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The difference between a sprain and a broken bone

On Behalf of | Apr 9, 2021 | Personal Injury |

Accidents happen all of the time and in a variety of situations, and sometimes injuries result due to negligence on the part of a property owner or a driver. It is important for someone with a significant injury to get proper medical care in a timely manner.

Oftentimes, the severity of a personal injury remains unknown for weeks or even months as is the case with sprains.

How to tell a sprain from a break

WebMD shows that symptoms of sprains mimic the symptoms of bone breaks. In both instances, the affected area hurts, feels tender to the touch and looks bruised and swollen. The healing process and treatment for each injury, though, are different.

The treatment for an ankle sprain includes rest, ice, compression, elevation and anti-inflammatory medicines. The treatment for a fracture usually involves immobilization in a cast. If the bones show deformity or misalignment, the medical professional might need to realign the bones or perform surgery.

How not to underestimate a sprain

While many sprains fall into the category of a minor injury, the Mayo Clinic says that a severe sprain could lead to long-term joint instability and chronic pain. The chance of this increases if individuals delay treatment or receive inadequate care. Even in the best of circumstances, some sprains can take months to improve.

For best results, patients should monitor the injury and return to activity slowly. Strength and stability exercises can optimize healing and reduce the risk of reinjury. Individuals should see a medical professional if the sprain does not show improvement in a couple of days.