A torn ligament or tendon is very painful, resulting in serious restrictions in mobility as well as weakness in the damaged area. A torn tendon or ligament often requires surgery to repair the damage and encourage proper contraction and muscle movement again.
Recovery is much better if the tear is surgically dealt with very soon after the injury. This simplifies the procedure and makes recovery easier. Usually, the patient can go home after the surgery, because it is done on an outpatient basis. If a hospital stay is required, it is usually very short.
Conservative care (without surgery) seldom results in full range of motion. In the case of knee injuries, instability of the joint is common. A candidate willing to give up demanding sports, employed in light manual work or a sedentary occupation may have the best outcome.
Healing from tendon or ligament surgery can take 12 weeks, and the injury will need to be placed in a splint or cast to inhibit movement. This greatly depends on the severity of the injury and how your body responds to certain treatments.
Sometimes injuries such as those to the flexor tendon in the arm are very difficult to correct successfully. Treatment after surgery may need to be done because scar tissue has built up within the injury, making movement difficult even with repair.
At home, the patient is asked not to use the affected limb or joint until permission is given by the physician. Driving is also curtailed, as well as lifting. The injured limb should be elevated above the heart most of the time for the first few days after the surgery. Bandages should not be removed until the first checkup. The bandages will need to be kept clean and dry. Casts are treated the same, so plastic wrap will be needed for showering.
Advancements in tendon and ligament repairs and treatment
Understanding tendon and ligament biology and mechanics have significantly advanced both surgical and conservative treatment and recovery for patients, but tendon and ligament injuries can be problematical and frustrating.
Combine repairs with physical therapy
Tendon and ligament repairs are more successful when combined with physical therapy. It is important to choose a professional with extensive education in orthopedic care, as well as dedication to conservative management of tendon and ligament recovery therapy. If you’ve had a sports injury in Boise or elsewhere, you should see a specialist right away to get on the road to recovery. Being able to treat your injury the right way can make a big difference for you now and after recovery.
Ligament and tendon tears can seem like a devastating injury, but with the right treatment plan, you can get back to your normal routine again. Be sure to work with doctors and physical therapists for the best outcome.