What is a Ligament Sprain?
As the length of tissue that connects one bone to another, ligaments are attached on each side of a joint in order to provide stability and protection. When a ligament is stretched or torn, it is referred to as a sprain, causing significant pain and discomfort. Though it is most common in the ankle, a ligament sprain can also occur in the knee, wrist, and thumb. Depending on the severity and location of the sprain, there are a number of available treatment options to treat the area and alleviate pain. At Interventional Orthopedics of Atlanta, Dr. Christopher Williams and his skilled orthopedic team provide innovative solutions for treating ligament sprains. Learn more by contacting our Atlanta, GA facility to schedule your initial consultation with Dr. Williams.
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What are common Symptoms of a Ligament Sprain?
Evaluating and properly diagnosing a ligament sprain necessitates a thorough examination by an experienced orthopedic specialist. Though a sprain can exhibit a variety of symptoms, some of the most common are:
- Extreme pain and discomfort
- Inflammation and bruising
- Decreased mobility
- A "popping" sound or sensation at the time of the trauma or injury
- The inability to put any amount of weight on the injured joint
- Numbness and tingling in the affected area
What can cause a Ligament Sprain?
The most common cause of a ligament sprain is an injury or trauma. This could be during the participation in a sport, exercise, running, walking, or due to a fall or accident. Any activity or event that entails bearing the weight of your body on a joint is going to present the greatest risk of ligament injury. Even though younger and more active individuals have the highest risk of obtaining a sprain, older individuals who have decreased muscle mass and bone strength are also at risk.
How Are Ligament Sprains Diagnosed?
In order to diagnose your sprain, a member of our staff will need to perform a physical exam of the area. During this assessment, they will look out for signs of swelling and/or tenderness. In addition, they will likely need to move the affected joints and limbs into various positions to get a better idea of which specific ligmanet endured the sprain.
What are Treatment Options for this type of injury?
There are a number of treatments available for ligament sprains based on the extent and severity of the injury, your age, health, and lifestyle. For less severe sprains, Dr. Williams may just recommend anti-inflammatory medication, a splint, rest, and ice to reduce swelling. In more severe cases where the ligament has been torn, a more invasive form of treatment may be needed to help restore the ligament. After a series of diagnostic testing, Dr. Williams will be better equipped to create an optimal treatment plan specifically for your needs and concerns. No matter the suggested treatment plan, Dr. Williams is dedicated to seeing you through to optimal recovery.
Ligament Sprains FAQ
How do you know if you have a sprained ligament?
Common symptoms of sprained ligaments can include pain, swelling, deep bruising, reduced or limited mobility in the affected joint, and often hearing a “pop” or “snap” in the joint at the time of injury.
How do you sprain a ligament?
Typically, sprains are caused by a sudden movement forcing a joint beyond its range of movement which stretches the ligaments too far. This is commonly seen when someone rolls their ankle hard to one side.
What happens if a sprain goes untreated?
If untreated, a sprained ligament can result in chronic pain and instability of the joint. Torn ligaments can fuse and form scar tissue affecting joint stability and range of motion.
How do you heal a sprained ligament?
The tried-and-true method to help heal a sprained ligament is to use the RICE method with pain relievers:
- Compression (using a brace or elastic bandage)
How long should it take to heal?
Sprained ligaments can take differing amounts of time to heal, depending on the severity. Our providers can help diagnose the severity of the sprained ligament and the length of healing needed.
What if RICE isn't enough?
While the RICE method is helpful, it may not be enough for severe sprains. You may wish to immobilize your sprained ligament and/or appendage to prevent further injury. The rest can also help pain and swelling to go down.
Alleviate Your Pain
When you have suffered an injury or trauma that has resulted in a ligament sprain, it is important to seek prompt medical care by a skilled professional. At Interventional Orthopedics of Atlanta, Dr. Christopher Williams and his experienced orthopedic team provide optimal care to help treat ligament sprains. Contact our Atlanta, GA facility to learn more and to schedule a consultation with Dr. Williams at our innovative orthopedic practice.
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