Now that you know the word ‘fracture’ is the appropriate term for cracks or breaks in a bone, where does a sprain enter into the mix of terms? First, you have to understand that a sprain happens at a joint. A joint is not a bone, so it could not be termed a fracture because fractures are injuries to the BONE. Sprains involve injuries to the ligaments and surrounding tissues at the joint. Both hurt really badly and both will swell. So how can you tell the difference between a fracture and a sprain? An x-ray; it reveals what is going on beneath the skin. Paragon Orthopedics has an in-house x-ray technician ready to take care of your x-ray needs here in Southern Oregon.