Is it a Fracture or Torn Ligament: How to Tell
Falls, sports injuries and other types of accidents can lead to sprains or fractures. Knowing what you’re dealing with is important, as this will help you get the appropriate treatment to speed up the healing process. But how can you tell what you’re dealing with – a torn ligament or a fracture? Both can be painful, so you may not know what injury you have.
While we typically do not recommend self-diagnosing, we do think it’s important to be aware of your body and what it’s trying to tell you. Below are some tips for determining what type of injury you may have. Jersey Rehab can help determine the extent of your injury and the treatment options that will allow you to get back to your busy life.
Signs that You Have a Fracture
A fracture is a partial or complete break in the bone. The main symptom is pain, though you may also experience a loss of functionality. While many activities can cause a fracture, some of the most common are trauma, falling from a height or repetitive forces.
Here are some signs that you may have a bone fracture:
- Swelling, bruising or bleeding
- Intense pain
- Misshapen limb or joint
- Broken skin with a bone sticking out
- Limited mobility
- Inability to move a limb
Signs that You Have a Torn Ligament
Tears or strains in a ligament can happen when the joint becomes overstretched or twisted. Ligaments can have either an incomplete tear or a total tear. Don’t underestimate what a strain might feel like! A total tear can be just as painful as a broken bone.
Below are some signs that you may have a torn ligament:
- Snapping, popping or crackling sound (at the time of the injury)
- Pain that doesn’t improve within a day or two
- Swelling that doesn’t improve within a day or two
- Limited mobility in the affected joint
- Inability to put weight on the affected joint
- Worsening symptoms
When to See a Pain Management Doctor
Broken bones and sprains can cause a lot of discomfort. If you have a bone protruding through the skin, seek immediate medical attention. Otherwise, you can try and manage your symptoms with home care, such as RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) and over-the-counter medications.
You should call a pain management doctor if you experience the following symptoms:
- Numbness around the injury
- Signs of infection
- Intense pain or swelling
- Inability to put weight on the affected limb
- New or worsening symptoms
Jersey Rehab can help diagnose and treat injuries such as strains and fractures. We can help you heal and get back to doing what you love. Contact us today to schedule an appointment at one of our locations.