Ligament Injuries

By Justin Delicato, PTA

Ligament Injuries

A ligament is an elastic tissue around a joint that connects bone to bone and provides the bone with stability and support. Ligaments are located in your shoulder, elbow, knee, and ankle, as well as other parts of the body. When a ligament tear happens, this will cause instability within the joint, and the ligament is torn. The most common ligament injuries occur in the knee, ankle, and elbow. Sporting activities typically cause these injuries. Below we will discuss the most common ligament injury for the knee, ankle, and elbow.

What Are the Symptoms of a Ligament Injury?

  • Painful and tender to touch
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Instability within the joint
  • Audible “popping” sound at the time of injury

What are the 4 Major Knee Ligaments?

The knee has 4 major ligaments that hold it together.

The human knee anatomy illustration

  • ACL (anterior cruciate ligament)- controls forward movement and rotational movement of shinbone
  • PCL (posterior cruciate ligament)- control backward movement
  • MCL (medial cruciate ligament)- provides the inside of your knee with stability
  • LCL (lateral cruciate ligament)- provides the outside of your knee with stability

The most common knee ligament injury is of the ACL. This injury occurs when your feet plant in one direction and your knee is twisted in another. The most common sport in this injury occurs in football.

If you would like to learn about ACL Reconstruction Surgery, this VIDEO may help.

What Are The Main Ankle Ligaments?

  • Anterior talofibular ligament- most common ligament injured in the ankle. The main function is to resist inversion and plantarflexion.
  • Posterior talofibular ligament- limits dorsiflexion
  • Calcaneofibular ligament- resists adduction.

The Anterior Talofibular ligament is the weakest and most commonly injured ligament in the ankle. Because of its positioning along the ankle’s lateral aspect, this ligament absorbs most of the impact when the foot is planted unnaturally or when the ankle twists awkwardly.

A lateral ankle sprain is an injury to the ligaments in the outside of the ankle. It is a common ligament injury

Twisted ankle

To learn more about Ankle Sprains, this VIDEO may help.

What are Elbow Ligaments that get Injured?

  • Ulnar collateral ligament (UCL)
  • Radial collateral ligament

The most commonly known ligament to be damaged within the elbow is the UCL or the ulnar collateral ligament. This ligament injury typically occurs in baseball players due to the overuse of the elbow with throwing. A commonly known surgery for a repair of this ligament is Tommy John Surgery. An injury such as falling on an outstretched arm could also cause damage to this ligament as well.

Where Do I Go If I Have a Ligament Injury?

The Jacksonville Orthopaedic Institute has a dedicated team of physicians that are focused on your orthopedic treatment. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above and would like to see a physician regarding this, call JOI-2000, schedule online, or click the link below.

Book An Appointment with a JOI Physician

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