Knee injuries often occur due to a twisting or direct impact injury. Some of these injuries cause only mild swilling, while others will cause a measurable loss of motion.
Some of the things that cause the knee to be unable to straighten include:
A Meniscus Tear – More specifically, a buck handle tear of the meniscus. This is a unique tear where the torn peace of meniscus pivots into the center of the knee joint. This piece then locks the knee and prevents it from being able to straighten.
An ACL Tear – Many people suffering from an ACL tear will find it painful to straighten their knee. It isn’t locked, but simply hurts too much to straighten. Within a few days, the swelling should start to subside and the athlete will likely be able to straighten their knee.
Severe Swelling – There are many reasons and causes for a swollen knee. Swelling is common after severe injuries due to bleeding. This can cause so much pain and inflammation that attempting to straighten the knee is simply too painful.
Tendon Injuries – Injuries to the quadriceps or patella tendon will make it difficult to straighten the knee. Weakness will be observed in and around the area and movement will be strained and painful.
If you’ve recently injured your knee and find yourself unable to straighten it, you should consider scheduling a consultation with orthopedic surgeons. They’ll be able to properly diagnose the cause of your pain and prescribe treatment. If you would like to schedule a consultation with one of our orthopedic specialists, contact our offices in Joplin, MO and let us know how we can serve you.