Fractures, Sprains, and Strains - Prognosis






Fractures usually heal well when properly immobilized. Bones tend to grow back over time, correcting any breaks that may have occurred in them.

Chauncy Billups, a guard for the Denver Nuggets, grimaces after spraining his ankle during a game. (Reproduced by permission of AP/Wide World Photos)
Chauncy Billups, a guard for the Denver Nuggets, grimaces after spraining his ankle during a game. (Reproduced by permission of
AP/Wide World Photos
)

A key factor in healing is prompt treatment. Bones that are not immobilized within six hours of injury are much more difficult to re-align. Healing time varies considerably, depending on many factors. In older people, for example, bones re-grow more slowly.

Mild and moderate sprains usually heal in less than four weeks. Severe sprains may take much longer. At one time, a torn ligament meant the end of an athlete's career. Today, advanced surgical procedures can be used. Nearly normal function can be restored. Even then, however, the joint is never as strong as it was before the injury.

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