An Urgent Care Doctor Explains How to Spot the Difference Between a Sprain and a Break
If you suffer injuries to your ankle, you need urgent care. However, it may be difficult to determine if it is a sprain (a torn or stretched tendon or ligament) or a break. In any scenario, here is what you should remember: A break and a fracture will limit your mobility and cause inflammation, bruising and swelling. If you are experiencing pain around the soft tissue parts but not in the bone, it is probably a sprain, not a fracture. If you have pain around the ankle bone or unable to walk on it, chances are that it is a break.
Information about sprains and breaks
With a sprain, you may suffer muscle spasms, cramping and stiffness. With a fracture, you will be unable to put weight on the affected body part. Severe pains can cause just as much pain as fractures. The surest way to differentiate between a sprain and a break is to have an X-ray done.
That is not all…
If you injure your ankle but think it is not severe, the basic rule is to monitor it for two to four days and use the RICE treatment. Rest the ankle, place an ice pack on it, apply compression with bandages or an air cast and elevate the area. If four days have passed and you are still experiencing pain, are unable to put weight on the area or you discover blue and black marks or blisters, then you need to visit an urgent care center for treatment.
What happens when you visit the urgent care
The doctors will conduct an MRI or X-rays to check if the injury is a fracture or a torn ligament, and whether a surgery is required. When you visit the doctor, you need to explain in detail how the incident happened. At this point, every detail you can remember helps. Did the foot turn in, out, under or rotate?
The more information you provide, the better the medical expert is able to diagnose and treat the injury. After determining the situation, a suitable treatment plan will be created to ensure full and fast recovery.
If you have experienced ankle sprain before and now discover that it twists effortlessly or feels weak, then the ligaments may be damaged, resulting in chronic ankle unsteadiness. Although the pain may not be instant, it can eventually cause arthritis in the ankle. The doctor may recommend physical therapy to strengthen the ankle. If that does not work, repairing the ligaments may be required to stabilize the ankle.
If you have hurt your ankle, do not subject it to further strain. The pain you are experiencing is your body’s way of telling you something is wrong. You should seek urgent care immediately to prevent the issue from worsening.
If you endure the pain and fail to get treatment, you may eventually suffer chronic joint disability and arthritis. It is common for ankle sprains to hurt for months after an initial injury, and swelling may persist for months. But, if you still cannot put weight on the area, you need to consult an orthopedist.
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