Ligament injuries - muscolar sprains - Sprains
Sprains occur when an indirect trauma makes the joint execute an exaggerate movement compared to its normal mobility with consequent overstrain of the joints and possible lesion of the articular structures, joints and articular capsule.
In particular knee joint, ankle, elbow, fingers and spine are the ones at higher risk of sprains.
First degree sprain, or wrench, is a minor stretch of the ligaments or capsule; minimum damage and minor tears of some fibrous fasciculus may occur.
In second degree sprain there is a partial tear of the capsule- ligamental structure, while in third degree sprain a complete rupture of these structures occurs.
Obviously symptoms will be more severe depending on the gravity of the trauma.
Pain could also not be felt immediately after the trauma, especially if it happens during intense exercise; anyway it tends to come out later and to worsen as moving. Obviously, in first degree sprains pain is usually lighter, as well as swelling.
The tumefaction of the articulation is another typical symptom of sprains; it often comes together with an ecchymosis due to blood leakage into the tissues; sometimes, in the most severe cases, blood may leak inside the joint as well (emarthrosis).
It also causes loss of function and muscular contraction, whose function is analgesic, meaning it decreases pain. When ligaments, which normally give stability to the articulation, are damaged, an increase of the passive movements of the joint can be observed and if the damage is not treated in the right way, this could turn into a partial or complete articular instability, depending on how severe is the lesion.