A torn ligament occurs when a joint is twisted or overstretched. Most torn ligaments occur in the knees or the ankles. They can also occur during sports that require strenuous motion, such as tennis or football. When a ligament is torn, the injured person will usually hear a snapping sound. It can be very painful, but it is treatable. Seek medical attention if you have multiple ligament tears.
Many torn ligaments can take about eight weeks to heal. During the healing process, the injured person should treat the torn ligament with ice. Torn ligaments can result in extreme swelling and the ice will help reduce the swelling and pain. Fill an ice bag and place the bag on the injured area for at least 15 to 20 minutes a day to reduce the swelling.
Elevating the injured area helps minimize the blood flow to the injured area. This helps reduce the swelling. If you've torn a foot or knee ligament, prop your foot or knee on a chair or the arm of a couch so it is elevated. If you have torn a ligament in your chest, lie on the side that hasn’t been injured so that the injured side is higher than the other. In addition, seek the advice of a professional if the torn ligament is in the chest area since an anti-inflammatory medication may be needed.
Immobilize your torn ligament with a strap-on cast. If the injury is in the knee or leg, a basic strap-on cast can be purchased at a sporting-goods store. These casts can help support the injury to assist with minimizing the swelling. Be sure the straps on the cast are not too tight so that any swelling is not worsened.
Stretch the torn ligament several times a day. Once you have rested the torn ligament a few days, start a stretching routine. The stretching will help you gain the range of motion in the muscle that had been injured. A medical professional can recommend an exercise routine that works best for your injury. Don’t overwork the muscle as you slowly exercise to regain its mobility.