The ligaments in all joints strengthen the articular capsule and in so doing stabilise the joint. Ligament strains or tears occur if the joint is twisted or overstretched. Ankles and knees are particularly often affected by ligament strains or tears.
Symptoms of a Torn Ligament
There is usually a cracking or a snapping sound when a ligament is torn. Symptoms include bruising, swelling as well as pain with pressure of the joint. There is only limited movement of the joint, if it can be moved at all. A dent can be seen where the ligament has been torn.
You should protect your joints with an elastic bandage if you have had multiple ligament tears. Avoid sports that have quick, strenuous movements such as squash, tennis, sprints etc…
Keep the injured ligament elevated, cool it with ice and make sure to rest it for a few weeks. Compression dressings, bandages or splints are used to help rest the injured ligament. If you have a torn ligament, it can take between 8 to 12 weeks before returning to normal physical activities. If bones have been damaged or the joint is very unstable then an operation may be necessary. Go to the doctor!
The Athlete's Book of Home Remedies: 1,001 Doctor-Approved Health Fixes and Injury-Prevention Secrets for a Leaner, Fitter, More Athletic Body!, Jordan Metzl, Mike Zimmerman