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Fracture vs. Sprain: What's the Difference?

Edited by Sawaira Riaz || By Sumera Saeed || Updated on October 27, 2023
Fracture refers to a break in a bone. Sprain refers to an injury to a ligament caused by overstretching or tearing.

Key Differences

Fracture refers to a break or crack in a bone, while a sprain is an injury to ligaments, the fibrous tissue connecting bones.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 27, 2023
Fractures can range from minor cracks to complete breaks. Sprains involve the stretching or tearing of ligaments and can vary in severity.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 27, 2023
The diagnosis of a fracture often requires an X-ray to visualize the bone break. A sprain is usually diagnosed based on physical examination and symptoms.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 27, 2023
Healing a fracture often involves immobilization, such as with a cast. Treatment for a sprain may include rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE).
Sumera Saeed
Oct 27, 2023
Common causes of a fracture include falls, trauma, or osteoporosis. Sprains are commonly caused by sudden twisting or turning motions.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 27, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Part of Speech

Noun, Verb (to fracture)
Noun, Verb (to sprain)
Sumera Saeed
Oct 27, 2023

Word Origin

Latin (fractura)
Middle English (spraynen)
Sumera Saeed
Oct 27, 2023

Plural Form

Fractures
Sprains
Sumera Saeed
Oct 27, 2023

Adjective Form

Fractured (broken)
Sprained (injured)
Aimie Carlson
Oct 27, 2023

Related Terms

Fracture line, Hairline fracture
Sprain severity, Ankle sprain
Harlon Moss
Oct 27, 2023
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Fracture and Sprain Definitions

Fracture

A break in the continuity of a bone.
She suffered a fracture in her wrist from the fall.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 27, 2023

Sprain

A wrench or twist of the ligaments of a joint.
She felt a sprain in her wrist after lifting the heavy box.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 27, 2023

Fracture

The act of breaking or cracking something.
The earthquake caused the fracture of several building foundations.
Janet White
Oct 27, 2023

Sprain

An act of overstretching or injuring a joint.
The gymnast's sudden fall resulted in a sprain.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 27, 2023

Fracture

The breaking of a mineral along natural lines.
The geologist observed the characteristic fracture of the quartz crystal.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 27, 2023

Sprain

Damage to ligaments from excessive force.
The skier suffered a sprain when her ski twisted awkwardly.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 27, 2023

Fracture

A crack or break in a hard object or material.
The vase had a noticeable fracture on its surface.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 27, 2023

Sprain

An injury to a ligament caused by stretching or tearing.
He got a sprain in his ankle playing basketball.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 27, 2023

Fracture

A division or split in a group or organization.
The controversial decision led to a fracture within the committee.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 27, 2023

Sprain

A condition of being strained or twisted.
The awkward landing caused a sprain in her knee.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 27, 2023

Fracture

The act or process of breaking.
Sumera Saeed
Feb 28, 2022

Sprain

A painful wrenching or laceration of the ligaments of a joint.
Sumera Saeed
Feb 28, 2022

FAQs

How is a fracture diagnosed?

Often through an X-ray or other imaging tests.
Sara Rehman
Oct 27, 2023

What is a sprain?

An injury to a ligament caused by overstretching or tearing.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 27, 2023

What is a fracture?

A break or crack in a bone.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 27, 2023

Are sprains always severe?

No, sprains can vary from mild to severe.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 27, 2023

Can fractures be minor?

Yes, fractures can range from small cracks to complete breaks.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 27, 2023

What's the usual treatment for a sprain?

Commonly rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE).
Sumera Saeed
Oct 27, 2023

Can a sprain lead to long-term issues?

Severe sprains can lead to instability or long-term joint issues.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 27, 2023

What activities commonly cause sprains?

Sports, falls, and sudden twisting motions.
Sara Rehman
Oct 27, 2023

Do sprains heal on their own?

Many mild sprains can heal with proper care and rest.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 27, 2023

Do sprains swell?

Yes, sprains often cause swelling and bruising.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 27, 2023

How long does a fracture take to heal?

It can vary, but typically several weeks to months.
Janet White
Oct 27, 2023

Can you walk on a sprained ankle?

It depends on the severity, but walking can be difficult and painful.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 27, 2023

Do fractures require a cast?

Many, but not all, fractures are treated with immobilization like a cast.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 27, 2023

What are common causes of fractures?

Falls, impacts, accidents, and conditions like osteoporosis.
Sara Rehman
Oct 27, 2023

Can a sprain recur?

Yes, especially if the ligaments are weakened from previous injuries.
Harlon Moss
Oct 27, 2023

Are fractures more serious than sprains?

Generally, fractures are considered more serious, but it depends on the severity.
Janet White
Oct 27, 2023

Is a sprain a tear?

A sprain can involve tearing of the ligaments.
Harlon Moss
Oct 27, 2023

Can children get fractures easily?

Children's bones are more flexible but can still fracture.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 27, 2023

Are there different types of fractures?

Yes, including stress fractures, compound fractures, and others.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 27, 2023

Can you move a limb with a fracture?

Movement can be difficult and painful depending on the fracture.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 27, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.
Edited by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.

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