WHEN SLIPS LEAD TO FALLS THAT LEAD TO FRACTURES, SPRAINS OR STRAINS

Date Created: 04/01/2021

Woman with leg cast and doctor

Fractures (also called breaks), sprains and strains are some of the most common injuries that bring people of all ages to a GuideWell Emergency Doctors’ clinic. These injuries can happen in an instant and are oftentimes caused by a fall, accident, playing a sport, or sometimes, just moving incorrectly.

At each of our locations, you’ll be treated by Board-Certified Emergency Medicine Doctors and medical teams who have extensive emergency care experience. They will diagnose your injury, create a treatment plan and coordinate your follow-up care with a specialist so you can start your path to healing.

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A FRACTURE, SPRAIN AND STRAIN?

FRACTURES
Fractures/breaks occur when there is a complete or even a partial break in a bone. Seek medical care if you experience intense pain, the bone looks out of place or there is significant swelling, bruising, numbness or tingling.

SPRAINS
A sprain happens when a ligament, which connects bones to each other, is torn or stretched too much. Sprains usually cause pain around or at the injured joint.

STRAINS
A strain happens when a muscle or a tendon, which connects muscles to bones, is torn or stretched too far. Strains often cause stiffness and pain in the injured muscle or tendon.

REMEMBER TO RICE

As soon as possible after an injury, such as a knee or ankle sprain, you can relieve pain and swelling and promote healing and flexibility with RICE—Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. But if your pain or swelling becomes worse or doesn’t go away, see a doctor.

REST: Rest and protect the injured or sore area.

ICE: Apply a cold pack for 10 to 20 minutes, 3 or more times a day to reduce pain and swelling. Do not place cold pack directly to the skin.

COMPRESSION: Wrap the area with an elastic bandage — not too tightly — to reduce swelling.

ELEVATION: Elevate the injured area at or above heart level to help minimize swelling.

ON-SITE DIAGNOSTIC IMAGING AVAILABLE

If you believe that you or a family member may have a fracture, sprain or strain, and you’re unable to make an appointment with your primary care doctor, come to GuideWell Emergency Doctors. We provide care similar to an ER but at an average of 1/3 the cost1 and 1/2 the time2.

Our team is equipped and trained to treat fractures, sprains and strains of all kinds. Caring for your injury can range from restricting movement with a sling, reducing weight on the joint with crutches or creating custom splints to further restrict movement.

To help us properly evaluate, diagnose and treat your injury, each of our clinics are conveniently equipped with on-site services, including:

  • X-ray
  • CT scan
  • EKG/li>
  • Ultrasound
  • Lab work
  • Premade splints
  • Custom splints
  • Limited pharmacy

So, if you have a slip that leads to a fall that leads to a fracture, sprain or strain, come to a GuideWell Emergency Doctors’ office so we can help put you on the path to recovery.

If you are having a life-threatening emergency, please call 911 or visit your nearest emergency room.

1 Cost is based on health plan actuarial analysis performed in 2016 that compared cost of hospital-based ER visit versus a GuideWell Emergency Doctors visit.
2 American College of Emergency Physicians