Ligament Tears Recovery ND
Ligaments are the collagen-based tissues that connect bone to bone in your body.
Injury and repetitive stress can cause ligament tears, which can destabilize joints during movement and cause pain and restricted mobility. Ligament tears are especially common in athletes. Actions such as suddenly changing direction or slowing down, pivoting, or landing a jump too hard or in an awkward position all put undue stress on ligaments.
Ligaments can tear partially or completely. Partial ligament tears typically heal after a period of rest and course of physical therapy. Complete ligament tears usually require surgery, especially for athletes.
Surgery to repair a torn ligament and replace it with a graft is known as ligament reconstruction. The goal of surgery is to restore joint function and stability and prevent further injury.
Common ligament reconstruction procedures we perform include:
- Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction – This ligament at the center of the knee connects the shin to the thigh bone. It is by far the most common type of ligament reconstruction in the US.
- Posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) reconstruction – Located at the back of the knee, the PCL is bigger and stronger than the ACL and thus is less commonly torn.
- Ankle ligament reconstruction – This procedure is done to replace damaged ligament(s) at the outside of the ankle to increase ankle stability. It is also referred to as the Brostrom procedure.
While ligament reconstruction stabilizes a joint, it does not repair damaged cartilage. For this reason, it may be combined with other procedures (if needed) in a single surgery.