Multi-Specialty Center located in Bronx, White Plains, Ardsley and Yonkers, NY
There are many ways to injure a joint because of the numerous structures working together for joint mobility. When the injury affects a ligament, it’s called a sprain. At Doctors United, with locations in the West Farms and Wakefield neighborhoods in the Bronx, White Plains, Yonkers, and Ardsley, New York, the health experts provide treatment for mild to severe strains. Schedule your appointment over the phone or book a visit online right away.
Sprains Q & A
What are sprains?
Sprains happen when a ligament near a joint, which connects two different bones, tears or stretches beyond its capacity. They tend to happen in mobile joints that you use often, such as your ankles, wrists, or knees.
Sprains can involve one or more than one ligament. They vary in severity, and there are three different grades based on how stretched or torn the ligament is. Your provider at Doctors United might diagnose you with a:
First degree sprain
A first degree sprain is the mildest grade and involves a slight overstretch of the ligament. The recovery time is relatively rapid, and the sprain might not require medical care outside of your home.
Second degree sprain
A second degree sprain is a bit more severe than a first degree sprain. The ligament damage is more significant and results in a small amount of tearing. Doctors United treats second degree sprains with conservative measures as you heal and recover for 2-6 weeks.
Third degree sprain
Third degree sprains require more intensive care because the ligament has torn all the way through. Typically, when a third degree sprain happens, you can hear or feel a pop as the ligament breaks. It takes 6-12 weeks to make a full recovery.
What are the symptoms of sprains?
Sprain symptoms vary in severity, but all three types of sprains can result in some degree of:
- Swelling around the joint
- Joint instability
- Trouble moving the joint
When you come to Doctors United with symptoms of a sprain, your provider examines the joint and takes note of your medical history. They specifically look for swelling, which indicates inflammation.
Typically, they use X-ray imaging for a detailed look inside the joint, which helps them identify or rule out bone fractures as a cause of your joint pain.
Other imaging tests, like magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans or ultrasound imaging, can also help with the evaluation of sprains and other joint injuries.
How are sprains treated?
Mild and moderate sprains respond well to conservative treatment, and even many third degree sprains do not need surgery. For any sprain, the first steps in care involve protecting, resting, icing, compressing, and elevating the joint. This is called the PRICE method, which is an acronym that makes it easy to remember.
The PRICE method can bring down some of the inflammation within the first 24-48 hours after your injury. Doctors United also treats sprains using:
- Physical therapy and therapeutic exercise
- Casting or bracing for immobilization
- Injection therapies
Physical therapy helps you work your way up to using the joint to its full capacity again after a sprain. While some rest is beneficial at first, you must start using the joint gently again after the first two days.
For more information on sprains and how to manage them, call Doctors United for an appointment or schedule a visit online today.
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