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A sprain is an injury to your ligaments – the strong fibres that hold your joints together. If you tear a ligament, the pain can sometimes be similar to that from a broken bone, particularly if it’s severe. It can be difficult to tell, so it's important to get medical advice. For more information, see our section: Symptoms of fractures above.
It’s important to look after your cast. Don’t get it wet – put plastic bags over it when you shower or buy waterproof shields. Don’t put anything up into your cast, to scratch an itch, for example. And don’t pull any padding out of your cast or trim it – talk to your doctor if it feels uncomfortable.
This varies depending on your age, which bone you’ve broken and the type of fracture you have. In adults, it can take anything from several weeks to months to heal fully. Children’s bones heal faster – a two-year-old’s shinbone, for example, will take around three weeks to heal.
Fractures can be open (when a broken bone comes through your skin) or closed (when your skin isn’t cut). A fracture can also be displaced (when the bone has moved out of place) or not displaced. You can tell the difference by how your arm or leg, for example, looks. A fracture can also be named depending on where it is and which bone is affected. For more information, see our section: Types of fractures above.
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This information was published by Bupa's Health Content Team and is based on reputable sources of medical evidence. It has been reviewed by appropriate medical or clinical professionals and deemed accurate on the date of review. Photos are only for illustrative purposes and do not reflect every presentation of a condition.
Any information about a treatment or procedure is generic, and does not necessarily describe that treatment or procedure as delivered by Bupa or its associated providers.
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