4 Telltale Signs of Wrist or Ankle Sprain

4 Telltale Signs of Wrist or Ankle Sprain

People often try to ignore soft tissue injuries like sprains. After all, nothing’s broken, right? Not necessarily. A sprain can vary in severity, and in severe cases, even require surgery.

Dr. Thomas F. Saylor has the expertise you need to treat musculoskeletal issues from fractures and osteoarthritis to tears and sprains.

In this blog, Dr. Saylor explains how to spot a sprain and when to schedule an appointment at Orthopaedic Care Specialists in North Palm Beach, Florida.

Understanding a sprain 

You may hear terms like “sprain” and “strain” used interchangeably. However, they describe different soft tissue injuries.

When you sprain something, it involves a ligament. More specifically, you overstretch or even tear the fibrous tissue holding two bones together in a joint — like your wrist or ankle.

A strain, on the other hand, involves a muscle or the tissue connecting a muscle to a bone.

While these differences may seem minor, the injuries can cause symptoms that differ. And understanding these differences can help you spot them more easily.

The telltale signs of a sprain

It’s easy to see why sprains and strains get confused. Both can cause significant pain, tenderness, and mobility issues. However, a sprain has a unique distinction: It involves your ligaments.

When a ligament works properly, it keeps your joint moving in the direction it should. If overstretched to the point of injury, it leads to dysfunction in your affected joint.

Four telltale signs of a sprain include:

There are also numerous ways to push a joint too far out of position, overstretching your ligament. Leading causes of sprains to the wrists and ankles come from falls, sports injuries, and even repetitive strain injuries.

In most cases, a minor sprain improves within a few days of self-care. However, moderate to severe sprains often require medical attention.

When to see an expert 

Whether you sprain your wrist or ankle, you can usually consider the RICE method your first line of defense. This approach includes:

If you have a minor injury, you should notice an improvement with this strategy. If your symptoms don’t improve within a few days, Dr. Saylor recommends scheduling an appointment.

Similarly, contact your doctor immediately if you have numbness in the area, can’t move or bear weight, or experience severe pain — especially in bones above your injury site.

Dr. Saylor helps determine the extent of your injury and outlines the best course of treatment. These methods can range from physical therapy and regenerative medicine injections to surgery to repair your ligament.

Do you have the telltale signs of a sprain? Contact Orthopaedic Care Specialists to schedule a consultation with Dr. Saylor by calling 561-260-5993 today.

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