Torn Ligament Q & A

What should I know about ligaments?

Ligaments are tough bands of fibrous tissue connecting one bone to another or, in some cases, connecting bone to cartilage. Your ligaments have the important job of stabilizing your joints and restricting joint motion.

Ligaments also have receptors that help with joint proprioception, giving your brain information about the position and movement of the joint.

Your ligaments are strong, but they can still be stretched or torn. When ligaments stretch beyond their normal tolerance, you develop a sprain. The ligaments most often injured are those in your ankle, knee, and wrist.

What causes a torn ligament?

Untreated repetitive stress injuries cause chronic inflammation that weakens the ligament and may ultimately cause a rupture. You can also tear a healthy ligament if you suffer a high-impact injury such as a fall.

Patients who participate in high-demand sports, such as soccer, football, and basketball, are also at risk of tearing the ligaments in their knee.

What symptoms develop due to a torn ligament?

You may hear a popping sound at the time you tear your ligament. Otherwise, you develop symptoms such as:

  • Mild to severe pain
  • Swelling
  • Stiffness in the joint
  • Loss of motion
  • Inability to use the joint

When a ligament in your knee is injured, it may feel like the joint will give way or lock.

How is a torn ligament treated?

A mild ligament injury may be treated with rest followed by physical therapy. A more serious injury, and especially a full tear, requires immobilization such as a lightweight cast or brace to give the ligament time to heal.

Once your pain and swelling go down, you can start rehabilitation to restore strength and range of motion.

Depending on the type of ligament that was damaged and the severity of your injury, your doctor at Optimal Pain & Regenerative Medicine® may recommend stem cell and/or platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy.

PRP therapy accelerates healing, which makes it a vital treatment if your injury is slow to heal or the affected ligament has a poor blood supply. Stem cell therapy regenerates new tissues, including ligaments, and helps boost healing.

If you suffer a ligament tear, the team at Optimal Pain & Regenerative Medicine® provides treatments that relieve your pain and speed up healing. To schedule an appointment, call or use the online booking feature today.