Injuries to ligaments are very common in athletes and can happen with any joint, often the weigh-bearing knee or ankle joint. When a joint is stressed, ligaments – the tough tissue that connects bones in the body – become strained or are damaged, sometimes to the point of tearing from the bone.
What causes it?
Ligaments are often injured during athletic activities or job functions, typically involving sudden force:
- Forceful twisting
- Sudden stopping
- Shifting your weight
- Landing awkwardly
How do you know you have it?
There are three grades of ligament injury: grade 1 (mild), grade 2 (moderate), grade 3 (severe). Symptoms of a ligament injury include:
- Sudden onset of pain
- Severe swelling
- Joint instability (buckling or giving out, cannot walk or bear weight)
How we fix it
The OSI team of sports medicine specialists can help you with a ligament injury. We are here to work with you to develop an effective treatment plan:
- Physical exam: Your doctor will ask about any symptoms and how the injury occurred. The joint/area will be evaluated and assessed.
- Imaging tests: X-rays or an MRI may be ordered to confirm an injury.
Nonsurgical treatments for ligament injuries may include:
- RICE protocol
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications
- Physical therapy
- Cortisone injections
- Supportive braces
In cases that don’t respond to conservative treatment options, surgery can be considered.