Ligament laxity, also known as ligamentous laxity, occurs when ligaments are stretched or torn, making it difficult for them to do their job, which is to support your joint and keep it strong. If you have ligament laxity and engage in any activity that puts strain on the affected joint, you could end up in serious trouble.
As an orthopedic surgeon, San Francisco-based Dr. Jeffrey Halbrecht and Dr. Ehpraim Dickinson at The Institute for Arthroscopy & Sports Medicine (IASM) in San Francisco, California, can evaluate ligament issues and determine if arthroscopic surgery can resolve the laxity.
Reasons behind ligament laxity
Joints have multiple components, including bones, ligaments, muscles, and tendons. If a ligament is injured, either in one acute injury or by repetitive micro injuries, you’re likely to end up with ligament laxity.
Repeated micro tears or stretching associated with different sports activities can slowly render ligaments so lax that the joint becomes increasingly unstable and painful. As a result, your muscles, tendons, and other joints above and below the affected joint have to work harder.
This can mean the problem spreads, as damage to one joint makes you naturally transfer extra load to another joint, which, in turn, gets overloaded and sustains ligament damage.
Increased risk of injury due to ligament laxity
Every joint is subject to additional risk of future injury once ligament laxity is in play.
Women who play soccer or volleyball are at high risk for ankle injury. Repeated injuries can cause significant ligament laxity, increasing risk of more sprains, strains, and even fractures due to a destabilized joint. Another demographic well known for ankle instability due to laxity is people who ski. If you’re the person who’s known for always rolling your ankle, it might be time to seek a professional opinion before you suffer a worse injury.
In the knee, the anterior cruciate ligament is often the most vulnerable to damage in high-contact sports. A torn ACL can completely destabilize your knee, and you’ll need help from an expert knee surgeon. San Francisco residents are advised to contact Dr. Halbrecht or Dr. Dickinson at IASM, as as both are known to their patients as a highly eskilled ACL surgeon in San Francisco.
Older patients are more likely than younger ones to suffer from ligament issues in the hips. However, if instability does arise, arthroscopic surgery can usually be implemented to help repair damage and restore mobility and confidence. Ignoring signs of ligament laxity, like wobbliness when walking or pain when bending or stretching, can increase risk of a serious injury from a fall.
Ligament issues in the shoulder can greatly increase likelihood of subluxation or dislocation of that shoulder joint. As a shoulder surgeon in San Francisco, Dr. Halbrecht or Dr. Dickinson can help you with shoulder instability and help prevent future dislocations of your shoulder due to ligament laxity.
If you’re experiencing joint pain and instability that might be ligament laxity, schedule a consultation with one of our skilled sports medicine physicians at IASM who can help you on your road to recovery. To get in touch, call 415-233-7996, or book an appointment online.