A ligament is a fibrous connective tissue band that attaches bone to bone. A tendon attaches a muscle to a bone. Ligaments and tendons have very little blood supply and therefore heal very slowly.
When examined under the microscope, ligaments and tendons are composed of highly organized dense connective tissue that is extremely strong. Generally, they heal through the formation of scar tissue, which is never as strong or as flexible as the original structure. Due to this, re-injury is common.
Ultrasound is commonly used by vets to image ligaments and tendons. In some injuries, bone is pulled away at the ligamentous attachment. This fracture is usually visible on a radiograph and is called an avulsion.
The standard treatment for ligament and tendon injury historically has been time. Since these structures have poor blood supply and so can take many months to heal. Today there are more options for treatment, including direct injection of stem cells, PRP and other regenerative products into the injured ligament. There is still a great deal not known about the effectiveness of these treatments.
Other Diagnoses Considered
Treatments May Include
Prognosis & Relevant Factors
The prognosis depends on the specific ligament and joint, and the severity of injury to the ligament and other support structures. In many cases, injured supporting ligaments are accompanied by injury to the joint itself.
I Might ObserveRelated Observations
Skills I might need
QUESTIONS TO ASK MY VET