Ligament injury

 Ligament injury

Ligaments are tough, fibrous tissue bands that hold bones to bones. They help stabilise the joints of our body. Ligament injuries occur when these bands are stressed beyond their capacity. They commonly occur in the ankle and the knee as these are vulnerable joints but can occur in any joint of the body.

Common causes

Ligament injuries are usually acute injuries as a result of direct or indirect trauma. There are different grades of ligament injury

  • Grade 1 – stretched ligaments with no instability. Mild tenderness, swelling and stiffness.
  • Grade 2 – moderate partial tear with instability. Moderate pain, swelling and bruising.
  • Grade 3 – complete tear or rupture of the ligament. Unstable. Severe swelling and bruising. There is usually intense pain, however initial pain may be quick to subside.

Severe ligamentous injuries may involve avulsion fracture. Rather than the tendon rupturing, the tendon pulls the bone away.

At Sportsfit Physio and Health our Physios have all the tools to ensure you have a full recovery.


A physiotherapy assessment take a thorough history to understand how the injury occurred and to help guide the physical assessment. Rehabilitation time will vary dependent on the location of the ligament and the level of damage.

Initial management aims to reduce pain and inflammation. This might include:

  • ice
  • rest
  • compression
  • reducing weight bearing where necessary
  • taping to support


When able, rehabilitation will aim at restoring range of movement, strength, balance and function to return to previous activity or sport. Balance is an important part of a lower limb ligament injury as the ligament plays an important role in telling your brain where your foot or leg is in space. Restoring this function is important to help prevent further injuries and also to return to the same performance level.


It is important to seek physiotherapy management for ligament sprains to ensure you return back to your chosen activity as well as preventing future injuries.

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