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Definition of Sprain

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Sprain: An injury to a ligament (stretch or tear) that results from overuse or trauma. The treatment of a sprain involves applying ice packs, resting and elevating the involved joint, and using anti-inflammatory medications. Depending on the severity and location of the sprain, support bracing can help. Local cortisone injections are sometimes given for persistent inflammation. Activity may be resumed gradually. Ice application after activity can reduce or prevent recurrent inflammation. In severe sprains, orthopedic surgical repair is performed.

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Reviewed on 12/21/2018

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