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What are the different grades of a sprain?

ANSWER

Grade I is a stretched ligament or a mild tear, with little or no joint instability.

Grade II is a more serious but still incomplete tear, with some joint looseness.

Grade III is a completely torn or ruptured ligament. This isn't a broken bone, but it may feel like one since you can't put weight on the joint and you can't use the affected limb because the joint isn’t stable.

SOURCES:

The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.

Bureau of Labor Statistics.

John Martinez, MD, sports medicine specialist, team physician, USA Triathlon, San Diego.

C. Thomas Vangsness Jr., MD, professor of orthopedics, chief of the sports medicine service, University of Southern California, Los Angeles.

Ralph Gambardella, MD, clinical associate professor of orthopedics, University of Southern California; orthopedist, Los Angeles Dodgers.

David Geier, MD, orthopedic surgeon, director, MUSC Sports Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston.

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

Familydoc.org.

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson on November 16, 2016

SOURCES:

The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.

Bureau of Labor Statistics.

John Martinez, MD, sports medicine specialist, team physician, USA Triathlon, San Diego.

C. Thomas Vangsness Jr., MD, professor of orthopedics, chief of the sports medicine service, University of Southern California, Los Angeles.

Ralph Gambardella, MD, clinical associate professor of orthopedics, University of Southern California; orthopedist, Los Angeles Dodgers.

David Geier, MD, orthopedic surgeon, director, MUSC Sports Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston.

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

Familydoc.org.

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson on November 16, 2016

NEXT QUESTION:

When should you see the doctor about a sprain or strain?

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