People often assume that sprains are just less serious injuries than fractures. However, according to WebMD, sprains and fractures are different types of injury that affect connective tissue and bone, respectively. A fracture is when a bone breaks, and a sprain is the tearing and inflammation of tendons or ligaments.
The difference between these injuries is not a matter of severity; it is which part of the body is affected. WebMD explains that both fractures and sprains are potentially serious injuries, and they are often hard to tell apart since the damage is internal. According to HowStuffWorks, there are some signs that point to a fracture. Fractures are often accompanied by a loud crack or popping sound when the injury is sustained. Fractures are also sometimes characterized by a visible displacement of the bone, fragments of bone protruding through the skin, or abnormal movement of the bone. In the absence of such obvious signs, an X-ray is typically needed to tell the difference.
Sprains are the result of tearing in the tendons or ligaments of a joint, and they usually cause pain and tenderness, swelling, and discoloration of the area. However, these are also frequent symptoms of a fracture, and both sprains and fractures have the potential to develop serious complications if left untreated. Seek immediate medical attention when either injury is suspected so that a medical professional is able to make a proper determination and treat the injury accordingly.Learn More
According to WebMD, most ankle sprains occur when a person makes a rapid shifting motion while the foot is planted, causing the ankle to either roll outward or the foot to roll inward. This stretches and damages the ligaments on the outside of the ankle. An opposite reaction, in which the ankle rolls inward and the foot rolls outward, can cause a sprained ankle, but this situation is less common.Full Answer >
Most fractures of the humerus are treated using braces or casts without surgery, according to Drugs.com. However, with more severe fractures where there are multiple breaks, if the fracture leaves bone chips or when the fractured bone extends through the skin, the patient's doctor usually recommends surgery with metal implants to stabilize the upper arm.Full Answer >
According to the Mayo Clinic, recovery time for a sprained knee depends on the severity of the injury. With proper care, mild and moderate sprains typically heal in about three to six weeks. A severe sprain that involves a torn knee ligament may require surgery.Full Answer >
A sprain is a stretched or torn ligament, according to Mayo Clinic, and a strained muscle is a stretched or torn muscle or tendon. Ligaments are the tissue bands that connect bones to each other at joints. Tendons are the bands that connect muscles to bones.Full Answer >