Damage to the ligaments of the upper limb is a group of fairly common injuries, which include damage to the rotator cuff of the shoulder, damage to the ligaments of the elbow and wrist joints and small joints of the hand. Some of the most common injuries in this group are rotator cuff injuries and wrist ligament injuries. Symptoms depend on the type of injury and its location. This is mainly pain, swelling and limitation of voluntary movements in the damaged area. Damage to the ligaments of the upper limb is diagnosed by a traumatologist. X-rays may be ordered to rule out fractures. Treatment consists in fixing the injured area of the upper limb by applying a plaster splint.
Damage to the ligaments of the upper limb is a group of fairly common injuries, which include damage to the rotator cuff of the shoulder, damage to the ligaments of the elbow and wrist joints and small joints of the hand.
Entitled “rotatory cuff arm” in traumatology imply tendons group located in the shoulder joint (the subscapularis tendon, small circular, infraspinatus and supraspinatus muscle). The function of this group of tendons is to provide mobility and stability of the shoulder joint.
Rotator cuff injury is one of the most common and severe injuries to the upper limb ligaments. It can be partial or complete, traumatic or degenerative. The cause of the traumatic rupture of the rotator cuff is excessive muscle tension when falling onto the arm. Less commonly, tendons are damaged by a direct blow to the shoulder joint.
Degenerative tendon damage can occur even with minor trauma. In contrast to a traumatic rupture, the main reason in this case is a change in the structure of the tendon due to impaired trophism, repeated microtraumas or congenital weakness of the connective tissue.
A patient with a ruptured rotator cuff of the shoulder complains of pain, most often on the upper lateral surface of the shoulder, in the area of attachment of the deltoid tendon. With partial damage to the rotator cuff of the shoulder, the range of motion in the joint is preserved, the pain intensifies when the arm is moved to the side. In the case of a complete rupture of the rotator cuff of the shoulder, the range of motion in the joint decreases, the patient has difficulty raising the straightened arm.
In case of an old rupture of the tendons, the head of the humerus gradually “leaves” in a state of subluxation. Degenerative changes in the shoulder joint develop. Hand movements become even more limited. Rotator cuff ruptures can be complicated by damage to nearby brachial plexus nerves and inflammation of the bursal sac beneath the acromial process of the scapula ( subacromial bursitis ).
In case of partial damage to the rotator cuff of the shoulder, conservative treatment is indicated – immobilization on the abduction splint for 3 weeks, exercise therapy and physiotherapy . A complete rupture of the rotator cuff of the shoulder is an indication for surgery followed by the application of an abduction splint.
Elbow tendon injury
A rare type of damage to the ligaments of the upper extremities. As a rule, tears and ruptures of collateral ligaments are combined with rupture of the joint capsule and avulsion fractures. The elbow joint is swollen, increased in volume due to the accumulation of blood. In the extension position, excessive lateral mobility is determined. Treatment – puncture of the elbow joint, immobilization with a posterior plaster splint for a period of 3 weeks, exercise therapy and physiotherapy .
A fairly common type of damage to the ligaments of the upper extremities. Damage to the lateral ligament located on the side of the ulna is more common. The reason is a fall with support on an outstretched arm. There is pain during movement, swelling of the dorsal and lateral surfaces of the joint.
The wrist is fixed with a plaster splint for one week . Then physiotherapy is prescribed .
Tearing of the ligaments of the I metacarpophalangeal joint located at the base of the thumb occurs upon impact, the force of which is directed along the axis of the finger (a blow to the finger or a fall with an emphasis on a straightened finger). The patient complains of pain at the base of the finger, which increases with movement, especially when the finger is pulled to the side. The area of damage is swollen.
Treatment consists in the traumatologist fixing the finger with a plaster splint for a period of 10 days. Then physiotherapy is prescribed .
Damage to the lateral ligaments of the interphalangeal joints
The injury is usually caused by sudden or violent lateral movement of the toe. The patient complains of pain during movement and swelling in the area of damage. Treatment – plaster splint with rock for 10 days, physiotherapy .