Ligament injuries

Ligament Injuries
in Kansas City

What is a ligament?

Ligaments are the structures responsible for connecting bone to bone. They are made of mostly collagen and are involved in maintaining the stability of a joint. When a ligament is injured, this is known as a sprain. There are three grades of sprains. A grade I sprain involves stretching of the ligament with tiny microscopic tears. A grade II sprain is a tear of the ligament that is not the full thickness. Grade III sprains are ligament tears that are greater than 50% of the width of the ligament. Common sites of sprains include the elbow (UCL), knee (MCL, meniscus, and ACL), and ankle.

What causes a ligament tear?

A majority of sprains are the results of an injury such as twisting or dislocating the joint or even landing awkwardly. It is not unusual to have a ligament injury in contact sports. Ligaments can also have wear and tear as a result of arthritis in the joint. This is very common with the meniscus in the knee. These are known as “degenerative tears.”

What kind of ligament sprain do I have?

Motus is here to evaluate your ligament conditions in Kansas City. Your first appointment will consist of a normal doctor’s visit. We will ask you about your injury and symptoms, perform a physical examination, and order or review x-rays or MRI studies. We will also perform an ultrasound as part of your physical exam to take a better look at the ligament, joint, and tendons as well as to assess for fluid accumulation.

Do all ligament injuries need surgery?

Not all ligament injuries need surgery but some do. A good example of a grade III ligament sprain that almost always requires surgery is an ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) rupture in the knee. However, most grade II and all grade I sprains are treated without surgery.

Is the meniscus a ligament?

Yes and no. The meniscus is an interesting structure. It is made of cartilage and the type of collagen seen in ligaments. There are two meniscus in the knee and they act like “shock absorbers” and are involved in pivoting. Many patients with arthritis in the knees will have damage to the meniscus known as “degenerative” tears. Brand new, or “acute” tears, can occur with injuries.

It is important to know which kind of meniscus tear you have. This is because removing a part, or all, of the meniscus, can result in early or worsening arthritis. This is because the meniscus protects the cartilage covering the knee bones (known as articular or joint cartilage) from wearing down.

The American Academy of Family Physicians (May 1, 2015, Volume 91, Number 9), found there is emerging evidence showing that arthroscopic knee surgeries involving the “clean out” of degenerative meniscus tears, also known as partial meniscectomy, show no long-term benefit in middle-aged people.

How should my ligament injury in Kansas City be treated?

Once the proper diagnosis is established, we can design a customized treatment plan. Whether this is medications, bracing, physical therapy, biologics, or even surgery. Motus is here to ensure that you are aware of all of the options available to you for your ligament injuries in Kansas City.

Should you not be a candidate for conservative care or regenerative medicine treatments and require traditional surgery, Motus is happy to refer you to one of the many terrific local orthopedic surgeons, or to the surgeon of your choice.

Learn more about our stem cell and PRP treatments in Kansas City.