The capsule rupture: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment
A painful affair: In an accident or in sport, articular capsules can tear. The result is severe pain, a swelling of the joint and a movement restriction. We can not cure the injury, can cause permanent damage or instability. Find out more about the genesis, symptoms and treatment of a capsule crack.
A wrong movement, a blow from the wrong side, or a fall: external injury to a joint can easily lead to injury. Capsule rupture is a common form of damage. The joint capsule consists of two layers: the inner joint capsule (membrana synovialis) connects directly to the articular cartilage and produces the joint fluid. It ensures a smooth movement and fills the joint cavity. The outer layer of the capsule is made of collagenous connective tissue and grown in bone. Joint capsules are stabilized by ligaments and vision and supported in their function.
Capsule rupture: Joint capsule is damaged
If during sports or during a fall, the joint is affected, the connective tissue may tear. This can happen, for example, by the advent of a ball on the stretched finger, a lateral kick against the knee, or the balling out of a shoulder. Accompanying a capsule rupture, further injuries can occur frequently – ligaments and tendons can be damaged. Bone splits and fractures also occur.
The joint capsule may also tear by overstretching or excessive pull on a joint. The most common are the finger joints (base, middle or end joint), knees or shoulders. However, theoretically, any joint capsule of the body can be damaged. Above all, ball sportsmen are always concerned with capsule injuries. Handball players and volleyball players are easily injured by the ball contact. But also during skiing, threading into a hand cuff often results in capsule injuries of the thumb joints.
Symptoms of capsule rupture: swelling and hematoma
The affected person immediately notices a capsule rupture. A piercing pain passes through the joint and it usually comes immediately to a movement restriction. If the joint capsule is completely torn, the joint fluid will enter the surrounding tissue – a swelling of the affected area occurs. Since the joint capsules are perfused, vessels can be damaged and a hematoma is formed. After some time, the piercing pain subsides and the injury begins to pulsate. A thick, blue finger remains behind.
Treatment of dull injuries: PECH rule
If a capsule rupture occurs, a conservative treatment should be initiated immediately. This is done with the so-called PECH rule . The individual letters stand for:
P – “pause”
E – “ice”
H – “Hochlagerern”
The joint should be immediately immobilized. Excessive stress can aggravate the discomfort and increase swelling and hematoma. This is followed by relief and a training pause.
If the joint is cooled directly after the injury, not only the pain go back, but also the swelling can be prevented.
A light bandage or special bandages exert some pressure on the damaged joint and give it back some stability. The freedom of movement should not be restricted.
The elevated body parts are used to relieve pain and support the decay.
Have further injuries clarified
To ensure that no bones, ligaments or tendons are damaged, a supposedly “simple” injury such as a capsule rupture should also be examined by a doctor. The orthopaedist is the right contact. Through a thorough history, scanning and imaging procedures, he can rule out bone fractures or ligament tears. A radiograph and an ultrasound examination support the diagnosis. In doubtful cases, an MRI can also be used.
If the diagnosis is broken, the treating physician will immobilize the affected joint with a splint or a dressing. In the case of capsule cracks in the shoulder after ball jointing, surgery may be necessary. In this case, the split parts of the torn capsule are sewn again and, if necessary, fragmented bone fragments are fixed with small screws. In the case of capsule injuries in the knee, an operation may also be necessary, depending on whether cruciate ligaments or menisci are damaged.
There are no complications curing a capsule break usually within the next four to six weeks. During this time the joint should not be loaded. For re-entry into the workout, the joint can be stabilized with tapes or bandages. In rare cases, a permanent instability may occur after a capsule crack. Through physiotherapy, the muscles can be developed in such a way that they better support the joint capsule.
Prophylaxis: warm up muscles
A capsule crack can not be completely avoided. Especially in contact sports or falls, there is always the danger that joints are damaged by the strong external force. But those who warm up properly before the sport and adjust the muscles and the organism to the load can reduce the risk somewhat.
Also during the stress you should always “times” into the body. Most injuries result from overloading and fatigue of the physical structures. Here it is advisable to take a break once more than to put physical health at risk.
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