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Torn Ligament in Knee

Torn Ligament in Knee

Torn ligament in knee is not a thing which can be exactly liked. Jokes apart, it can be quite uncomfortable. Scroll down to know more about torn ligament in knee.
Medha Godbole
There are four major ligaments which make up our knees and impart a solid strength to them. These strong elastic bands of tissue connect two bones to each other. These knee ligaments are extremely crucial as they are the weight bearing parts of our knees. Any injury or discomfort to this ligament can be really painful and can limit our mobility. Unfortunately, quite a few of us have been through a ligament injury and for those who have not experienced it, there is no guarantee that it would not happen. Of course this is not to scare you, it is just to tell you the truth. So let us check out all about torn ligament in knee in the form of questions you might have about it.

How do I Recognize a Torn Ligament in my Knee?

Several prominent symptoms can tell a person if he or she has torn a ligament in his/ her knee. These are -

Popping Sound
One of the major indicators of a torn ligament is a popping sound or a 'snap' at the spot of the tear. The ligament which is torn, also may give away if a lot of weight is put on it. Actually what happens is that the ligament fibers are pulled apart, leading to a snap or a popping sensation.

Undoubtedly, pain is the most obvious result of a ligament being torn or in fact any injury. Be it a partially torn ligament or a completely torn ligament, pain is a consequence. Although the severity and the grade of pain will depend upon how severe the injury is. If the ligament injury is severe, it is going to cause extreme pain.

Swelling and Bruising
A torn ligament in the knee, which is mostly associated with anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), leads to swelling and bruising at the spot of injury. Soft tissue irritation in the concerned area and the surrounding muscle tissue leads to swelling. As a result of this, our body reacts by increasing the blood circulation and fluid flow in the affected area. This increases the swelling and causes bruising in and around the area where the ligament is torn and eventually it leads to bruising.

Instability and Limited Movement
As knees bear our weight, an injury like this is going to affect the range of our movement. An ACL tear hampers the normal joint functions as it affects the normal muscle action and strength across it. The joint then becomes unstable and weak. If the torn ligament is in a very severe state then the person may not even be able to move the knee. Sometimes the affected part may even get numb in addition to knee pain.

What is the Treatment for Torn Knee Ligament?

The treatment for torn ligament depends on how serious the injury is. If the injury is not very serious, then it can be dealt with at home. Sportsmen generally are seen to be suffering from this condition. The treatment involves -

Rest/ Protection
It is important not to strain the torn ligament further, so give it as much rest as possible. You do not want to worsen things, do you?

Ice pack
This works well to prevent swelling in the injured area. Ice also helps normalize the blood circulation and prevents swelling and inflammation if applied immediately after sustaining injury. Have either an ice bag or make a pack keeping ice cubes in a towel to avoid direct exposure of skin to ice and avoid skin irritation. Apply this for not more than 20 minutes at a time to avoid further damage to the ligaments of the knee.

Compression too helps in faster healing of knee. The joint can be compressed by bandaging and thus giving it support. It also reduces the swelling.

Pain killers
Mild non steroidal anti-inflammatory pain killers can also be used in consultation with a doctor. That will help reduce swelling and contribute to overall recovery too.

Elevating your knees at the level of your heart will further help in the recovery of the torn ligament.

A last resort, with regards to an ACL or a Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) tear is surgery. Surgery may be required if there is a serious rupture of the ligament and more than one ligament or tissue has been damaged. In case the anterior cruciate ligament is injured, even then surgery would be required for, especially if you are a lot into sports. It would also be required if there is a torn cartilage in knee.

Exercising properly and doing a good warm up before workout will help in preventing torn ligament in knee. I hope you have found all your answers related to that! This is where I sign off! Take care!