Ligament Injuries

What are ligaments?
Ligaments are short, fibrous bands of tissue that join bones together. Their primary focus is to stabilise joints during motion.

What are ligament injuries?
Ligament injuries are often referred to as sprains. They occur commonly when a person falls on an outstretched hand, or may occur during participation in a sport (particularly ball games) when the ligament is placed under excessive stress. Ligament injuries will commonly occur in conjunction with a fracture of a finger, thumb or wrist.

Common ligament injuries

  • Ligament injuries commonly occur at the thumb (most commonly at the Ulnar collateral ligament, where the injury is referred to as ‘skiers’ or ‘gamekeepers’ thumb).
  • Ligamentous injuries at the wrist are also seen commonly at Hand Works. These often include injury to intercarpal ligaments and the triangular fibro cartilaginous complex (TFCC).
  • Ligament injuries also occur commonly in fingers following dislocations or excessive force to the finger (eg. volar plate or collateral ligament injuries).

Diagnosis of ligament injuries
Ligament injuries are not usually able to be diagnosed using xrays (except in the presence of an avulsion fracture), and are more commonly diagnosed via ultrasound or MRI. At Hand Works we will test for joint instability and pain if imaging is not available or does not explain a person’s symptoms. This way we can develop a clinical or provisional diagnosis.Volar splint