Sprains, Strains & Broken Bones Urgent Care Services in Brooklyn
If you suffer sprains, strains or broken bones you need to be seen at an AG Urgent Care Center in Brooklyn as soon as possible. These conditions need to be treated quickly to protect your bones, ligaments and tendons. There are different signs, symptoms and treatments for sprains, strains and broken bones, so let’s talk about sprains and strains first.
What is the difference between a sprain and strain?
A sprain occurs when you stretch or tear a ligament. Ligaments connect the bones in our bodies and support the joints that are found in our knees, ankles, wrists, shoulders and fingers. The most common sprain is in the ankle but you can also sprain your knee, wrist or thumb.
A strain occurs when you stretch or tear a muscle or the tissue that connects it to the bone, called a tendon.
Sprains and strains have common symptoms. That’s why it is important to have them checked by a physician. You don’t want to let it go and potentially cause further damage to a muscle, tendon or ligament.
What are the symptoms of sprains and strains?
If you suffer a sprain or strain, you may experience pain and swelling in the area of the injury. For example, if you sprain your ankle, it may begin to swell immediately and cause pain when you try to step on that foot. Other symptoms of sprains and strains include:
- Bruising in the area of the sprain or strain.
- Inability to fully move the joint or muscle.
- Hearing a pop or noise in the joint at the time of the injury.
- Spasms in the muscle you strained.
When should I see a doctor?
If you can’t walk without pain or you can’t move the joint or muscle that was injured, you need to see a doctor. If the area of the injury begins to feel numb or tingly then a doctor needs to examine the injury. The doctor will determine if the sprained or strained area needs to be stabilized or immobilized in order to heal.
How are sprains and strains treated?
Treatments depend upon the severity of the sprain or strain. In cases of mild injury, medications that relieve swelling and pain are often the best treatment. In other cases, physical therapy may help to return the joint to proper function. In cases of extreme injury, surgery may be required to repair the torn ligament or a muscle that has ruptured.
In all cases, following the RICE method of care will benefit your sprain or strain; Rest- Ice – Compression – Elevation.
Rest: Don’t use the injured area. Avoid using it in ways that cause pain or swelling.
Ice: Ice the injury immediately, even on your way to the urgent care center. Ice for 15 to 20 minutes at a time and then repeat the icing every two to three hours. This will reduce the swelling around the area which in turn will help to reduce pain.
Be careful icing. Always put a thin cloth of some type between the ice and your skin to avoid frostbite. If you have diabetes or any type of vascular disease, talk to your doctor before applying ice.
Compression: Wrapping an elastic (ace) bandage around the injury may help to stop the swelling. If you have never used an ace bandage before be careful not to wrap it too tightly as it could cut off circulation to that area. Ask your doctor to show you how to wrap an ace bandage properly.
Elevation: Raise the injured area above your heart to reduce swelling. For example, if you have sprained or strained your ankle, place your ankle on several pillows while you are sitting or lying down to raise it above your heart.
How do I know if I have broken a bone?
There are different levels of broken bones and most of the them can be very painful. The symptoms of a broken bone depend upon the bone that has been broken and the severity of the break. In the majority of cases, if you have broken a bone you may feel sudden sharp pain in the area followed by swelling. Other signs that you may have broken a bone include:
- You hear a snap when the bone breaks.
- You experience swelling, bruising and/or redness around the area of the break.
- You feel faint or feverish because of the shock of the injury.
- You can’t move the limb or area where the bone that has been broken.
- In cases of a severe break, the bone may protrude through the skin and the limb may be deformed.
However, if you have suffered a hairline fracture of a bone you may not feel it right away. Small breaks may still allow you to function. For example, if you have broken a toe you may be able to walk on that foot but you will experience some level of discomfort ranging from swelling to pain.
The different types of broken bones are named by the type of fracture. They include:
- Stable: The bone is in one piece and the ends of the broken bone are still in alignment.
- Open or compound: In these fractures the bone has pierced the skin, or the skin is open from the injury that caused the break.
- Transverse: The break has broken the bone horizontally.
- Oblique: The break is on an angle.
- Comminuted: Bones are broken in three or more places.
What do I do if I think I have broken a bone?
Get medical help immediately. Visit AG Urgent Care so that a physician can take imaging of the break and set it immediately. If the bone has broken through the skin there is a risk of bleeding and infection that must be cared for without delay. If you suffer a broken bone, don’t hesitate to call 911 and ask them to take you to the AG Urgent Care Center nearest you for immediate treatment.
How is a broken bone treated and how does it heal?
The physician will order imaging, such as an x-ray, to view the broken bone and the extent of the break. Then the bone will be set in place so that the ends of the broken bones line up. Then they will be held immobile to heal correctly by a cast of some type. In severe breaks a pin may be surgically inserted into the bone to help it heal in the correct position. Then, the broken bones will generate new cells to grow new bone and heal the break. It can take three weeks for a child to heal a broken bone, six to ten weeks for an adult.
If you have broken a bone, come to an AG Urgent Care Center near you immediately. We can care for the break, make sure the bone is set to heal correctly, and ensure that when the bone is healed it will return to its full function.