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Ligament Injury


>>What is a Ligament?

A ligament is a tough bundle of fiber which connects two or more bones to each other around the joints. These are made of collagen fibers and are not visible on X-rays.

Ligaments are frequently confused with Tendons. Tendons are fibres which connect muscles to bone.

>>What is the function of a ligament?

Ligaments bind two bones in such a way that the joints can move in a restricted way. They prevent excessive and abnormal movement in the joints and also provide protection from the dislocation.

>>How does a ligament get injured?

Ligament injury or ligament tear is caused due to excessive bending or torsional force along a joint. The ligament fails to hold the joint in place and gives away. Ligament injuries are commonly known as "ligament sprain".

>>Types of Ligament injuries

There are 3 grades of ligament injuries depending on the severity of the tear.

>>Common ligament injuries

Almost any joint can have ligament injury. However few joints are more susceptible to these injuries. Joints which frequently suffer from ligament injuries are:

  • Ankle
  • Knee
  • Lower back
  • Wrist
  • Elbow

>>Diagnosis:

Ligament injuries are frequently missed as they are not visible on x-ray. A missed grade II or III sprain cam cause prolonged discomfort to the patient.

Thorough clinical examination can help in diagnosing the injury. MRI scan can pick up ligament injuries.

>>Treatement:

Treatement depends on the grade of injury and the joint involved.

  • Grade I injuries are treated with rest, ice compression and analgesics.
  • Grade II injuries are treates with braces with a longer period of rest.
  • Grade III injuries are treated with absolute rest or in plaster if possible.

Some ligaments with grade II of III injuries never heal by themselves (e.g.- Anterior cruciate ligament of the knee). These ligemants require surgical intervention. Read about ACL injuries under Arthroscopy.

 

 

Book an appointment:      033-25742200