What is the difference between a sprain and a fracture?

Although they might feel equally painful in the moment they happen, sprains and fractures are two different injuries affecting different tissues in your body. Sprains involve your ligaments, which are connective tissues that hold bones together. A sudden force overstretches them, leaving them loose or possibly torn. A fracture is a break in bone tissue. This could be as small as a crack or as big as multiple breaks in a single bone.

When these injuries happen, their early symptoms can be similar: pain, swelling, and possible bruising. Depending on the severity and location of the damage in your foot, you may or may not be able to walk after a sprain or fracture. The best way to tell which one you have is through an exam and diagnostic images. X-rays will show a break in the bone tissue, while sprains will not. However, a sprain will leave your joint unstable and may show torn ligaments on diagnostic images like MRIs.

If you’re concerned you may have a sprain or a fracture, let our experts at The Kansas Foot Center help you identify and treat the problem today. Contact our Wichita office for an appointment by calling 866.222.5177.

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