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Distinguishing a sprain from a torn ligament

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Getting a sprain is very common and it does not have to be doing sports, simply going down a step or wearing heels can hurt ourselves. Healing sprains well is very important so as not to have repercussions from this injury in the future. However, it is also very important to distinguish exactly what type of injury we have done because a sprain is not the same as a torn ligament and a correct diagnosis can favor a speedy recovery .

Differences between sprain and tear

The first thing to determine to see if it is one or another injury is the type of pain we feel. If it is a sprain, the pain will be more imprecise, while in a ligament tear it will be more acute. If you have a torn ligament, it will hurt when pressing and also when you move the joint. Likewise, a sprain occurs when you activate a muscle that was cold very abruptly. Ligament rupture occurs when we make a change of direction or an unexpected movement: the body goes to one side and the foot does not accompany it.

Another big difference between the two is the time of recovery , while the sprain well treated can be cured in five weeks, the rupture of ligaments can last up to five months. That is why it is essential to properly diagnose what injury it is, to give it the appropriate treatment. As for treatment for a sprain it is best to rest and subjecting the muscle to an effect of cold and heat to promote irrigation blood . In the case of a torn ligament, you will have to go to the hospital to have an X-ray done and the degree of the tear can be predicted. Depending on that, they will send you a different treatment, but note that in any case you will spend a good season at home with your foot up.

Treatment in each case

In the case of having a sprain, you should rest, take ibuprofen and apply ice for 10 minutes every four hours for the first three days. “Then do gentle stretches and apply heat to promote blood flow,” advises the doctor.

In the case of having a ligament tear, go to the hospital. “You need immediate medical attention to diagnose the extent of the tear. Get an MRI and keep the joint elevated.”

Symptoms of a torn ligament

The pain appears when ligaments are torn and is generally unclear. It will require the action of the doctor to make it happen. Often past the first phase of inflammation, the pain disappears. That will be the time to go to the doctor, when the swelling goes down.

  • Inflammation : in response to internal tissue injury, blood circulation increases. The inflammation disappears completely after 48-72 hours, and its disappearance can be accelerated with the application of ice.
  • Clicking : on very striking occasions, these noises are produced when the femur and tibia regain their respective position after having exceeded the limits of displacement after ligamentous rupture.
  • Blockages : they are always due to the interposition of a fragment of any matter that prevents the displacement of the femur on the tibia. It may be the interposition of the torn ligament. In any case, exploratory maneuvers will be carried out to determine and rule out possible injuries. (doctor or physiotherapist).

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Distinguishing a sprain from a ligament tear , we recommend that you enter our Bones, Joints and Muscles category .

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