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Spine Surgery Guide

Sprains and Strains

How is a sprain/strain diagnosed?

Your child's physician makes the diagnosis with a physical examination. During the examination, the physician obtains a complete medical history of the child and asks how the injury occurred.

Diagnostic procedures may also help evaluate the problem. Diagnostic procedures may include:

  • x-rays - a diagnostic test which uses invisible electromagnetic energy beams to produce images of internal tissues, bones, and organs onto film.
  • magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) - a diagnostic procedure that uses a combination of large magnets, radiofrequencies, and a computer to produce detailed images of organs and structures within the body.
  • computed tomography scan (Also called a CT or CAT scan.) - a diagnostic imaging procedure that uses a combination of x-rays and computer technology to produce cross-sectional images (often called slices), both horizontally and vertically, of the body. A CT scan shows detailed images of any part of the body, including the bones, muscles, fat, and organs. CT scans are more detailed than general x-rays.
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Treatment for sprains or strains:

Specific treatment for a sprain or strain will be determined by your child's physician based on:

  • your child's age, overall health, and medical history
  • extent of the injury
  • child's tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
  • expectations for the course of the injury
  • your opinion or preference

Initial treatment for a sprain or strain includes R.I.C.E. (rest, ice, compression, and elevation). Other treatment options may include:

  • activity restrictions
  • splint/cast
  • crutches/wheelchair
  • physical therapy (to stretch and strengthen the injured muscles, ligaments, and tendons)
  • surgery (especially if the injury is reoccurring or if a muscle, tendon, or ligament is badly torn)

Be sure to consult your child's physician if there is a prolonged, visible deformity of the affected area, or if severe pain prevents use of arm, leg, wrist, ankle, or knee.

Long-term outlook for a child with a sprain or strain:

Contusions, sprains, or strains heal quite quickly in children. It is important that the child adhere to the activity restrictions and/or stretching and strengthening rehabilitation programs to prevent re-injury.
Most sports injuries are due to either traumatic injury or overuse of muscles or joints. Many sports injuries can be prevented with proper conditioning and training, wearing appropriate protective gear, and using proper equipment.

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This information is not designed to replace a physician's independent judgment about the appropriateness or risks of a procedure for a given patient.
Always consult your doctor about your medical conditions or back problem. We Care Health Services does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Use of the site is conditional upon your acceptance of our Terms and Conditions is a member of the medical tourism information network

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