Injuries to Ligaments

Ligaments are strong bands of inelastic tissue that are located around joints. They join one bone to the adjacent bone and prevent unwanted movement thereby protecting the articular surface of the joint.

A ligament is made up of collagen fibres with blood vessels and nerve endings in the substance of the ligament. Consequently when a ligament is torn bleeding results and there is pain.

Ligament injuries are classified into grades:

Grade 1 � Is a sprain without tearing of the ligament.
Grade 2 � Is a partial tear of the ligament.
Grade 3 � Is a completely ruptured ligament.

The most common ligament injured in the body are the ligaments on the outside of the ankle and the collateral and cruciate ligaments in the knee. There are also ligaments in the spine which can be injured.

Healing.

Grade 1 � Will take four to six weeks to improve.
Grade 2 � Will take six to eight weeks.
Grade 3 � Will take three to six months and may not properly heal.

As ligaments are important for the correct functioning of the joint professional advice from a physiotherapist should be sought if you have sustained a ligament injury resulting in swelling and loss of movement.

Exercises to strengthen the muscles around the joint are important to compensate for the reduced function of the ligament.

April 21st 2017

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