Bones are connected to other bones by ligaments. They act like thick ropes that hold the bones together and provide stability. When a strong force stretches the ligaments beyond their ability to spring back, injury occurs. Injured ligaments are sprains that are graded on a severity scale of one to three. Grade one and two sprains may be treated with non-invasive approaches. Grade three sprains are considered complete tears and may need surgery.
Symptoms include pain, swelling and instability. Your Tenet Florida Physician Services doctor will make a full exam and take a medical history including sports or activities that may have caused the injury.
Diagnosing a ligament injury usually involves a doctor’s examination and x-rays or other imaging studies.
If the overall stability of the joint is intact, your doctor may recommend nonsurgical options. Rest, ice, bracing, and physical therapy may help those who have slight injuries or do not have an active lifestyle.
Surgery is needed for active patients and those with serious tears. Rebuilding the ligament with a tendon from the patient or a cadaver, followed by physical therapy and rehabilitation, will help get the patient back to normal.Previous Page Last Review Date: December 19, 2017