Essentially, the difference between a fracture and a sprain is what type of tissue the injury affects. Fractures happen to bone tissue, often as the result of a traumatic incident. Sprains involve damage to soft, connective tissue (ligaments) which are extended beyond their intended range from excessive motion.
These two injuries are often confused because they have similar symptoms and causes. Both are frequently the result of participation in athletic competition or practice, but they can also happen due to tripping on uneven ground.
Pain, bruising, and swelling are common symptoms for both fractures and sprains, as is difficulty walking on the affected foot or ankle. First aid procedures, like the RICE method (rest, ice, compression, elevation) can help to alleviate the symptoms of either injury, but you need a professional diagnosis and treatment plan for best healing.
Whenever you or a loved one suffers from a foot or ankle injury, reach out to our experts here at Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists. Discover for yourself how our patients benefit from our commitment to constantly redefine excellence in podiatry. Call our Austin, TX office today at (512) 328-8900 or use our online form to schedule your appointment.