Torn Ligaments

The experts at Swift Orthopedics are pleased to offer treatment for a variety of torn ligaments, including the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), lateral collateral ligament (LCL), medial collateral ligament (MCL), posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), and ulnar collateral ligament (UCL). Our skilled team serves patients throughout Reno, Nevada, Carson City, and surrounding areas.

Knee anatomy

What are ligaments?

A lot of people tend to confuse ligaments with tendons. Although they’re both composed of fibrous tissue, ligaments connect bones together, while tendons connect muscle to bone. Ligaments are responsible for stabilizing joints and limiting the amount of motion between the connected bones. As such, when joints are forced to move beyond their normal range — like when they suddenly bend or twist — the affected ligaments can overstretch or tear. Torn ligaments are also commonly referred to as “sprains.”

What are the symptoms of a torn ligament?

Doctors typically use three grades to classify torn ligaments, ranging from Grade I (mildest) to Grade III (most severe). Symptoms will depend on the severity of the tear, but typically include:

  • Bruising
  • Joint instability
  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Weakness

How are torn ligaments treated?

Many patients can find relief from their symptoms using conservative treatment. This may include some combination of the following:

  • Anti-inflammatory medication
  • Bracing
  • Compression
  • Elevation
  • Icing
  • Pain medication
  • Periodic rest
  • Physical therapy

In some severe cases, however, surgery may be necessary to reattach or reconstruct the torn ligaments.

Request an Appointment

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