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Sprain vs. Fracture: How are they Different?

Sprain vs. Fracture: How are they Different?

When you’re hit with the pain of an injury, it can be overwhelming trying to manage your symptoms and figure out what happened to you. 

That’s where we come in. 

Our team of experts at Prime Choice Family Clinic & Urgent Care in Frisco, Texas, is here to take the guesswork out of your injury, so you can focus on getting the treatment you need.

Sprains vs. fractures

The main difference between sprains and fractures lies in what’s been injured. Here’s a breakdown of what happens with each injury.


Sprains are soft tissue injuries that impact your ligaments, which are bands of tissue that connect your bones to each other. Sprains occur when the ligaments surrounding a joint stretch too far or tear. Sprains can happen for a number of reasons, including falls and sports injuries. They range from mild to severe, and typically have symptoms, including:

Fortunately, sprains usually recover with rest, ice, and over-the-counter pain medication. Surgery is usually only required in the most severe cases. We may recommend that you wear a brace for a time to support your joint as it continues to heal. 


Fractures also stem from some type of injury or trauma. However, with fractures, the damage occurs to the bones. Symptoms that accompany fractures can include:

Unless you have a compound fracture — which is when a bone pokes through the skin — the only way to find out if you have a broken bone is with an X-ray. For more severe fractures, we may use an MRI to check for damage to surrounding ligaments, tendons, and muscles.

Treating a fracture depends on how severe the injury is. With a mild fracture, treatment typically involves carefully realigning your bone and bracing it with a cast. Severe fractures may need surgical intervention. 

If you get a sprain or fracture, get evaluated

No matter if you get a sprain or fracture, you should get evaluated by a medical professional to accurately assess the extent of the damage. If your injury is mild, our provider may suggest at-home care. And if your injury is more serious, your provider can give you immediate treatment.

Some signs that you need immediate, emergency medical attention include:

If you’re ever unsure about how to manage an injury, come see us as soon as possible. Leaving a sprain or fracture to heal on its own puts you at significant risk for long-term complications. 

If you have a sprain, fracture, or aren’t sure what it is, call 214-550-0911 or book an appointment online with Prime Choice Family Clinic & Urgent Care right away.

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