It is sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between sprains, strains, and fractures.  A sprain is an injury to a ligament, which connects bone to joints.  A strain is an injury to a  muscle or tendon and a fracture has a break in the bone.  All of these injuries can cause swelling, pain, and difficulty bearing weight or using a limb.  Sprains are common in joints such as fingers, wrist, ankles, knees and the feet.  Strains commonly affect the muscles and tendons that run between or across the joints. Fractures are typically found in bigger bones in the arms and legs, but can occur in the joint areas in association with a severe sprain type injury.  Treatment depends on the specific muscles, ligaments or bones involved, the damage’s severity, the patient’s age and the doctor’s careful evaluation.

Signs and Symptoms of a Sprains, Strains and Fractures

  • Joint or muscle discomfort

  • Swelling

  • Joint stiffness or inability to move it

  • Bruising

  • Feeling a pop or rip
  • Pain that gets worse with movement
  • Deformed limb
  • Warm to the touch
  • Nausea



 Exams and Treatment

Doctors will carefully examine the range of motion and tenderness.  Also as assessment to check the status of nerves and blood vessels will be done.  Frequently X-rays are done to rule out an associated fracture.

Sprains  and strains might require a splint, brace or wrap and the use of rest, ice, and elevation.

Casts and splints and sometimes braces are the most common form of treatment for fractures.  The use of rest, ice, and elevation is usually helpful.  Pain management is an important part of fracture care.

If it hurts to walk, move the affected limb, or if you have numbness contact Coastal Urgent Care Baton Rouge.