Story by: Norton Healthcare on May 24, 2021
Determining whether it’s a sprain versus a break when you twist your ankle, wrench a knee or put out your arm when falling can be difficult, as both can have overlapping symptoms, and sprains can hurt more than fractures.
Sprains occur when you injure the soft tissue that attaches to joints in your body. The ligaments may become overstretched or torn. A broken bone can range from the tiny cracks of a stress fracture to the clear emergency of an open fracture.
“If you think you may have broken a bone, it’s best to get a medical exam that likely will include an X-ray,” said Jessica R. Stumbo, M.D., internal medicine/pediatrics provider with Norton Community Medical Associates – LaGrange. “Sprains and breaks require different kinds of treatment. Putting off the right treatment for a break can cause it to heal improperly and contribute to arthritis and the need for surgery.”
If you’re confident it’s a sprain, follow the “RICE” instructions.
All Norton Immediate Care Centers have X-ray equipment, saving you a trip if your provider suspects a break.
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