What does a torn ligament feel like?
Athletes may be worried about injuries that can hinder athletic performance. When a ligament injury occurs, sports enthusiasts may feel pain, tingling, pressure, and numbness near the affected area. The range of uncomfortable symptoms indicates an inflammatory response due to physical injury. The pain can vary depending on the extent of the damage.
Strenuous athletic activity can also cause popping or cracking noises, as well as feelings of heat, swelling, and an inability to apply pressure to the joint. Affected individuals should try to avoid excessive movement that can exacerbate the ligament injury. Movement after an injury can worsen inflammatory and pain responses.
Reducing pain sensitivity
A suspected torn ligament should be immediately examined by a licensed health professional. Self-adjustment of the joint and tendon can make matters worse. Going without treatment for a torn ligament, however, can result in abnormal healing. Over-the-counter pain medications can reduce pain, but the best thing a person can do is consult with a physician.
Recovering from a torn ligament
Athletes are known for pushing physical limits to achieve greatness. Feats of fame, however, carry significant mental and physical risks. Affected individuals may require a brace to stabilize the injured torn ligament. Limiting movement in the affected area ensures that the torn ligament heals appropriately. Severe cases of torn ligaments may require surgery to restore structural order. Physical therapy can help strengthen weakened muscles and joints.
Hand ligament surgery
Hand ligament injuries aren’t usually severe enough to require surgery. In severe cases, a torn ligament can require arthroscopic surgery. A surgeon will place a patient under general anesthesia. The surgeon will make small incisions and insert an arthroscope, which is a tool used as a camera and light source.
Surgeons will use either use graft tissue from the patient’s body called an autograft or a donated graft called allograft to replace the torn ligament. The surgeon will then make a tunnel in the bone to attach the new tissue with staples or screws. The entire procedure can take anywhere from 1.5 to 2.5 hours and doesn’t usually require an overnight stay.
Patience is necessary
Recovery time depends on the extent of the injury to the tendons or ligaments. Ligaments are starved for oxygen as people age so that recovery time can be longer for older individuals. Ultimately, torn ligaments should be taken care of immediately to prevent further physical damage.