What is a ligament? Ligament Injury Symptoms

Ligaments or ligaments are ligaments around joints. They connect one bone to another, support the joint and prevent excessive movement of the joint. There are ligaments in many joints such as knee, ankle, elbow, shoulder. Ligament injury or rupture can be seen in traumatic events such as sports injury, traffic accident, fall.

Differences of Tendon and Ligament

Ligaments and tendons can sometimes be confused with each other. Tendons are also made up of connective tissue. They are located at the ends of the muscles and provide attachment to the bone. Both are string-like structures, but tendons have slightly more flexibility. As a muscle contracts and lengthens, it moves the bone and joint to which it is attached by means of a tendon. The tendon absorbs some of the force at this time. Ligaments, on the other hand, are more passive structures. Their main function is to limit abnormal movement and strengthen the joints. They may flex a little, but if pushed beyond their point of resistance, they may become too stretched to return to their original shape.

Ligament Injury Symptoms

Stretching or tearing of ligaments is medically referred to as sprain. Sprain is a sudden injury, usually caused by a fall, blow, or sudden movement. Stage 1, 2 and 3 are divided into classes in severity. Stage 1 injury is mild, only strain is involved. Stage 3 injury corresponds to a complete rupture. If the ligament is torn, a cracking sound can be heard and a feeling of tearing can be felt. Symptoms such as pain, swelling and bruising may be seen in the affected area. The joint may become unable to carry the load it normally carries; For example, in the event of a rupture of the knee ligament, the knee may fall out.

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The most familiar ligaments are those in the knee joint. We often hear that the anterior cruciate ligament ruptures, especially in football injuries. There is also a risk of injury in basketball and skiing. The knee mainly has four major ligaments. The other three are the posterior cruciate ligament, the medial lateral ligament, and the outer lateral ligament. The anterior cruciate ligament is at the mid-anterior portion of the knee, limiting the anterior movement and rotation of the shinbone. The posterior cruciate ligament is in the mid-back of the knee and controls the posterior movement of the shinbone. The lateral ligaments, on the other hand, are on the inner and outer sides as indicated in their names; they strengthen the joint in these aspects.

In the elbow joint, there are ulnar lateral (collateral) ligament, lateral lateral ligament and annular (circular) ligament. The ulnar and lateral lateral ligaments connect the humerus to the ulna at the elbow. The annular ligament wraps around the radius, the other bone of the forearm, and pulls it to the ulna. Continuously throwing things with the hand (games such as baseball) can cause injury, especially to the ulnar lateral ligament.

The ligaments in our shoulder connect the arm bone to the scapula and the scapula to the collarbone. They may suffer damage due to trauma or compulsive movements. If shoulder dislocations are not intervened immediately, the ligaments remain abnormally long and weaken for a long time. This may lead to recurrence of shoulder dislocation in the future.

The ligaments that hold the bones in the ankle together can be torn as a result of a sprain.

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Sprain Treatment

In ligament injuries, it is recommended to rest for the first few days, apply cold, wrap the injured area with an elastic bandage, and keep it above the heart level. Physical therapy methods can be used. Regenerative medicine methods such as PRP and prolotherapy are also increasingly being applied. If there is a complete rupture and joint instability (volatility), it may need to be repaired surgically.

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