Injuries to ligaments are very common in athletes and can happen with any joint, often the weight-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 a Ligament Injury?
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 a Ligament Injury?
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 does OSI fix a Ligament Injury
An OSI Sports Medicine team member, who is also an orthopedic specialist, will examine you to confirm your ligament injury and help plan an effective treatment plan. Your OSI doctor will do some or all of the following:
- 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 (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) protocol
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications
- Physical therapy, available at OSI
- Cortisone injections
- Supportive braces
In cases that don’t respond to conservative treatment options, surgery can be considered.