Although your sister appears to be sympathetic, you know she’ll never let you live this down. After slipping on a puddle minutes before her wedding ceremony, you and three other bridesmaids were anxiously waiting for an ambulance to take you to the hospital. When you slipped, you foolishly tried to stop yourself by bracing your hands to your sides. Instead of catching yourself, however, you managed to mangle your wrists until you heard a snap. Needless to say, your wrists gave way and you landed with a painful thud onto your coccyx. The other bridesmaids didn’t fare too well either—they’re all sitting in a heap rubbing their ankles in pain.
As you wait for the ambulance to arrive, you attempt to assess the damage. Although you heard a snap and both of your wrists are turning purple, you can still move your hands slightly (painfully, but slightly). Are they broken, or just sprained? Your three other injured comrades complain of varying symptoms, two claiming their ankles are broken, while the other thinks hers is just sprained. How can we tell? What are the signs of a broken bone compared to a sprain?
Sprains, Strains, and Breaks, Oh My! Identifying Your Injury
Slip and fall accidents are notorious for causing painful muscle sprains, strains and the occasional broken bone. Although completely different injuries, they are all extremely painful. A sprain is a stretched or torn ligament between two bones; a strain is a twisted, pulled or torn muscle or tendon, and a break is when a bone cracks, fractures or snaps. Unfortunately, sprains, strains and breaks can all produce the same amount of agonizing pain, despite their anatomical differences, so it’s important to always seek medical attention following a fall injury.
However, even though the pain may be the same, each ailment produces varying symptoms to help you identify the severity of your injury. These signs include:
- Sprain: when a muscle becomes sprained (usually in joints such as the ankle, wrist, or knee) sensitivity will set in quickly. The area will become sore, swollen, possibly bruised and painful to rotate or move. If mobility is decreased but not impossible, a sprain is likely. However, you should still seek medical attention to be sure.
- Strain: a strain produces symptoms similar to a sprain (soreness, swelling, and bruising), but can also cause redness, pain when area is at rest, and weakness or immobility of the affected muscle/tendon.
- Break: although a break may also be painful, swollen and red, it will produce more visual symptoms than a sprain or strain. A broken bone can generally be seen under the skin as a large bump or can even penetrate through the skin. When a bone is broken you’ll be unable to move it and feel excruciating pain when pressure is applied to the area. It is crucial that you have a professional set the bone and treat any cuts or protrusions in order to make sure the bone properly heals.
Options After the Diagnosis
Once your injuries have been properly diagnosed and treated, you have a duty to yourself to explore your accident claim options. If your fall was caused by someone’s actions other than your own, you could be entitled to compensation. Call us today to learn about your legal options and see what we can do to get the treatment settlement you deserve. We owe it to you and you owe it to yourself to get justice for your injury.
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