Ligament Injuries

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INJURY TITLE

Ligament Injuries

 

INJURY OVERVIEW

Ligaments are the policemen of a joint.  They restrict unwanted movement.  They are commonly injured in sport via sprains to a joint.  For example, ‘going over’ on your ankle usually involves some degree of ligament injury.

 

INJURY IN-DEPTH INFORMATION

Ligament injuries can range from mild to moderate to severe.  A mild injury involves only a small number of ligament fibres and despite some discomfort the joint will operate normally.  A more severe injury will involve more fibres and the stability of the joint may be called into question.

 

Moderate injuries can be very painful, and debilitating.  Most of the ligament is really damaged but some of the fibres that are intact are now under more stress and so the pain is greater.

 

In severe injuries the pain can be massive initially but then completely disappear.  This is because the ligament is completely ruptured and so no more pain messages can be sent from the two ends.

 

COMMON SIGNS & SYMPTOMS

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Loss of joint function
  • Loss of the ability to walk properly

 

HOW IS IT ASSESSED

  • Clinical assessment can help to find out how severe the injury is and to see if further assessment is needed.
  • If certain ligaments are suspected to be injured (ACL in the knee, for example), then an MRI is usually ordered to check.

 

GENERAL TREATMENT

  • The majority of cases are treated conservatively with physiotherapy.
  • The initial aim is to reduce swelling and pain (Ice and anti inflammatories)
  • After that an graded return to function through rehab and manual therapy is sought.
  • If the joint stability is really poor after the injury sometimes a surgical opinion is needed (ACL in the knee being a specific case)

 

Exercise Videos: i.e.

  • Rotator cuff strengthening
  • Pec stretch
  • etc

 

WHICH HEALTH PROFESSIONAL TO CONSULT

PHYSIO     X

MEDIC     X

PODIATRY     

Put an ‘X’ next to each health professional that most commonly deals with this injury.

i.e. tennis elbow would be Physio and Medic as injections are common, whereas for muscular LBP it would be Physio and not Medic as they would just refer them to a Physio.

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