Urgent & Emergency Care for Fracture, Sprains & Bruising

When to See Us for Fractures, Sprains, & Bruising

In medical terminology, a fracture is a broken bone. Sprains are something different; they refer to damaged ligaments rather than bones. (Ligaments are the connective tissue holding bones and joints together.) Both can be painful and debilitating and both typically require some degree of treatment. Because fractures and sprains share some symptoms, they can be difficult to self-diagnose. These types of injuries are best evaluated by medical professionals, with access to imaging technology and other diagnostic tools. 

How Do I Tell a Broken Bone from a Sprain?

Fractures are usually the result of traumatic injuries, mishaps that deliver sharp blows to the body, such as automobile accidents or sports injuries. Evidence for broken bones include:

  • Bony protrusion at the injury site
  • Badly bruised skin
  • Deformed or misshapen limbs
  • Immobility
  • Inability to bear weight
  • Painful when touched or pressed
  • Swelling at the injury site.

Sprains are harder to detect because they occur in the connective tissues of the joints. The source of pain is tissue rather than bone. Swelling and/or discoloration at the injury site are common. If you’ve sprained one of your legs or feet, you may experience a certain degree of immobility.

What About Bruises? Are They Medically Serious?

A bruise refers to the skin discoloration, typically blue, black, or purple, caused by damage to the blood vessels. Any source of blood-vessel damage can result in bruising; causes range from physical impacts (bumping into things) to aging to various health concerns. Though bruises are rarely medically serious in themselves, they may indicate an underlying condition that should receive medical attention.

Knowing the type and extent of a physical injury can be difficult to determine. Why guess? See us at Baptist Health ER & Urgent Care, where we treat injuries on a daily basis.

Next Steps with MyChart

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