At RightPath Pain & Spine Centers in Davenport, FL, we pride ourselves in our ability to help clients recover from injuries quickly and safely. Often, we have people come in with a ligament injury that is keeping them from doing what they love. Today, we’re taking a closer look at what you can expect if you have this kind of injury, including how long you can expect your recovery to take and what you can do to recover faster.
How Long Does a Ligament Injury Take To Heal?
A ligament injury can take anywhere from two weeks to a year to heal depending on the severity of the injury and other factors. If the ligament is only mildly sprained, it may heal in just two to four weeks. Moderate ligament sprains can take over 10 weeks to heal. If a ligament is very seriously injured, you should expect your recovery to take between six and 12 months to heal completely.
What Can I Do To Facilitate Faster Healing?
If you are anxious to heal an injured ligament as quickly as possible, stem cell therapy may be appropriate for you. This non-surgical treatment involves harvesting stem cells from one part of your body, processing them, and injecting them into the injured region. It is an outpatient treatment, meaning that you will not need to stay overnight in a hospital.
What Are the Benefits of Stem Cell Therapy?
There are many benefits of stem cell therapy, including the safety of the treatment. Since the stem cells are harvested from your body, you don’t have to worry about your body rejecting the healing substances. Another benefit of this treatment is its efficacy. After your treatment, you can expect to experience less pain and inflammation. Additionally, you can expect that your healing process will be a lot shorter than it would be if you didn’t receive treatment.
Will I Need To Do Anything To Prepare for Stem Cell Therapy?
Yes, there are several preparation steps you will need to take prior to receiving stem cell therapy. For instance, you should drink at least half a gallon of water daily for a day or two preceding your treatment. Also, you should avoid taking NSAIDs for a week before your treatment.
How Can an Injured Ligament Be Treated?
The ideal treatment method for your injured ligament depends on several factors, including the severity of the injury. In some cases, mild injuries can heal on their own with rest, cold therapy, compression, and elevation. If an injury is moderate, it may be necessary to immobilize the area with a sling or cast, and you may need to use crutches. In the case of a severe injury, surgery or other medical intervention, like stem cell therapy, may be required for healing.
If you want to try cold therapy to treat your injured ligament, you should apply a cold pack to the injured area for no longer than 10 minutes at a time to reduce swelling. This should be done no more than once or twice per hour during the first two to three days of your recovery.
What Should I Avoid If I Have an Injured Ligament?
You should avoid doing anything that could exacerbate your injury. If you have injured your ankle or knee, refrain from bearing weight on the injured area. If you have sustained an injury to your wrist, elbow, or shoulder, don’t lift anything with the injured ligament.
What Are the Most Common Kinds of Ligament Injuries?
Knee ligament injuries are by far the most common. Most of the time, ACL tears, but MCL, PCL, or LCL sprains and patella dislocations are also very common. Other ligaments that commonly become injured include the UCL in the elbow and the ACJ in the shoulder. Less commonly, the ligament between your wrist bones and the base of your thumb can tear.
What Are the Signs of an Injured Ligament?
Symptoms of an injured ligament vary depending on the severity of the injury. Some of the most common signs that a ligament is injured include uncontrollable muscle spasms around the injured area, moderate or severe swelling in the injured area, and joint looseness.
There is also a chance that you have injured a ligament if you experience pain any time you try to move or put weight on your joint. Additionally, there is a good chance that you injured a ligament if you heard a loud snapping or popping sound when the injury occurred. Sudden, severe pain is another common symptom of injured ligaments.
When Should I See a Doctor About My Symptoms?
You should see a doctor about a potential ligament injury if you do not notice an improvement in pain or swelling one to three days after your injury. You should schedule an appointment right away if the injured area cannot bear weight or you feel like your symptoms are getting worse. While some ligament injuries are relatively minor, you should not take them lightly.
How Is an Injured Ligament Diagnosed?
A ligament injury diagnosis starts with a conversation about your medical history and lifestyle and a physical examination. We need to know about your usual activities, the symptoms you are currently experiencing, injuries you have had in the past, and whether your symptoms took a few days to appear after the injury or if they started right away. Depending on the location of the injury, we may ask you to stand and walk, so we can determine if your gait is affected.
Additionally, you may be asked to demonstrate the range of motion you currently have. After that, imaging tests may be recommended to rule out other conditions that may cause similar symptoms.
What Imaging Tests Are Recommended?
X-rays are one of the most common imaging tests used to rule out other potential causes of your symptoms, like bone spurs, broken bones, and arthritis. This type of imaging test can also lead credence to the possibility of a strain or sprain because it can show fluid accumulation around a joint.
MRIs are another imaging test often ordered to diagnose an injured ligament. MRI scans are useful for verifying the extent of an injury. It can also show whether other structures in the area are affected. This is extremely important due to the severity of the injury affecting the ideal treatment method. Additionally, ultrasound imaging can be used to get an accurate injury diagnosis because it can show clear images of soft tissues.
What Can I Do To Prevent Ligament Injuries?
Ligament injuries are often caused by landing awkwardly or sustaining a hard impact. Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent accidents, but you can reduce the likelihood of a ligament injury by preparing your body and fortifying your ligament health.
Preparing Your Body
Ligament injuries often occur while playing a sport. To reduce the chance that you will tear a ligament while playing your favorite game, prepare your body by stretching and warming up before you start playing. Note that it is a good idea to stretch and warm up before cross-training, too. Moreover, you can reduce the likelihood of an injury by taking care to always maintain proper posture and use proper technique.
If you play a sport, you can also prepare your body by adding strength and agility training into your fitness routine. At least once weekly, you should focus on improving your core strength. You should also take time to work on your balance, agility, and flexibility. Finally, make sure you listen to your body carefully. If you feel injured, do not do anything that could possibly exacerbate the injury. For instance, you should not run if you suspect you’ve torn your ACL.
Fortifying Ligament Health
It is also important that you fortify your ligament health by staying hydrated and eating nutritiously. Make sure you are hydrated before you work out, and take hydration breaks during your workout. Additionally, make sure that you eat plenty of lean proteins, veggies, legumes, and tree nuts.
Schedule Your Initial Consultation Today
Depending on the severity of your ligament injury, your recovery may take between two weeks and 12 months to heal completely. If you want to heal your injured ligament as quickly as possible, contact us today at RightPath Pain & Spine Centers in Davenport, FL to schedule your initial consultation. We’ll determine the extent of your injury and advise you on the best course of action to take.