Sprains

Sprains Specialist
A sprain occurs when you overstretch or tear a ligament (connective tissue that attaches your bones to other bones). If you heard a pop or felt a tear when you injured your ankle or wrist, have it evaluated and treated by an experienced physician at DRS Medical Associates. Dr. Ray Santos and Dr. Ritu Sharma treat people living in the Jersey City, New Jersey area, for physical injuries as well as illnesses at their practice. Call DRS Medical Associates for all the care you need.

Sprains Q & A

DRS Medical Associates

What is a sprain?

A sprain is an injury to a ligament, that involves overstretching or tearing a ligament. Ligaments are the connective tissue that connect bones to other bones at your joints. Ligaments create stability in the joint so your muscles and joints can work together effectively.

What are the symptoms of a sprain?

You’ll experience pain and swelling, and possibly bruising and limited mobility at the joint. You’ve likely suffered a sprain if you heard or felt a popping sensation in your joint at the time of the injury.

Where can a sprain occur?

Your ankle is the most common place to experience a sprain, but you can sprain other joints, including your knee, wrist, and thumb.

What increases the risk of a sprain?

Bending, and overextending a joint beyond its normal use is the chief cause of sprains. For your ankle, running or walking on an uneven surface and misstepping can cause a sprain. Attempting to change direction too quickly while playing sports is a primary cause of knee sprains. Your thumb is vulnerable to sprains during racquet sports. If you landed hard on your hands it would not be uncommon for you to sprain your wrist.

How is a sprain evaluated?

Dr. Santos and Dr. Sharma look at any swelling, bruises, and test the affected joint’s range of movement. They may order an MRI to evaluate soft tissue damage and possibly an X-ray to rule out the possibility of damage to your bone’s, too.

How do the doctors treat a sprain?

Rest encourages healing and over-the-counter anti-inflammatories help you manage pain. Ice packs applied to the sprain minimizes swelling.

Elevation, or raising your sprained joint, and compression also alleviate swelling.

The doctors may fit you with a brace or splint to minimize movement.

As you heal, ask about using athletic tape or compression bandages to support the sprain as you start to reintroduce movement.

How long does it take to recover from a sprain?

Doctors assign sprains grades I-III according to their severity. The higher the grade, the more severe the injury to the ligament or ligaments and the longer healing time you’ll require. Expect your sprain to take two to six weeks to heal. In some cases it may take longer.

Follow the doctor’s treatment plan so you recover fully.

Trying to speed up healing or using the joint before it’s ready risks re-injury or possible chronic pain in the future.

Ask the doctors about strengthening and stretching exercises that will help you prevent another similar injury.

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