A ligament is a tough band of fibrous tissue that connects a bone to either a bone or a cartilage and supports/strengthens joints. The main function of ligaments is to keep the bones in proper alignment and prevent abnormal movements of the joints. While ligaments are extremely strong, they can be stretched or even torn resulting in a sprain, for instance, due to a fall.
The most common torn ligaments are those of the knee and ankle because they are of the weight bearing joints.
The 3 grades of ligament injuries are:
- Grade I - Mild ligament tear
- Grade II - Moderate ligament tear
- Grade III - Complete ligament tear
- Sudden onset of pain and severe swelling
- Subsequent joint instability
- Impaired function(walk/run/bear weight etc.)