Ligament injuries result from sudden twisting motions or a bad landing. Ligaments are strong bands of connective tissues that join two bones together or hold a joint together. The most commonly injured ligaments are in the knees, ankles, and feet.
Completely torn ligaments are usually surgically repaired, while partial tears can be treated non-surgically through rest and physical therapy. Physical therapy also follows the surgical repair of a torn ligament. It is, in fact, a critical part of making a full recovery from an injury.
If you have a ligament tear, let’s talk about what you can expect from physical therapy sessions.
How Physical Therapists Treat Ligament Tears
The first thing a physical therapist (PT) does is perform a comprehensive evaluation of your injury. During the initial evaluation, the PT will review your medical history, perform a physical examination, and assess your strength, range of motion, balance, gait, and functional mobility.
Physical therapists use the information gained from thorough examination and evaluation to design a treatment plan tailored to their patients. They will also discuss your goals and help you reach them. Examples of goals for physical therapy include pain and swelling relief, improved strength, greater flexibility, restored function and mobility, and prevention of recurrence.
Physical therapists treat patients using targeted exercises and various modalities. Your treatment program may include the following:
- The RICE method (rest, ice, compression, and elevation)
- Bracing or splinting
- Massage therapy
- Heat therapy
- Ultrasound therapy
- Electrical stimulation
- TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation)
- Exercises: stretching and strengthening exercises, range of motion exercises, and balance exercises, including exercises you can do at home
Physical therapy after a ligament tear can help delay or eliminate the need for surgery. Physical therapists are highly motivated in helping patients avoid not just invasive surgery, but also the use of potentially addictive pain medications and their side effects.
As to how long it will take to recover from your ligament injury, it depends on several factors, such as your condition before the injury, the severity of the injury, and how committed you are to your physical therapy sessions and exercises. Physical therapy produces the best results in patients who are highly motivated to recover.
Physical Therapy For Ligament Injury in Johnson County, KS
At Midwest Orthopedics, we specialize in helping patients with orthopedic injuries recover from their condition. Ligament tears are painful conditions that restrict your ability to move, and we are very empathetic toward patients with limiting injuries. Our approach is to exhaust all non-surgical and minimally invasive options before recommending surgery. With many ligament injuries, we often find that physical therapy is enough to manage symptoms and bring about a complete recovery.
Midwest Orthopaedics is proud to have our own highly skilled Physical Therapists as part of our team. Located across the street from our main office, the therapists there work directly with our physicians to ensure that the prescribed plan of care is completed, and patients are able to return to the activities they enjoy.
When you are in pain, it can sometimes feel like you are alone. We are a team of compassionate orthopedic experts providing you guidance and support as you gradually return to an active lifestyle.