Ask A Pro

Q

How does a ligament heal and why does it matter?

A

A ligament is a dense band of fibrous connective tissue that joins a bone to a bone. Ligaments are found to be one of the most frequently injured tissues within a joint. First is the inflammatory phase (0-6 days); the body is removing damaged tissue and starting to heal. Second is fibroblastic/proliferation (5-21 days); comprised of scar tissue and collagen formation. Third is remodeling/maturation (20+ days, can last years); fine tuning collagen-cross-linking, fibril size, and alignment. One of the complexities of ligament healing is to properly stress the tissue at the right time during the stages of healing to promote collagen formation, alignment, and stability. A physical therapists job is to do this safely and effectively by strengthening the joint properly and educating you about your new joint mechanics and integrity. Once a ligament is injured, it is shown to heal approximately to 80% of its natural state in regards to strength and joint stiffness/stability. There is now a new potential risk for an imbalance of how forces are translated within and around the joint leading to instability and diminished function. This can result in damage to these structures; most commonly osteoarthritis. If you have experienced a ligament injury, a physical therapist can help you to properly heal and strengthen the joint and surrounding tissue, and teach you how to be aware of how your body will react and perform now and in the future. Call us to schedule your preferred appointment today!

www.csspt.com
2101 NW Profesional Dr. Suite 2
Corvallis • Phone (541) 752-0545