Joint injuries can lead to chronic pain and instability, especially if your ligaments are involved. Treating ligament-based injuries is critical to avoid ligament laxity, a potentially dangerous condition.
As board-certified orthopedic surgeons, San Francisco-based Dr. Jeffrey Halbrecht and Dr. Ephraim Dickinson at The Institute for Arthroscopy & Sports Medicine (IASM) in San Francisco, California, can properly diagnose cases of ligament laxity, and recommend treatment.
Reasons behind ligament laxity
Joints have multiple components, including bones, ligaments, muscles, and tendons. Your ligaments are bands of tissue that are thick with collagen fibers, creating strong connections between different parts of a joint (including bones and cartilage).
When a ligament is stretched or torn and not properly treated, it can fail to heal properly. Repeated injuries over time, even small ones, can lead to what is known as ligament laxity. If you have ligament laxity, your joint won’t be solidly supported, and you can end up with an even more serious injury.
Dangers of ligament laxity
Once you’ve developed ligament laxity, you run the risk of more serious joint injuries. This is especially true if you’re older, work a job that puts strain on your joints, or play sports.
Ligaments holding the shoulder together need to be protected and correctly treated in case of injury. They help hold the most complex joint in our body together, securing it as you twist and move the ball in the socket all day long.
Small injuries from overuse caused by pitching in baseball or your overhand swing in tennis can lead to ligament issues in the shoulder. This can, in turn, significantly increase your chances of shoulder subluxations or dislocations.
One of your biggest and most critical ligaments is located in the knee joint. Your anterior cruciate ligament is extremely vulnerable to damage if you play a contact sport and have ligament laxity.
A hit from the side or a sudden twisting action at high speed can result in a completely torn ligament, requiring attention from expert ACL surgeons in San Francisco. By addressing ligament laxity early on, you may be able to avoid such extreme measures.
Soccer or volleyball can cause repeated, seemingly minor injuries that, over time, compound into ligament laxity and lead to more ankle sprains and strains. Eventually, an ankle can give out completely, causing a fracture or tendon tear.
Golfers may find that hip instability begins to plague them as they age. If ligament laxity is to blame, arthroscopic surgery may be able to restore your confidence and mobility so you can return to the sport you love.
Do You Need to Consult a Bay Area Orthopedic Surgeon?
Dr. Halbrecht and Dr. Dickinson are highly experienced sports medicine doctors. San Francisco residents who suspect ligament laxity and play a sport where joint injuries are common should consider getting a consultation about having their issue fixed now instead of waiting for the condition to worsen.
If you believe that your joint instability and pain could be caused by ligament laxity, schedule a consultation with Dr. Halbrecht, Dr. Dickinson, and their team. To get in touch, call 415-233-7996, or book an appointment online.