sprain, stretching or wrenching of the ligaments and tendons of a joint, often with rupture of the tissues but without dislocation. Sprains occur most commonly at the ankle, knee, or wrist joints, causing pain, swelling, and difficulty in moving the involved joint. Treatment consists of application of ice bags or cold compresses, elevation of the injured part, and strapping or bandaging to substitute for the support usually given by the ligaments. A severe ankle sprain may require a cast to immobilize the joint for healing. See first aid.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.