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Definition of Sprain

Reviewed on 3/29/2021

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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