Ligaments support and strengthen joints. Their main function is to keep the bones of the skeleton in proper alignment and prevent abnormal movements of the joints.
Ligaments are bands of strong, flexible tissue that connect bones together throughout the body. They allow movement between bones, which allows you to do things like flex your foot or move your fingers. While ligaments are extremely strong, an awkward stretch or twist can cause a strain injury. With enough force, they can be torn—the most severe ligament injury. When ligaments are stretched or strained beyond normal capacity, they can tear. There are three grades of ligament injury: grade 1, a mild ligament tear; grade 2, a moderate ligament tear, and grade 3, a complete ligament tear, otherwise known as a rupture.
Common Types of Ligament Injuries:
1. Sprained Ankle
One of the most common types of sports injuries, an ankle sprain is a stretch, micro tear or complete tear to the ligaments on the outer side of the ankle.
2. Knee Ligament injuries
There are four ligaments that hold the bones of the knee together.
– Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL)
– Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL)
– Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL)
– Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL)
~ ACL Tear
Common in soccer, football and basketball, an ACL injury is damage to the ligaments on the inside of the knee. The severity can range from a mild sprain to a full tear of the ligament(s).
~ MCL or LCL Tear
A Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) or Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL) injury is a sprain or tear of the inner or outer knee ligaments. It is usually a result of an injury that occurs while participating in an activity that puts a heavy strain on the knees, such as skiing. Most MCL and LCL injuries will recover without surgery.
~ PCL Tear
Injury to the PCL is the least common type of ligament injury in the knee and frequently occurs from direct trauma or fall on the knee. Most PCL injuries will heal without surgery.
3. Elbow Ligament Injuries
The Ulnar Collateral Ligament (UCL) is the most common injury in the elbow. This is also known as the Tommy John injury. Injuries most commonly occur in baseball from excessive pitching and can be acute or chronic injuries. Traumatic tears can also occur in falls or sports such as wrestling. The UCL is on the inside of the elbow and injury can be a mild sprain, partial tear or complete tear.
4. Shoulder Ligament Injuries
Shoulder ligaments are most commonly injured in dislocations of the ball and socket joint. These are generally forceful injuries and frequently require and emergency room visit to have the joint reduced (put back into place). A shoulder Separation involves the Acromioclavicular Joint (ACJ) which is the outer part of the collar bone and involves tearing of the ligaments that hold the joint together.
5. Thumb ligament injuries
The most common type of ligament injury is called a gamekeepers thumb. Gamekeepers thumb is a tear of the ligament between the base of the thumb and the wrist bones. These commonly occur during a fall when you’re holding something in your hand, such as a ski pole or the handlebars of a bike.
6. Neck Ligaments injuries
The ligaments of the neck can be torn during whiplash Injuries when sudden acceleration and deceleration cause extreme movement of the cervical spine. The ligament tear is just one part of a whiplash injury, which may also damage muscles, nerves, and bones.
7. Back Ligaments Injuries
The ligaments in the back can be torn by lifting something that is too heavy.
Here at Nova Health Physiotherapy Clinic, we will evaluate the causes of your pain and dysfunction, develop an individually tailored treatment plan and provide one-on-one treatment to get you to pain free life.
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