4 things a sportsperson should know about ligament tears

Injuries can be painful in the sports world – not only physically, but also mentally because it can cut short a career early. Famous cricketer Andrew Flintoff had to retire early due to his knee and a revered sportsman like Tendulkar was out of action for a while because of a tennis elbow. So, for people who enjoy playing sports consistently, it becomes imperative to know about the most common form of injury, i.e. bone joint issues.

Ligament Tear in Ankle

Here is a handy list of Frequently Asked Questions on the topic.

What are the knee ligament tears I should be aware of?

Knee joints and ligaments are the most affected by a sports injury. The most common tears occur in Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL), Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL), Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) and Meniscus. 65-75% cases of twist and bend accidents result in ACL tears, which is the most common. Meniscus usually accompanies an ACL tear with pain in and around the knee.
PCL tear happens due to a fall on the lower part of the knee leading to swelling and pain. You might feel a pop or a click inside the knee after a PCL tear. One common but unconventional treatment for PCL is that blood from the knee is sucked out with a needle. In PCL, even though swelling may subside after a few weeks, the person may have a sense of instability even while doing minor activities.

How do I get a knee injury diagnosed?

A few tests such as the Lachmann’s test and pivot test are effective in the clinical diagnosis of knee ligament tears. MRIs can accurately show the extent of an injury. In shoulder dislocations, MRIs are useful to show the capsular separation and any injury around the muscles. X-rays have limited use in the case of a ligament injury, but they are still done to identify bone problems.

What will happen if I don’t get treated?

It is mandatory for a sportsperson to get treated. In the case of a ligament tear, the joint surfaces are at friction rubbing against each other. Not only does this result in pain, but can also give a feeling of ‘going to fall down any minute’. Eventually, this leads to serious complications including having to give up the sport. However, a similar reconstructive surgery may not be advised for a sixty year old, because there is less physical activity involved.

What is the best treatment for this?

Unlike a few decades earlier, today, minimally invasive procedures such as anthroscopy are used for treating joint problems. Anthroscopy does not involve open surgery. Instead, only a couple of small holes are made for inserting a camera and fine surgical instruments. It offers some incredible advantages – faster recovery, accuracy during surgery, minimal pain, and the cosmetic advantage of not leaving a scar.
No wonder then that it is the most preferred approach taken by orthopaedic surgeons these days. It is used to cure a wide scope of issues including ACL, PCL and meniscus tears, as well as for repairing tennis elbow, rotator cuff tear in shoulder, footballer’s ankle and problems with joints in knee, shoulder, ankle and hip.
Narayana Health has an excellent track record of treating such injuries with a state-of-the-art infrastructure and technicians trained in modern technologies along with a dedicated team of physiotherapists. A large number of players have received successful treatments, making it a leading medical destination for sports injuries.
Dr. Samarjit Khanikar     
Arthroscopic and Joint Replacement Surgeon

NH Guwahati

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