Get Treated Quickly for Sprains, Strains and Fractures
A fracture is a break in the bone. Specifically, a break and a fracture are the same thing: any loss of continuity in the bone. It can be a hairline crack barely visible on an X-ray, a separation of one part of the bone from another, or a shattering of the bone into many pieces.
A sprain is an injury to a ligament, the tissue that connects two bones together in a joint, such as the ankle. (In fact, the most common sprains are of the ankle.) This sort of injury can be the result of the ligament over-stretching or tearing.
Strains are different, though they are often mistaken for sprains. Whereas a sprain is an injury to the ligament connecting the bones of a joint, a strain is a stretching or tearing injury of tendons (the tissue connecting bone to muscle) or of muscles themselves.
How to tell a sprain from a fracture.
Just as many people mistake a strain for a sprain, it is sometimes difficult to tell the difference between a fracture and a sprain.
Sprains and fractures both can cause swelling, pain, and difficulty bearing weight or using a limb. Sprains are common in fingers, wrists, ankles, knees and foot arches. Fractures, on the other hand, are typically found in bigger bones in the arms and legs. In either case, it’s important to get medical care and treatment quickly to avoid worsening the injury and risking long-term effects.
Signs and symptoms of a sprain or fracture.
If you experience any of these symptoms, particularly if they are severe, walk in to State Urgent Care to get evaluated and treated as soon as possible.
- Joint or muscle pain
- Joint stiffness or inability to move it
- Feeling a pop or tear
- Pain that gets worse with movement
- Hot to the touch
How breaks and sprains are diagnosed and treated at State Urgent Care.
Treatment for either injury depends on the specific bones or ligaments involved, the severity of the damage, the age of the injured person, and the findings of provider’s careful evaluation. Through direct examination, your provider will test the range of motion and tenderness and then conduct an X-ray, diagnosing whether your injury is a sprain or a fracture.
The most common treatments for fractures are casts and braces. For sprains, we may treat the injury with a splint or wrap and prescribe rest, ice and elevation of the injured limb.