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Difference between Fracture and Sprain

Difference between Fracture and Sprain

Have you ever twisted your ankle in an awkward way only to find that it was extremely painful and could not bear any weight? You may have been wondering if it’s a fracture or sprain. It can be difficult to tell these two injuries apart, as they might appear quite similar at first glance. In this blog post, we’ll explain the key differences between fractures and sprains so you can better understand how to treat each injury should they occur.

What is Fracture?

A fracture is a form of bone injury caused by increased force or pressure greater than what the bone can withstand. Fractures can vary in severity depending on their location and if any tissue has been damaged at the same time.

  • A fracture typically causes pain, swelling, bruising, and even numbness or tingling around the injured area. Fractures require medical attention so that they heal properly and prevent further damage to surrounding soft tissue.
  • Depending on their severity, a fracture may require immobilization to help promote healing of the bone such as with a cast or surgery may be required.
  • Recovery time varies greatly depending on the type of fracture and particular circumstances of each case but should always involve physical therapy to re-establish strength and range of motion around the affected area for a full recovery.

What is Sprain?

  • A sprain is a common and painful injury that can occur as a result of stretching or tearing ligaments. Sprains often affect the ankle, knee, wrist, or thumb and can cause swelling, bruising, pain, and decreased range of motion in the affected area.
  • Sprains occur when there is too much pressure placed on the ligament which causes it to stretch too far and injure itself. To treat a sprain it is important to rest the injured area to allow for healing and avoid activities that may cause further injury.
  • Sometimes an ice pack or heat pad may be used to help reduce swelling. Depending on the severity of the injury, bracing or rehabilitation may be necessary for lengthy healing times or proper recovery from a more serious sprain.

Difference between Fracture and Sprain

Fractures and sprains may have similar symptoms, such as pain, swelling, and difficulty using the affected limb. However, they are caused by different types of injury and require different treatments.

  • Fractures are generally the result of direct trauma to an area, often a bone, while sprains involve an injury to a joint or tendon.
  • Fractures may need surgical intervention depending on the severity of the break, while sprains can typically be treated with rest and ice.
  • Recovery times vary depending on the severity of each individual case, but fractures typically take longer to heal than sprains.

It’s important to determine which type of injury you are dealing with right away in order to ensure that you are receiving appropriate treatment for your specific situation.


A fracture is a break in the bone, while a sprain is an injury to the ligaments. Symptoms of each condition can vary, but typically fractures will cause more pain and swelling than sprains. If you are experiencing any ankle pain, it’s important to seek medical attention right away to determine whether you have suffered a fracture or sprain. Thanks for reading!

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