Inflammation entails the process through which the body fights and protects itself from infection, and toxins, and, in case of tissue damage, it initiates healing. It can happen due to damaging healthy cells or tissues, for example, during sports or after accidental falls (McCance & Huether, 2018). Inflammation forms the second line of defense, and it responds in cases when physical and chemical barriers have failed or were not applicable (McCance & Huether, 2018). This procedure can be either acute or chronic, and the five classical signs of acute inflammation are pain, redness, swelling, heat, and loss of function (McCance & Huether, 2018). Inflammation is vital in repairing tissues and clearing microorganisms colonizing wounds.
Collateral ligaments are thick bands of tissue located on either side of the knee. The medial collateral ligament originates from the femur and inserts distally into the tibia, while the lateral collateral ligament starts at the femur and connects to the fibula (Naqvi & Sherman, 2020). These ligaments’ primary function is to prevent sideways movement of the knee and to cushion it in case of excessive force (Naqvi & Sherman, 2020). Therefore, these structures and the muscles surrounding the knees are responsible for their stability.
The Inflammatory Process
When the patient was playing volleyball, her opponents pushed her, and the force caused sideways movement of the knee, which led to the tearing of the medial collateral ligament. In turn, the body responded by initiating the inflammatory process. First, the event led to the increased blood flow to the area of injury, and it started to leak at the place (McCance & Huether, 2018). The following swelling of the wound happened because of this pressure, and the pain emerged from the surrounding nerves (Naqvi & Sherman, 2020). Additionally, this outcome made it difficult to fully extend the knee (Naqvi & Sherman, 2020). Therefore, the pain was felt on the side where the ligament is torn.
Subsequently, the blood concentrated around the wound and led to other symptoms. They were an increase in its viscosity and a decrease in flow speed, leading to blood accumulation (McCance & Huether, 2018). It caused a rise in erythrocytes; hence, the area became red and felt warm (Damani, 2019). In turn, the immune defense system triggered inflammatory mediators’ release (Zhu & Kanneganti, 2017). They prevented further damage to the tissues and facilitated the recovery of cells (Damani, 2019). However, the spaces created between them also allowed the white blood cells to escape into the tissues.
The mediators were also responsible for increased pain sensitivity in the wound site. Inflammatory stimuli caused phosphate addition into the channels and modified them (Naqvi & Sherman, 2020). They led to a change in the membrane properties, increased action potential, and sensitivity (Zhu & Kanneganti, 2017). Additionally, the responses changed the quantity and quality of soft tissues by the nerve endings (Naqvi & Sherman, 2020). Therefore, immune mediators and inflammatory responses were partly responsible for aching.
The human body has three defense lines, which protect against any disease-causing process. Inflammation, the second line of defense, is initiated when there is contaminated damage to the soft tissues. The inflammatory response is rapid, and it is characterized by edema, erythema, pain, heat, and loss of function. Despite its side effects, this process is crucial because it limits further tissue damage and initiates its repair. As per my new knowledge, I will manage this issue using the RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) protocol. In the process, the patients will be given nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to relieve the pain, followed by the icing. However, if the injuries are severe, I will recommend the person have surgery or physical therapy.
Damani, N. (2019). Manual of infection prevention and control (4th ed.). New York: Oxford University Press.
McCance, K. L., & Huether, S. E. (2018). Pathophysiology: The biologic basis for disease in adults and children. Missouri: Elsevier Health Sciences.
Naqvi, U., & Sherman, A. I. (2020). Medial collateral ligament (MCL) knee injuries. StatPearls. Web.
Zhu, Q., & Kanneganti, T. D. (2017). Cutting edge: Distinct regulatory mechanisms control proinflammatory cytokines IL-18 and IL-1β. The Journal of Immunology, 198(11), 4210-4215. Web.