Broken Bone vs. Sprained Bone

Broken Bone vs. Sprained Bone

Sprains and fractures both are inconvenient and troublesome to your everyday life. It might seem obvious that they’re not the same condition, but most people can’t tell them apart based on symptoms alone. They require different treatment methods, so it’s best to consult a medical professional before doing anything. Read on to find out the differences between the two injuries.

What Is a Broken Bone?

A broken bone, also referred to as a fracture, occurs when a bone breaks partially or totally. The leading causes of the injury include falls, sports injuries, and car accidents. Fractures can fall under the following categories:

  • Closed or simple — the bone doesn’t cut through the skin
  • Open or compound — the bone pierces the skin, or a wound exposes the bone

There are many ways to break your bones, including overusing them or moving in a repetitive manner. For example, athletes may develop fractures and small cracks, which result from high-impact activities like running. Another way that you could be at risk for breaking bones is if there’s chronic muscle strain because your bones take on the increased load from your tired or weakened muscles.

Common Symptoms of A Fracture

The sound you hear when your arm breaks may be the first sign that it’s broken. Signs and symptoms include:

  • Sudden pain
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Redness

In some cases, the fracture may cause a visible deformity, even beneath the skin. It will also be painful and difficult to move the fractured limb or other body parts near it.

Treatment Options

Your healthcare provider may use a cast or a splint to immobilize the affected area to facilitate healing and avoid exacerbating the injury. The cast helps keep your bones in place and maintains their alignment. If needed, your doctor may also prescribe medication for pain relief.

Another option is traction. It is a procedure that stretches the muscles and tendons surrounding the fracture to guide the alignment of the bones while healing. Traction typically employs the use of weights, pulleys, strings, and a metal frame. For more severe cases, you may need surgery.

What Is a Sprained Bone?

A sprain occurs when your ligaments are stretched or torn. Ligaments are the fibrous bands of tissue that connect the bones that meet at the joints. Therefore, when you hear the term sprained bone, it pertains to the overextension or tearing of the ligaments.

Some leading causes of a sprain include awkward jump landings, exercising on uneven surfaces, falling on an outstretched hand, or pivoting. And the common sites for the injury are the ankles, knees, wrists, or thumbs. Other factors that put you at risk for sustaining a sprain are ill-fitting gear and muscle fatigue.

Sprains are classified into three categories depending on the severity of the injury:

  • Grade 1 (mild sprain) — the ligaments are lightly stretched
  • Grade 2 (moderate sprain) — the ligaments experience a partial tear
  • Grade 3 (severe sprain) — the ligaments separate completely

Common Symptoms of A Sprain

A sprain is painful and causes limited mobility for some time. You may also develop inflammation and bruising in the affected area. Because of the pain and swelling, you may also experience instability, especially in the knees or ankles.

Treatment Options

Most mild and moderate sprains may be treated using the R.I.C.E. method:

  • Rest — avoid moving or putting pressure on the injury
  • Ice — apply ice over the sprain to relieve pain and decrease swelling
  • Compress — wrap an athletic tape or medical bandage around the injured area to reduce the inflammation
  • Elevate — raise the sprained body part to a level above your heart to lessen the swelling

If your injury is more severe, your doctor may recommend wearing a brace or splint to immobilize the affected area. They may also prescribe some over-the-counter pain medication as necessary. In the case of total ligament tears, you may need surgery, such as joint reconstruction.

Treatment For a Sprained Or Broken Bone In Clinton Township, MI

Sprained and broken bones have similar symptoms but require very different treatments. If you get a fracture or a sprain, it’s best to seek medical assistance for an accurate diagnosis.

If you’re looking for treatment for a sprained or broken bone in Clinton Township, look no further than Movement Orthopedics. Our team of highly skilled healthcare providers can give you a proper diagnosis and a comprehensive treatment plan.

If you want to know more about our services, you may call us at (586) 436-3785. Our friendly staff is always ready to cater to your medical needs. And if you want to schedule a consultation, you may use our secure online appointment request form.

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