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Doctor insights on: How Do You Tell The Difference Between A Sprain Or A Break

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Can you tell the difference between a sprain and a break in the wrist an xray?

Can you tell the difference between a sprain and a break in the wrist an xray?

Yes you can: In x-rays, a break will generally show as an interruption in the cortex of the bone, with displacement or not. A sprain generally indicates an injury to soft tissues such as ligaments, fascia or tendon, which does not show up on x-ray. Occasionally, a severe sprain may be associated with an avulsion fracture where a ligament actually pulls at its attachment to bone and "avulses". ...Read more

Dr. Peter Ihle
1,161 Doctors shared insights

Sprains And Strains (Definition)

-R used interchangeably. They refer 2 injuries 2 mucles & ligaments. 3 degrees: 1=tweaked or hurts but no harm no foul, 2=damage 2 the structure with some bleeding & prolonged pain, but with ice, time, rest, & activity modification they heal over a few weeks, 3=a complete disruption such as an ACL tear. If this happens in a muscle body, there's no repair available, painful, ...Read more


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How do you tell the difference between a sprained or twisted ankle?

How do you tell the difference between a sprained or twisted ankle?

Twist = Sprain: In most cases people tend to use the terms "sprained" and "twisted" synonomously when describing ankle injuries. However, it is important to point out that in most cases a sprain (ligament damage) usually comes from a twisting mechanism (also known as inversion or eversion) of the ankle. ...Read more

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Need advice on what is the the difference between a sprain and a break?

Need advice on what is the the difference between a sprain and a break?

Sprain vs break: A sprain is caused by damage done to the ligaments of the body. A break is a bone injury. A strain is caused by damage to a tendon. ...Read more

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How could I tell the difference between a sprained and broken finger?

How could I tell the difference between a sprained and broken finger?

Xray: Unfortunately you can't know for sure without getting an xray done. See a doctor if you have pain after an injury. ...Read more

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What can you do to tell the difference between a sprained or broken finger?

What can you do to tell the difference between a sprained or broken finger?

Finger Fracture: An x-ray and examination by an orthopedic physician is the best and most accurate way to determine this. He/she will be able to determine the appropriate course of treatment and return to activity guidelines. Hope this helps and best of luck! ...Read more

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What's the best way to tell the difference between an intercostal tear/sprain and a minor spleen rupture?

What's the best way to tell the difference between an intercostal tear/sprain and a minor spleen rupture?

Need to see a doctor: For a more detailed history, physical exam and possible testing, Do not try to self diagnose. ...Read more

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How do I tell the difference between a hyperextended thumb and a sprained thumb I hurt it playing vball & now hurts when pressure is being applied

How do I tell the difference between a hyperextended thumb and a sprained thumb I hurt it playing vball & now hurts when pressure is being applied

Same condition: A sprain is an injury to a ligament that holds bones together at a joint. This is likely what you have. Warm soaks and rest can help to heal. Sometimes it an take several months for all the pain to resolve. Avoid repetitious injury by wearing a protective splint while playing. ...Read more

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How to tell the difference between a muscle tear and a sprain with regards to your ankle?

How to tell the difference between a muscle tear and a sprain with regards to your ankle?

Muscle vs ligament: There are no muscles in the ankle joint/apparatus. There are only ligaments and tendons immediately around the ankle. Ligaments and tendons can tear partially or completely rupture.
A "sprain" refers to ligament or a tendon injury, and a "strain" refers to a muscle ingury.
Regarding the ankle: considering what I stated above, there is no strain, only sprain. ...Read more

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Can you tell me how can u know the difference between a torn muscle and a sprain?

Can you tell me how can u know the difference between a torn muscle and a sprain?

Sprain implies a: Ligament injury. A torn muscle can be a strain which is essentially a stretch just beyond the normal elastic recoil with resultant injury while a true tear of a muscle means usually that the muscle unit is grossly disrupted similar to when a laceration occurs.
A ligament sprain can be partial grade 1 stretch, grade 2 which implies stretch beyond elastic limit or a rupture (grade 3). ...Read more

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What is the difference between a sprained wrist and a displaced wrist? There is no break in the bone itself but it is no longer in place.

What is the difference between a sprained wrist and a displaced wrist? There is no break in the bone itself but it is no longer in place.

Displaced: The wrist is made up of 8 "carpal" bones that articulate with the radius and ulna of the forearm and the 5 metacarpals of the palm. So there is no "wrist bone" per se. A sprained anything is simply inflammation and swelling. A displaced bone is one that is out of alignment with itself or at the joint. So a displaced wrist means 1 or more bones is out of alignment to another. ...Read more

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How to tell difference between wrist sprain and fracture?

How to tell difference between wrist sprain and fracture?

Exam and imaging: Wrist fractures may seen on standard x-rays and additional studies such as bone scan or MRI may be helpful sprains may be postivie finding in that here is no fracture but bones may be out of linel. A careful history and exam is also very important as you correctly implied it can be confusing so seek out so called experts such as a hand surgeon or orthopedic surgeon who specializes in han. ...Read more

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How to tell difference between carpal bone fracture and sprain?

How to tell difference between carpal bone fracture and sprain?

By X-ray: Both will have pain swelling, loss of function x-ray will differentiate one from other ...Read more

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What's the difference between a sprain thumb and a broken thumb?

What's the difference between a sprain thumb and a broken thumb?

Alot: A sprained thumb is a soft tissue injury of the ligaments about one or more of the joints of the thumb
a broken thumb is a fracture of one or more of the three bones of the thumb
unless a ligament is completely torn usually sprains do not require and surgery
depending on the fracture configuration and location a fracture may require surgery. ...Read more

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What's the difference between a sprain and a strain in a leg?

What's the difference between a sprain and a strain in a leg?

Stretch or tear: A sprain is a stretch or tear of a ligament that gives stability to a joint and a strain is a stretch or tear of a muscle/tendon unit, muscle or tendon (a tendon is a fibrous cord of tissue that connects a muscle to a bone) which in most instances causes motion at a joint. ...Read more

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What is the difference between a sprain and torn ligament?

What is the difference between a sprain and torn ligament?

Partial vs full tear: A sprain is a partial tear of a ligament, sometimes only microscopically. A tearusually refers to a complete disruption of the fibers that make up the ligament. ...Read more

Dr. Payam Rafat
1,208 Doctors shared insights

Sprain (Definition)

A sprain is a medical term that describes an injury to soft tissue structures in the area. Common examples are a lumbar sprain, in which you might injure muscles in your back; or an ankle sprain in which you could injure ligaments about the ankle. Sprains can be from mild to severe, and so ...Read more