Is It Sprained or Broken?

Robert G. Parker
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Dr. Parker is a podiatrist and surgeon in Houston, TX who has been helping patients for more than 40 years.

Messina Hof Winery and Resort is having their 37th Annual Harvest Festival beginning this Friday August 8th. There will be so much to do, from grape stomping to walking around the vineyard. This could be hard to do if you have a sprained or broken foot. It might also be hard to tell the difference between the two, but we can provide some help and information.

A sprain is an injury to the ligament. It can range from mild (overstretching) to severe (completely torn). Sprains and fractures can feel similar in that they both involve intense pain that occurs after your body moves out of its normal range of motion. However, if you can still put a little bit of pressure on your foot, then it’s most likely a sprain. Ligament injuries typically begin to feel a little bit better after a few hours have gone by. With a sprain, there might be some mild swelling and tenderness, but it’s nothing severe.

A fracture is an injury to the bone. Just like sprains, they can range in severity. Some fractures involve tiny pieces of bone breaking off, while others involve the bone shattering. If you are unable to put any pressure on your foot at all, and there is extreme swelling or redness, you might have a fracture. Sometimes you are still able to walk with a broken bone, so don’t completely rely on this as a measure. If your symptoms don’t subside after a few days, you should make an appointment to have your foot x-rayed. The treatment for both sprains and fractures involve resting and icing the foot. With a fracture, you may have to immobilize your foot with a cast. In very rare cases, surgery may become necessary.

If you have any further questions about telling the difference between a sprained or broken ankle, call Dr. Robert Parker at (281) 497-2850 to schedule an appointment at Parker Foot & Ankle in Houston, TX.

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