In the course of physical activity we can have the misfortune of suffering an acute joint or ligament sprain.  Common joint or ligament injuries include

 

  • Lateral Ankle
    • There are 3 ligaments on the outside of the ankle. When you “roll” your ankle you can overstretch them and in some cases tear 1 or all of these ligaments. 
    • It is the most common injury on the sporting field and can look terrible often with bruising and swelling all over the foot.
    • Untreated it can leave you with ongoing instability, dysfunction and pain.
    • After we rule out other causes of injury (high ankle sprain, ankle fracture, cartilage lesions) we can usually get you moving ASAP.
  • Medial knee ligament (MCL)
    • The MCL often gets torn when your knee buckles inwards under force. You will often have some swelling and pain on the inside of your knee and may report feeling unstable and have restricted movement and poor tolerance of weight bearing.
    • The MCL is a strong multi-layered ligament that you require for stability.
    • When torn we may look to get an MRI to see what parts are torn and how severe and then we may need to place you in a knee brace for a period of time to make sure it heals

 

  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL)
    • The ACL is the main stabiliser of the knee and can often be damaged when twisting. It can happen as a contact or non-contact injury
    • Most of the time it requires surgery
    • Often you will hear a pop and have swelling straight away. You often wont be able to continue.
    • We will often need to arrange an MRI and can assist in arranging a consultation with a specialist
    • Prehabilitaiton is important as the stronger and more mobile the knee is before surgery (if required) the better chance of a speedy recovery and less chance of re-injury.
  • Shoulder Dislocation
    • The shoulder is a very mobile joint and hence has a higher rate of dislocating compared to other joints.
    • When the arm is stretched, usually behind you, the arm bone can “pop” out the front. Sometimes it goes back in and other times it doesn’t.
    • When this occurs the ligaments at the front of the shoulder get overstretched and can tear and other parts of the shoulder (such as the labrum) can get torn as well.
    • Sometimes surgery is required (especially if younger or if there is damage to the rotator cuff) but other times it can be rehabilitated successfully.

 

  • AC joint
    • The AC joint consists of the collarbone and the top of the shoulder blade.
    • Often we can land directly on the bony tip of the shoulder and sprain the AC joint.
    • In minor to moderate sprains (type I, II and some type III) we can manage them conservatively in a sling and physiotherapy but others that become unstable may require surgery

 

  • Knee cartilage (meniscus tears)
    • The knee has a shock absorbing spongy layer called the meniscus
    • There are two parts - a medial and lateral, which can get damaged when bending and twisting.
    • It can result in locking and clicking of the knee
    • The meniscus doesn’t have the best blood supply to all parts so it can struggle to heal however most people have very good outcomes from physiotherapy alone

 

  • Finger and thumb sprains/dislocations
    • Fingers are often dislocated or sprained while falling or catching a ball
    • It is heavily advised to get your finger or hand checked out to make sure your hands or fingers heal properly because it can leave permanent disability and issues if you don’t. Often little fractures can be easily missed as well
    • You may need a finger or wrist/forearm splint to ensure it heals right or in some case surgery is required.