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Medical Specializations

Orthopedics => Sprain


Sprain, stretching of the ligaments of a joint, often with rupture of tissues, but without dislocation.

Sprains occur most frequently at the ankle, knee, and wrist, and are characterized by pain, swelling, and difficulty in moving the affected joint. In slight sprains of the ankle, the ligaments are only stretched or slightly lacerated; in more severe cases they may be torn. Sprains of the knee are accompanied by a swelling caused by the release of fluid within the joint. Sprains of the back are not infrequent and are the most serious. Immediate treatment usually incorporates rest, ice pack, compression, and elevation of the affected part, followed by heat and physiotherapy. Analgesic drugs may be prescribed as an adjunct.