How Are Sprains Classified?


Sprained Ankle

Sprains and strains rank as two of the most common types of sports-related injuries. Sprains are often caused by trauma to a joint –such as landing on it wrong during a fall, or overextending the joint, taking it beyond its range of motion. Sprains can occur to any joint, but are most common in the ankle and wrist. They can range from very minor to severe, and are classified as first, second, or third-degree sprains.

First Degree (Mild)

Also known as “grade one,” first-degree sprains involve slight stretching or tearing of the tissue. A first-degree sprain is a mild sprain with slight swelling. The joint still feels stable, although you may experience some light discomfort and stiffness.

Second Degree (Moderate)

A second-degree sprain, also known as “grade two,” is a moderate sprain that involves both stretching and some tearing of the tissues. With a second-degree sprain, the joint may feel stable, but it will be tender to the touch. With a second degree sprained ankle, walking will be painful.

Third Degree (Severe)

A third-degree sprain is a severe sprain. It involves the complete tearing of tissue. It will most often result in an almost complete loss of motion and strength, as well as a significant decrease in stability.

If you or a loved one experiences a sprain that results in the inability to bear weight, it’s important to seek medical treatment.

Your doctor will be able to determine the severity of the sprain, and will treat it accordingly. While most minor sprains only require rest, ice, and compression, more severe sprains can be serious. Some third-degree sprains required special exercises to build strength, and to prevent the injury from reoccurring.

At Blackstone Orthopedics, our team of Board Certified Orthopedists is able to diagnose and treat a wide range of work-related and sports injuries. If you or a loved one has sustained an injury, contact us today for an appointment

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  • Ankle
  • sprains
  • wrist