A fracture is a break in the bone.  A sprain is an injury to a ligament, which connects bone to joints.   Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between a fracture or sprain.  Both of these injuries can cause swelling, pain, and difficulty bearing weight or using a limb.  Sprains are common in fingers, wrists, ankles, knees and foot arches.  Fractures are typically found in bigger bones in the arms and legs.  Treatment depends on the specific bones or ligaments involved, the damage’s severity, the patient’s age and the doctor’s careful evaluation.

Signs and Symptoms of a Sprain or fracture

  • Joint or muscle pain

  • Swelling

  • Joint stiffness or inability to move it

  • Bruising

  • Feeling a pop or tear
  • Pain that gets worse with movement
  • Deformity
  • Hot to the touch




Exams and Treatment

Examinations test the range of motion and tenderness followed by an X-ray to diagnosis a sprain or a fracture.  Casts and braces are the most common form of treatment for fractures while sprains might require a splint or wrap and the use of rest, ice, and elevation.

If you can not walk, move the affected limb, or experience numbness contact Coastal Urgent Care Houma.