Sprains and Broken Bones

In this type of musculoskeletal injury, the bone tissue suffers a fracture, this occurs when the physical force exerted on the bone is stronger than the bone itself.

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What is a Sprain?

An injury that stresses a join and overstretches or ruptures a ligament, the severity of the injury ranges from:

Mild: The ligament is stretched but the join remains stable

Moderate: The ligament is partially torn causing the joint to become unstable

Severe: The ligament is completely torn and in some cases, detaches from the bone affecting how the joint function.

Mild sprains can be treated either in an urgent care or ER facility, however moderate and severe sprains will require emergency medical treatment.

What is a Broken

In this type of musculoskeletal injury, the bone tissue suffers a fracture, this occurs when the physical force exerted on the bone is stronger than the bone itself.
There are several types of bone fractures:

Displaced Fracture: The bone snaps in two or more parts and moves, therefore the two segments are not aligned. If the bone is broken into many pieces this is known as a comminuted fracture.

Non-Displaced Fracture: The bone partially or completely cracks but there is no movement, therefore the bone continues to be correctly aligned.

Closed Fracture: The bone is broken but there is no punctured or open wound in the skin

Open Fracture: In this type of injury the bone breaks through the skin, in some cases, the bone can recede back into the wound and is no longer visible. This type of fracture carries a risk of deep bone infection, for this reason, open fractures should always be treated in the ER vs. urgent care clinics.a

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What Causes a Sprain?

Sprains occur when a joint is twisted while bearing some weight. The twisting motion can be from:

  • Incorrectly pivoting
  • From a fall
  • From an accident or collision

What causes Broken Bones?

A bone may be broken due to high force impact or stress and are usually the result of falls, collisions during sports, and accidents.

Some medical conditions can increase the risk of bone fractures such as:

  • Osteoporosis
  • Some Cancers
  • Osteogenesis Imperfecta, commonly known as brittle bone disease

How to Prevent Sprains

Nobody is immune to sprains, these can happen to anyone, however, there are some ways to lower the risks of sustaining one.

  • Increase muscle strength by joining a physical training program
  • Do stretching exercises every day
  • Always wear appropriate footwear, and make sure they fit correctly
  • Nourish your muscles by eating a well-balanced diet
  • Warm up before any sports activity

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Symptoms of a Sprain

The main symptoms of a sprain include:

  • Limited mobility of the injured joint
  • Inflammation
  • Pain
  • Bruising
  • Symptoms of a Broken Bone

Signs of a broken bone vary according to which bone was injured, the age of the patient, the overall health of the patient and the severity of the injury, however, most bone fractures show the following signs and symptoms:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Discolored skin around the affected area
  • Limited mobility
  • Patient cannot put any weight on the injured area
  • Angulation, the area may be bent at an unusual angle
  • In cases of an open fracture, there may be bleeding
  • The patient may look pale or clammy
  • Patient could feel dizzy or faint