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Find out about this surgery and what you can expect from your recovery
Damage to these ligaments may be caused by trauma, such as a fall on to the outstretched hand or some sports such as rugby or skiing. Ligaments may also be damaged by certain inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and this too leads to instability.
When a ligament tear is diagnosed the main question to be answered by your surgeon is whether this has led to instability i.e., is the ligament still performing its function despite the tear, which would be partial.
This question can be answered by clinical examination, by x-ray, ultrasound and/or more elaborate tests such as MRI or CT scans.
Full ligament tears generally need surgery and it is important to operate early. These ligaments are short and tight and will, if neglected, shrink and be difficult to re-attach.
Repair of ligaments generally requires some weeks of physiotherapy and also splinting to protect the repair.