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Ligaments are the strong bands of tissue in our body that make every movement possible. They keep bones connected and provide stability to joints. Therefore, whenever there is a twist, lift, or shuffle in the body, a ligament is involved. 

However, these bands of tissue are prone to tears. Ligaments can become damaged from overuse, disease, or injury. So while answering a very commonly asked question, “What happens if ligaments are torn?” our experts say that “the bands won’t be able to support the associated joint anymore, and the body will experience a lot of pain.”

Where can Ligament tear occur?


There are four major ligaments in the knee, anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), medial collateral ligament (MCL), and lateral collateral ligament (LCL). Out of these, ACL is most common. These tears limit knee movement and cause stiffness, swelling, and extreme pain.


The tearing of the ligament in the back is often identified as a back sprain. Back sprains are caused when ligaments in the back get overstretched due to lifting something that is too heavy.


A ligament tear in the ankle is one of the most common sports injuries. The tear occurs at the outer side of the ligament, which is called the lateral ligament complex. The ligament in the ankle gets torn due to a sudden twist or roll of the ankle and causes heavy swelling in the injured foot.


A wrist has 20 ligaments. A ligament tear in the wrist causes a wrist sprain which occurs when the wrist is bent or twisted forcefully. The most common ligaments that are injured are scapholunate and the TFCC. 

Generally, a ligament tear occurs due to extreme force to a joint. So, in addition to the locations mentioned above, a ligament tear can also occur at joints like the elbow, neck, thumb, and shoulder, where most ligaments are present.

What are the symptoms of a Torn Ligament?

How are torn ligaments treated?

Non-surgical Treatment


Though medications can’t cure the ligament tear, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin, naproxen, and ibuprofen help with swelling and pain.

RICE Therapy 

The RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) is a simple self-care technique that eases pain, helps the blood circulation better and reduces swelling. However, it should be noted that RICE should be used as a first-aid and not an ongoing process. Continuing the RICE therapy may interfere with the natural healing of the torn ligament.


Wearing a brace helps support the joint and promotes proper function and movement, preventing further damage to the site.

Surgical Treatment

A ligament tear causes a disconnect between the tissue and any chance of blood supply, and so it won’t be healed on its own. Therefore, surgery is often needed to treat a ligament tear. Surgery also helps the joint heal correctly and reduces the chances of re-injury. ACL Reconstruction is one such commonly used surgery following a ligament tear.

ACL Reconstruction

The ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) is a key ligament that aids in the stability of your knee joint. It is an arthroscopic procedure that uses minimally-invasive techniques to help speed up recovery after the ligament tear. This process involves the construction of a new ACL by taking tissue grafts from the patient’s own quadriceps, hamstrings, patellar tendon, or from a donor (allograft). 

Orthoplanet is an orthopedics bone and joint care clinic in Mumbai with many branches across the city. Here we have a highly experienced team of orthopedic consultants and physiotherapists. Pioneering in the field for close to 15 years, we have treated over 1 Lakh happy individuals on an OPD basis and successfully carried out over 7500 surgeries. 

Our techniques are guided by evidence-based science using state-of-the-art surgical techniques and equipment, which allow rapid recovery and guaranteed long-term results. So, if you are looking for ligament tear treatments, book your appointment with us today.

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