A ligament is made up of specific fibres, like an elastic rubber band which connects a bone and a cartilage, a bone to a meniscus, a bone to a bone, ligaments are very strong and when a ligament is stretched or torn it is called a sprain.
LOCATION AND COMMON CAUSES OF LIGAMENT TEAR AND SPRAIN:
Any movement which causes extreme or unnatural turning and twisting can cause the ligament to undergo extreme stress and leads to sprain or a tear. The most common ligaments affected are
Knee: The main ligaments of knee are anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), medial collateral ligament and lateral collateral ligament, the ACL is the most commonly injured ligament and the lateral collateral ligament injury treatment involves treating the illio-tibial band along with the ligament.
Ankle: In ankle the inversion injuries that is ankle bending inwards causes more common injury to the lateral ligament injury complex which includes anterior talofibular (ATFL), calcenofibular and posterior talofibular (PTFL) ligaments. The medial deltoid ligament is lesser common. A high ankle sprain is more common in athletes and involves the distal tibiofibular ligaments
Wrist: The most common ligament injuries in wrist is the triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC) and the scapholunate ligament
Shoulder: shoulder joint is kept stable with different ligaments and any dislocation of the joint can cause injuries to these ligaments the common are Superior glenohumeral ligament and inferior glenohumeral ligament, usually using regenerative medicine protocols to tighten these ligament are sufficient to heal them
Along with these ligaments of back illio-lumbar ligament of spine, the interspinous ligament is common to undergo sprain and whiplash injuries causes’ injury to the neck ligaments as well.
Diagnosis and treatment of ligament injuries
Usually clinical examination history and using imaging modalities like real time musculoskeletal examination using ultrasound gives a good picture of the grade of tear and sprain and along with it MRI can be ordered to have even more accurate diagnosis
The grading of sprains/tears are done as follows
Grade 1; mild sprain with some changes in fibre structure but no tear
Grade 2: swelling some fluid collection with partial tear with no joint instability
Grade 3: complete sprain and tear with joint instability
Ligament injury Treatment
For any acute and mild to moderate grade 1 and 2 tears first line of treatment is conservative using RICE approach (REST, ICE, Compression and elevation) once the swelling has subsided over some days advanced management can be planned which includes minimally invasive injections.
For mild to moderate ligament injuries (grade 1 and 2 and some times grade 3) treatment like ACL, lateral collateral ligament injury treatment, TFCC (triangular fibro cartilage of the wrist) and ankle ligament sprain is done using the best and most advanced treatment modality that is using orthobiologics and regenerative medicine protocol, where under image guidance and with precision specific blood products are injected to the tear site which helps in healing and getting the strength of the ligaments back, this ligament tear treatment using your own cells has advantages of less down time, faster recovery no scar and less complications which are associated with surgery.
Surgery is only required in very complex cases of ligament tear where the ligament has totally torn and no fibre connection is seen on MRI and has retracted more than 5 to 6 mm, even then if you want can avoid surgery unless there is instability in the joint as surgeries come with their own risk and also aggravate arthritis development in longer stages.