What is the difference between a sprain and a fracture?

When you have foot or ankle pain that develops over time, it can be difficult to know the nature of your injury. Sprains and fractures have symptoms in common, but a few telling differences will help identify your injury.

A sprain is the stretching or tearing of ligaments. For example, rolling your ankle beyond its normal range of motion can damage ligaments on the outside of the ankle. Pain, swelling, bruising, and inflammation are common symptoms that vary in intensity depending on the degrees of the sprain.

A fracture is an actual break in a bone. It could be a small hairline fracture or a complete break that protrudes out of the skin. Pain around soft tissue areas usually indicates a sprain, but when it is felt over bone and you are not able to walk on your foot, there is a chance a break has occurred. It is important to seek immediate treatment if you feel numbness, weakness, or your symptoms do not improve in a couple of days. Walking around on a fracture can complicate the healing process and result in chronic pain or instability.

Contact Dr. Harvey Danciger to start the right treatment quickly if you suspect a sprain or a fracture. Call our office at (760) 568-0108 or make an appointment online.

Dr. Harvey Danciger
Dr. Harvey Danciger is a podiatrist and foot surgeon in Palm Desert, CA specializing in the foot and ankle