Ligaments: Definition, Diseases and How to Treat It

Ligament – Ligament is a fibrous tissue that serves as a link between the bones in the body. Ligaments and tendons are one of the most frequently mentioned body tissues, so Sinaumed’s is probably no stranger to this term. Ligaments and tendons are the body’s most common tissues and are prone to injury. Although ligaments and tendons look similar at first glance, they are two different tissues.

Tendons, bones, muscles and ligaments are one of the tissues in the body and help the body’s performance when moving. Like tendons, ligaments are tissues that can easily be injured. Tendons and ligaments look the same because they are made of fibrous tissue, but they have different functions. Then, what are ligaments and what are the diseases that can occur in ligaments? Check out the following explanation.

Definition of Ligaments

Ligaments are tough and thick fibrous tissue, but remain elastic. Ligamentous tissue contains collagen and can be found in joints. Therefore, Sinaumed’s can find ligamentous tissue around the shoulders, knees, ankles and other joints.

Ligamentous tissue is formed by spindle-shaped cells known as fibrocytes. This fibrocytic tissue also has other components that have a gel-like texture.

Ligaments are tissues that have a shape like elastic ropes that cross each other and function to bind bones. Although ligament tissue has elastic properties, it does not allow joints to move freely like other body parts, such as arms, shoulders, legs and so on.

For example, there are four ligaments that can be found in the knee. There are two tissues on the side of the kneecap, then the rest are in front and behind the kneecap. These four ligament networks have a role to balance the knee while preventing excessive movement of the knee.

Basically, ligament tissue is more elastic than tendons and consists of two types, namely white ligament tissue and yellow ligament tissue. The difference between these two types of ligaments is the series in terms of structure and content.

Ligament tissue that is white contains collagen and tends to be stiffer than the type of ligament that has a yellow color. While the yellow ligament tissue contains elastic fibers, it is these fibers that make the yellow ligament tissue more mobile.

In general, the main function of tendons and ligaments is to help balance the structure of the body and help the movement of the body. However, when viewed more specifically, the roles of these tendons and ligaments are different.

The function of the ligament net is to connect one bone to other bones, while the tendons have the function of connecting muscles to bones.

In addition, ligament tissue also has a role to support joints and prevent excessive joint movement. In the joints, the ligament tissue has a shape like a capsule that covers all the ends of the bones and can be articulated or movable. Its function is to lubricate the membrane at the ends of the bones.

It has been explained previously, that ligament tissue is indeed prone and often gets injured, such as tearing or being overly stretched. The cause of injury to this ligament tissue is due to an impact that is too hard, falling or moving too much in the wrong way, twisting the knee with the sole of the foot and staying on the ground, transferring body weight from one leg to the other suddenly, spreading your knees too far, stopping running suddenly, jumping and landing with your knees bent and so on.

Injury to the ligamentous tissue at the knee, ankle, wrist is common. When Sinaumed’s is injured in a ligament, Sinaumed’s will hear something like popping or can even feel a tear in the ligament tissue. In addition, sufferers who have injured the ligaments will also feel the knee joint feel looser.

To detect injuries to the ligaments, the doctor will carry out a physical examination and other supporting examinations. Examples include MRI and X-rays. In some cases of injury, the doctor will also use a needle to suck up and dry the blood on the swollen knee.

The symptoms of a ligament injury can be felt to prevent and treat the injury immediately. Some of the symptoms are pain in the joints, swelling or bruising in the injured area of ​​the body. When a joint is injured, Sinaumed’s can feel that the part feels weak and cannot properly support the body’s weight.

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When he was injured, Sinaumed’s didn’t need to panic. Because injuries to the joints are only temporary. However, it takes quite a long time to heal depending on the severity of the injury to the ligament tissue.

Broadly speaking, there are several levels that can categorize the severity of injuries to ligamentous tissue, namely grade one, grade two and grade three. In the case of a first-degree injury, the ligament tissue injury is only mild and only in the form of being pulled. However, in grade two injuries, the ligament tissue has been torn, but not completely and is included in the moderate injury category.

In the third degree, the most severe ligament injuries are marked by reduced function of the joints. This third degree ligament injury usually requires a surgical procedure to help repair the tissue that has been damaged. After experiencing a ligament injury, usually the joint will not feel as balanced as it used to be.

Even though it will heal, if the injury to the ligaments, especially the knee, is not treated immediately, then the impact of the knee ligament injury will be felt in a few months or even years.

In addition to injury, ligament tissue can also be attacked by several diseases. What kind of disease that attacks this ligament tissue?

Diseases of the Ligament Network

Not only prone to injury, ligament tissue can also be attacked by disease. Diseases that attack this ligament tissue can be divided into two types, including genetic and autoimmune. Well, what is the explanation of disease in ligamentous tissue?

Diseases of the ligament tissue caused by genetic conditions

Diseases of the ligament tissue are health problems that occur in the parts that connect body structures. According to the Cleveland Clinic, connective tissue consists of two proteins, namely elastin and collagen.

Collagen is a protein that can be found in tendons, ligaments, skin, cornea, cartilage, bones and blood vessels. Meanwhile, elastin is an elastic protein that has a shape like a rubber band and is the main component of ligament and skin tissue.

When a person has a disease of the connective tissue or ligaments, the collagen and elastin will become inflamed.

So the impact, there will be damage to the protein and parts of the body that are connected by a network of ligaments. The causes and symptoms of this ligament disease vary and depend on the condition and severity of the disease.

Here are some diseases of the ligament tissue caused by genetic conditions:

1. Ehlers Danlos syndrome

Ehlers Danlos syndrome or EDS can be caused by problems with the formation of collagen. Symptoms of this syndrome are stretchy skin, abnormal growths of scar tissue and joints that are too flexible.

Sufferers of EDS may have weak blood vessels, a curved spine, bleeding gums and problems with heart valves, lungs or digestion.

2. Epidermolysis Bullosa (EP)

EP sufferers usually experience abnormal growth of connective tissue proteins such as keratin, laminin, and collagen. This condition is also accompanied by symptoms of very fragile skin.

Sometimes, the skin with EP will blister or even tear. Sometimes small bumps will appear caused by friction on the clothes you wear. Some types of EP can also affect the respiratory tract, bladder, muscles and digestive tract.

3. Marfan’s Syndrome

This syndrome is caused by a defect in the connective tissue protein fibrillin that affects the bones, ligaments, eyes, blood vessels and heart.

People with Marfan syndrome are often very tall and slender, they also have very long bones and thin fingers and toes.

Sometimes, there are patients who have swollen segments of the aortic vessels which can rupture at any time.

Diseases of the ligament tissue caused by autoimmunity

Diseases of the ligament tissue caused by autoimmune, often occur in someone with a combination of genes. This disease tends to be more common in women than men. Here are some ligament diseases due to autoimmune.

1. Polymyositis and Dermatomyositis

These two diseases of the ligaments are related. Polymyositis causes inflammation of the muscles, while dermatomyositis causes inflammation of the skin. The symptoms of these two diseases are similar, such as fatigue, weakness in the muscles, difficulty swallowing, shortness of breath, fever and weight loss.

2. Arthritis

In rheumatoid arthritis (RA), the immune system attacks the thin membranes that line the joints. This will cause pain, stiffness, warmth, swelling to inflammation that occurs throughout the body.

Other symptoms of self-inflammation are fatigue, anemia, loss of appetite to fever. If left unchecked, RA can damage joints permanently and can cause deformity.

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3. Scleroderma

This disease will cause the skin to feel tight and thick, the accumulation of scar tissue and organ damage. Scleroderma disorders fall into two groups, namely local and systemic scleroderma.

In the case of localized scleroderma, the disease will affect the skin. Meanwhile in systemic cases, the disease will involve major organs and blood vessels.

4. Sjogren’s Syndrome

Common symptoms of this syndrome are mouth and eyes that feel dry. Sufferers will also feel fatigue and extreme pain in the joints.

This condition will increase the risk of lymphoma and can affect the lungs, blood vessels, kidneys, nervous system to the digestive system.

5. Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE or Lupus)

Lupus can cause inflammation that occurs in the skin, organs and joints. Symptoms of lupus are rashes on the cheeks and nose, sensitivity to sunlight, mouth sores, fluid in the heart and lungs, kidney problems, anemia and hair loss.

6. Vasculitis

Vasculitis is a disorder that affects the blood vessels in any area of ​​the body. Symptoms of vasculitis are loss of appetite, pain, fever, weight loss and fatigue. In addition, in some cases vasculitis can also cause strokes if blood vessels in parts of the brain become inflamed.

Ligament Recovery Initial Steps

In mild and moderate category of ligament injuries, here are a number of ways of initial treatment to speed up recovery.

  • Compress the knee or the injured part with ice cubes that have been wrapped in a cloth for about 20-30 minutes, every 4 hours.
  • Rest the knee or other body part that feels injured, then limit body movement.
  • Take pain relievers, if needed.
  • Use knee guards or bandages to control the movement of the injured knee and prevent the injury from getting worse or worse.
  • Do some stretching exercises that function to train muscle strength around the injured knee ligaments.

Apart from the things above, doctors also recommend physiotherapy to restore the function of the injured knee. However, sooner or later the recovery period depends on the severity of the injury and the type of treatment given.

In some cases of knee ligament injuries, such as for example torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), it is necessary to undergo reconstructive surgery so that the ligaments can recover.

Steps to Overcome Diseases of the Ligaments

Until now, there is no drug that can treat diseases of the ligament tissue. Whether it’s a disease due to autoimmune or due to genetic conditions. Patients with autoimmune disease of ligament tissue, treatment is done to help reduce the symptoms of the disease. If you have conditions such as psoriasis and arthritis, therapy can suppress immune disorders that will trigger inflammation.

For diseases that occur in the ligaments caused by autoimmune, there are several types of drugs that are usually recommended by doctors to reduce the symptoms.

1. Corticosteroids

Corticosteroids are a group of drugs that contain synthetic steroid hormones. This drug will inhibit the production of substances that can cause inflammation. This drug can also work as an immunosuppressant.

This one drug can help prevent the immune system from attacking healthy cells and can prevent inflammation.

2. Immunomodulator

Immunomodulators are substances or substances that can modify the response of the immune system and activate natural and adaptive defense mechanisms, for example, such as restoring the balance of the immune system that is disturbed.

Immunostimulants are compounds that will increase the work of components in the immune system. This one drug will be given to increase the immune response to infection or disease.

The content of immunostimulants can be found in natural ingredients, such as saffron, black cumin, ginseng, white root, Sambiloto, ginger, curcuma, gotu kola and others.

This drug has several functions including strengthening the body’s resistance, fighting various kinds of pathogens such as viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites that lodge in the body, curing a number of minor ailments such as coughs, indigestion and fever, preventing diseases such as stroke, disease, cardiovascular and the kidneys and function to protect cells and organs such as the lungs, brain, liver and heart.

That’s an explanation of the ligaments are the tissues that surround the joints. If Sinaumed’s wants to know more about ligaments, joint health or how to maintain and treat bone disease, then Sinaumed’s can find out the information by reading books.

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