Duration of an elongation of the ligament

Definition Strain band elongation

Ligaments are strands of connective tissue that connect moving parts of the human skeleton. They are mainly found in the area of the joints. They serve to restrict mobility and movement to a degree desired by the body.

They also have a stabilising and strengthening effect. Their undulating fibre arrangement enables them to cushion and reduce the forces acting on them. If the ligaments are stretched, the normal range of movement of the ligaments is exceeded.

It is a first-degree ligament injury and represents the preliminary stage to a torn ligament. The causes are usually unintentional or incorrectly executed movements, as often occur in sports injuries. A typical event leading to ligament stretching is the twisting of the foot.

Duration of an elongation of the ligament

The duration of ligament stretching depends on the severity of the strain, the type of ligament affected and the strain applied during the disease process. For example, the ligament apparatus of the knee and ankle is permanently exposed to body weight and constant movement and is more difficult to cure than, for example, the ligament stretching on the finger. In addition, an overstretched ligament has only a limited capacity for regeneration.

A so-called “defect healing” of the ligaments takes place, resulting in an incomplete or excessive repair of the injured tissue. This can result in loss of function in the affected joint with permanent discomfort or restricted mobility. The affected ligament is often susceptible to renewed ligament stretching.

The basic treatment of ligament stretching, no matter in which joint, is the permanent reduction of the load. As a rule, uncomplicated ligament stretching heals after two weeks. However, the time frame varies depending on the affected joint.

In some cases, it can take weeks to months before the ligament apparatus can be loaded again to a certain extent. Athletes should refrain from sports for several weeks and, if the complaints decrease, slowly regain the affected joint. If left untreated and subjected to early loading, ligament stretching can lead to instability, malpositioning, chronic pain, stiffening of the joint and renewed ligament strain. The pain is usually stronger than before.

Strain of the ligaments at the knee

When the ligaments of the knee are stretched, the ligaments in the knee are strained. This usually affects the so-called cruciate ligaments or the inner ligament, which is connected to the meniscus – a crescent-shaped cartilage system – of the knee. The outer ligament, on the other hand, is less frequently affected by strains due to its independence from the meniscus.

Classically, the injury occurs in skiers and footballers. In the course of the accident, the joint surface briefly slides out of its normal position and thus exceeds its range of motion by twisting or buckling. Depending on the degree of ligament stretching of the knee joint, different therapeutic measures come into play.

In the case of a slight ligament extension, immobilization for about two to six weeks, the additional use of cool packs and painkilling ointments is sufficient. A severe strain of the knee joint should be treated with stretch splints or bandages to restrict the ligaments in their movement. Immobilisation is carried out for about four to six weeks.

Typical here is the sensitivity of the knee joint to pain, which can extend over three to four months. It should be possible to resume full load after a maximum of four months. If permanent movement restrictions or pain occur, you should definitely consult a doctor!