Joint and Ligament Injuries
A ligamentous injury occurs when a joint is forced beyond its normal range of movement. A ligament tear may affect any number of ligament fibers, from a few to the entire ligament.
1. A partial tear by definition involves only part of the ligament fibers and does not affect joint stability.
2. A complete tear involves most, or all, of the ligament fibers, and the affected joint is unstable.
Joint and ligament injuries are common is sport and occur most frequently in the ankle, knee, elbow, wrist and shoulder.
Symptoms and diagnosis:
* Bleeding causing bruising, swelling and tenderness around the affected joint.
* Bleeding causing a haemarthrosis.
* Pain when the joint is moved or loaded (weight bearing).
* Instability of the joint, does vary depending upon the extent of injury in causing complete or partial tear.
In case of acute ligament injury, the following should be considered;
- Apply cooling to the joint.
- Support the joint by elastic bandaging.
- Elevate the limb.
Physical Therapy’s goals:
Through using modalities for pain management, swelling must be reduced. Active muscular exercise and mobility training is of the greatest importance during the rehabilitation phase.
The healing of a ligament after an injury can take a long time, usually more than 6 weeks. Careful percussion must be considered by the therapist, while improving the movement of the limb healing process of the ligament must not be tampered.