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A sprain is an injury to the tough ropey fibers (ligaments) that connect bone to bone.
Symptoms of a sprain may be mild or severe, and they may sometimes be mistaken for a broken bone (fracture) because some injuries can cause a sprain and a fracture in the same area.
Treatment for a sprain includes rest (immobilization), ice, compression, and elevation. While a minor sprain will often heal well with home treatment, a moderate to severe sprain may require medical evaluation and treatment with a cast or splint, physical therapy, medicine, or surgery. Recovery time for a sprain varies depending on a person's age and health and the location and severity of the sprain.
Last Revised: October 4, 2012
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
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