, you can expect your knee to heal in 2-4 weeks. For sever knee hyperextensions with additional injuries such as a meniscus tear and ligament tear (acl,pcl,mcl), it will probably be necessary to have surgery. In surgical cases recovery times will vary and be much longer.
Consulting a doctor is the only way to know which treatment option is best for you.