A sprain and a fracture both cause pain and limit your mobility, but they are not the same injury. A sprain is a sudden overstretching of the ligaments that stabilize the ankle joint. This happens when something suddenly twists the foot. A fracture is a break in bone tissue. It develops when a sudden force or an impact is greater than the strength of your bone. So while they produce similar symptoms, an ankle sprain and a broken bone affect two different structures in the lower limbs—one soft tissue, the other hard bone. Telling the difference between the two when you’re in pain, though, can be challenging. Depending on the severity of the damage, you may still be able to walk a bit with either problem. A sprain, however, will begin to feel better after a few days of rest and first aid. A broken bone will not improve, and will continue to feel quite uncomfortable. The only sure way to tell, of course, is to have an X-ray to look for cracks in the bone tissue. Absolute Foot Care Specialists will help you diagnose the problem. Just call (702) 839-2010 for an appointment at our Las Vegas offices.