Sprains, Strains, and Breaks
Sprains are a stretch and/or tear of a ligament, the tissue connecting two bones. Ligaments stabilize and support the body’s joints. For example, ligaments in the knee connect the upper leg with the lower leg, enabling people to walk and run.
Strains are a twist, pull and/or tear of a muscle and/or tendon. Tendons are cords of tissue that connect muscles to bones.
Breaks are a fracture, splinter or complete break in bone, often caused by accidents, sports injuries or bone weakness.
A severe sprain or strain may require surgery or immobilization, followed by physical therapy. Mild sprains and strains may require rehabilitation exercises and a change in activity during recovery. In all but mild cases, your health care provider should evaluate the injury and establish a treatment and rehabilitation plan.