Torn Ligaments Specialist Questions and Answers
Both ligaments and tendons are major parts of the ankle joint and either can be hurt during an ankle injury. If you have recently hurt yourself, contact Advanced Foot and Ankle Specialists in Chicago, IL. We offer top-rated specialists that can help you get back on your feet. Call us for more information or request an appointment online. We are conveniently located at 3115 N Harlem Ave #200 Chicago, IL 60634. We serve patients from Chicago IL, Cicero IL, Oak Park IL, Berwyn IL, and River Grove IL.
Torn ligaments, also known as sprains, often occur when an individual rolls their ankle while walking, when participating in various sports, or from a fall and can sometimes be more painful than a broken bone. They often occur with a feeling of shooting pain accompanied by a popping sound or sensation at the injury site. If you are concerned that you have experienced a torn ligament in or around your foot or ankle, our podiatrists and torn ligament specialists at Advanced Foot and Ankle Specialists would be happy to evaluate and treat your injury.
What doctor treats ligaments and tendons?
Depending on the ligament and tendon location, the type of doctor that specializes in treating ligament and tendon conditions and injuries are either orthopedists or podiatrists. With that said, podiatric doctors specialize in treating ligament and tendon injuries and conditions that affect the foot, ankle, and lower leg. In contrast, orthopedic doctors specialize in treating issues affecting the bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments in general. At Advanced Foot and Ankle Specialists, our board-certified podiatrists have an abundance of experience, skill, and training to expertly treat ligament and tendon injuries affecting the foot, ankle, or lower leg.
What is the best treatment for ligament damage?
The best treatment for ligament damage is typically determined on a case-by-case basis, depending on the severity, cause, and location of the injury or damage. With that in mind, initial treatment for a ligament injury is fairly universal, as it typically involves the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and the RICE method, which stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. For mild ligament damage, NSAIDs and the RICE treatment method are often sufficient to heal the ligament. However, more significant ligament damage will likely require some form of immobilization and physical therapy once the ligament has healed enough. The type of immobilization will depend on the location of the injury. As such, an ankle sprain may require the use of a brace, cast, or walking boot to allow the ligament to heal properly. Surgical repair of ligament damage is typically reserved for the most severe injuries and damage.
How long does it take for a torn ligament to heal?
The length of time it takes for a torn ligament in the foot or ankle to heal depends on the sprain’s severity. As such, a mild foot or ankle sprain will likely heal within one to three weeks with adequate rest and care, while a moderate foot or ankle sprain may take between three and four weeks to heal completely. In contrast, severe foot or ankle sprains can take significantly longer to heal, between three and six months, due to limited blood flow to the foot or ankle ligaments.
Should I go to an Urgent Care or a Podiatrist for a torn ligament?
While an urgent care clinic may help with initial treatment of a torn ligament since they accept same-day, walk-in appointments, a podiatrist is likely a better option when seeking comprehensive treatment for a torn ligament in or around the foot or ankle. With that said, an urgent care clinic physician can likely diagnose the torn ligament and provide rudimentary care to prevent further injury. In contrast, a podiatrist can provide a more in-depth evaluation of the damage and informed decisions on how to help the ligament heal properly in the long-term, whether that requires surgery, immobilization, or another form of treatment.
As such, if you can see a podiatrist for a torn ligament in the foot or ankle on the same day of the injury, that is a much more beneficial option than going to an urgent care clinic, as an urgent care physician will likely refer you to a podiatrist regardless. While we cannot guarantee a same-day appointment at Advanced Foot and Ankle Specialists, we welcome you to call us at the clinic nearest you for our same-day availability if you are dealing with a torn ligament in the foot or ankle.