Identifying and Treating Knee Ligament Damage
Ligament Damage, like an ACL injury can put you out of the game quickly and often painfully, but a comeback is entirely possible – particularly with today’s medicine and knowledge. Firstly, let’s go over what ligaments are. They are bands of tissue that connect the bones in your body and there are four of them in the knee that can be prone to injury:
Ligaments are tough bands of tissue that connect the bones in your body. There are four ligaments in the knee that are prone to injury:
- Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is the most commonly injured knee ligament. It connects the thigh bone to the shin bone.
- Posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) also links the thigh bone to the shin bone in the knee. (It’s rarely injured except in car accidents).
- Lateral collateral ligament (LCL) connects the thigh bone to the fibula, the smaller bone of the lower leg on the outer side of the knee.
What does a knee ligament injury feel like?
- Pain – usually sudden and severe
- A pop or snap sound when the injury occurs
- Swelling, particularly in the first day
- Joint Looseness
- No ability to put weight on the ligament and weakness
Symptoms & Severity of Knee Ligament Injuries?
- The severity and symptoms of a ligament sprain depend on the degree of stretching or tearing of the ligament.
- In a mild grade I sprain, the ligaments may stretch, but they don’t actually tear. Although the joint may not hurt or swell very much, a mild sprain can increase the risk of a repeat injury.
- With a moderate grade II sprain, the ligament tears partially. Swelling and bruising are common, and use of the joint is usually painful and difficult.With a severe grade III sprain, your ligament tears completely, causing swelling and sometimes bleeding under the skin. As a result, the joint is unstable and unable to bear weight. Often there will be no pain following a grade 3 tear as all of the pain fibres are torn at the time of injury.
Luckily a mild to moderate knee ligament injury can heal on its own, in time. But you can speed up the process by:
- Resting the knee. Avoid putting much weight on the knee and resting it often. Consider using crutches for a short time period. for a Ice your knee for 20 to 30 minutes every 3 to 4 hours.Keep doing it for 2 to 3 days, or until the swelling is gone.
- Compress your knee. Put an elastic bandage, straps, or sleeves on your knee to control swelling.
- Elevate your knee on a pillow when you’re sitting or lying down. Anything will work really as long as its elevated and not cutting off circulation
- Wear a knee brace to stabilize the knee and protect it from further injury. I have included some helpful braces at the end of this article available to purchase from the website.
- Anti-inflammatory painkillers. If they are not still helping after seven days consult your doctor about it.
- Practice stretching and/or strengthening exercises if your doctor recommends them. Stop if it hurts. Ask your doctor to recommend a physical therapist for guidance.
What’s the Healing Time of a Knee Ligament Injury?
Treatment of a ligament injury varies depending on its location and severity.
- Grade I sprains usually heal within a few weeks. Full strength will come back after six weeks when the collagen fibers have matured.
- Grade II sprain: You can usually return to activity once the joint is stable and you are no longer having pain. Usually this is after about 6-7 weeks.
- Grade III injury: You will want to wear a hinged knee brace to protect the injury from weight-bearing stresses, and may not return to their full level of activity for 3 to 4 months. We strongly recommend that you seek professional advice in these cases.
If it is “Only” a Knee Sprain:
Symptoms of knee sprains include:
- Knee swelling.
- Limited mobility.
- A popping sound.
- Inability to hold weight.
- Buckling of the knee.
Below are some very helpful products that will help in the healing process from icing tools, compression, to hinged knee braces for more serious injuries.