What is Ligaments?
They are flexible and solid structures of connective tissue similar to elastic fibrous cords with collagen that provide stretching capacity, surrounding and joining the joints to strengthen them and make them more stable, channeling their correct movements, in addition to connecting the bones.
There are several types of ligament injuries, although the most frequent is the tear or sprain of the anterior cruciate ligament of the knee, which is responsible for joining the femur with the tibia, being very common among athletes of various specialties such as soccer, basketball, and football, among others, since the activity involves continuous running and jumping with stops and sudden changes of direction.
Depending on the extent of ligament damage, treatment may include rest and physical therapy to rehabilitate motor skills, stability, and strength. If the tear is very serious, surgery will be needed to replace the affected ligament.
- Very intense pain.
- Impossibility to continue performing the activity.
- Progressive inflammation.
- Loss of range of motion.
- Intense crack in the knee at the time of injury.
- Lack of strength in the affected joint.
You should see an orthopedist before these symptoms to obtain an accurate diagnosis and receive immediate treatment, avoiding complications such as the development of osteoarthritis in the knee.
Diagnosis and treatment
Once the orthopedist analyzes your symptoms and clinical history, they will perform a thorough physical examination, paying special attention to the knee to check sensitivity, inflammation, movement capacity, and the state of the joint.
Likewise, a series of tests will be necessary to know the severity of the injury, such as X-rays, ultrasounds, and MRIs.
Immediate treatment for this type of injury focuses on reducing inflammation and pain, through:
- Limiting knee movement as much as possible.
- Applying ice to the affected area.
- Bandage with elastic compression cloth.
- Lie down with your leg raised by placing pillows under your knee.
Rehabilitation is important to minimize pain and inflammation, and regain strength and movement, so a physical therapist will design an exercise program to achieve this.
You will probably have to use crutches or some device that immobilizes your knee for some time because remember that your joint will not be able to support a lot of weight or make a lot of movement.
If your injury is serious, the alternative is surgery to reconstruct the anterior cruciate ligament, in which the injured ligament is replaced with a piece of tendon from your knee or a deceased donor.
At the end of the surgery and after the necessary rest time, you can start a rehabilitation program that will help you recover knee movement, strength, and stability so you can continue playing sports or doing the activities you used to.
At the Orthopedics and Traumatology Center, we seek to improve the lives of patients restricted or immobilized by musculoskeletal disorders or injuries. We specialize in the care of the locomotor system by integrating the latest medical, biological, and technological advances, in strict adherence to the highest international standards of patient care. We treat injuries such as:
- Chronic bone and joint diseases.
- Spinal diseases.
- Joint replacements.
Related centers and departments
- Espinosa GA, Serrano CL, Zárate RJG, et al. Resultados de la fijación con anclas en lesiones de ligamentos y tendones de la mano y la muñeca. Acta Ortop Mex. 2009;23(2):70-73.
- Canales-Zamora O, Benítez-Romero A, Mejía-Rohenes L, et al. Lesiones multiligamentarias de rodilla asociadas a ruptura de tendón rotuliano. Acta Ortop Mex. 2020;34(6):417-421. doi:10.35366/99141.
- Valderrama-Treviño AI, Granados-Romero JJ, Alvarado Rodríguez C, et al. Lesión del ligamento cruzado anterior. Ortho-tips. 2017;13(4):160-168.
- Álvarez LA, García LY. Lesiones del ligamento cruzado anterior. AMC. 2015;19(1):.