Ligament sprains are a common type of injury that results in fiber tearing due to excessive tension or sudden movement in the joint. The most common injuries are the wrist, ankle and knee joint. This type of injury can be recognized by its characteristic symptoms. Treatment is conservative, unless there is a ligament rupture.
Ligament tears more often occur in athletes, as well as people who lead an active lifestyle. The reason is mechanical stress that exceeds the bond strength threshold.
It can be a fall on an outstretched arm or leg, an unsuccessful turn of the limb, or subluxation. Due to the unnatural position of the body, the ligament is overstrained, so the ligamentous tissue is stretched or torn.
- engaging in a traumatic sport;
- uncomfortable shoes;
- congenital or acquired anomalies of tendon development;
- changes in articular joints caused by infectious diseases, trauma or arthrosis .
Symptoms and degrees
As a result of stretching, the damaged ligaments do not perform their functions, so the joint becomes unstable. When small vessels are injured , areas of hemorrhage appear, which is manifested by hematomas and soreness. Damage to the nerve endings leads to numbness of the limb, loss of sensitivity.
The first symptoms of trauma to the capsule- ligamentous apparatus are a characteristic clap, which is accompanied by sharp pain. Further, signs of a sprain appear within 3 days. It:
- pain that increases with movement and palpation;
- instability of the articular joint;
- restriction of movement;
- local temperature rise, skin redness;
- cyanosis of the skin.
Depending on the severity, there are 3 degrees of sprain:
- The first is characterized by damage to several groups of fibers. Pain is the main symptom; other signs may be absent.
- The second degree of damage is severe stretching. Symptoms of a partial ligament tear are pain, swelling, and loss of joint function. Possible injury to the capsule of the articular joint.
- The third degree is rupture of tendon fibers. As a result of ruptures, acute pain occurs, edema and hematoma appear. Due to the strong pain syndrome, the movements are constrained.
With the first two degrees of sprain of the joint ligaments, spontaneous healing is possible, which occurs after 2-3 weeks. Tendon ruptures rarely go away without surgery.
Depending on the localization of damage, there are such types of sprains:
- Carpal joint. This type of injury occurs when a fall or a sudden movement of the wrist.
- Shoulder joint. Ligaments are injured with a sharp swing or jerk with the hand.
- Elbow joint. It is caused by contact sports or fighting.
- The clavicular joint. Excessive loads, heavy lifting, sudden changes in position, falls and impacts become the reason.
- Knee joint. It is accompanied by damage to the meniscus. The cause is the twisting of the lower leg.
- Ankle joint. Occurs as a result of a fall or bad turn. Read more about ankle sprain →
The last two types of damage are most common.
Preventive measures for stretching the capsule- ligamentous apparatus (KSA):
- Avoid injury. To do this, you should wear comfortable shoes with ankle fixation, refuse high-heeled shoes. When playing sports, you need to use elastic bandages on the joints. When rollerblading or skateboarding, protect your knees and elbows from injury.
- Warm up the joints before playing sports. Without warming up, the likelihood of damage to the ligaments is high.
- Get rid of excess weight.
- Strengthen the musculo-ligamentous apparatus. This is the prevention of joint damage.
- Choose a balanced diet. Food should contain a sufficient amount of vitamins and minerals.
You need to be extremely careful if the ligaments have already been stretched before. It is important to undergo a rehabilitation course.
Ligaments are highly regenerative, so the prognosis is favorable. With the help of conservative techniques, it is possible to completely restore the working capacity of the limb.