Category: Information

orthopedic surgeon
Posted on / by western orthopaedics / in Information, orthopaedic, Pain, Surgery

Seeking The Right Orthopedic Surgeon

Seeking the right orthopedic surgeon can be a worrying process. This is certainly true if you are already suffering from orthopedic problems. It also applies to those who have other musculoskeletal ailments. But the truth is that there is no need to add to the stress that you are already feeling. There is always a solution when it comes to finding the right orthopedic surgeon.

There are many factors to consider when it comes to deciding on your advanced orthopedic surgery. You need to make sure you are provided with the best care. It is also important to ensure that you will recover well. Orthopedic surgery is supposed to set you up for a healthier and happier future that is pain-free.

At Western Orthopedics, we care about helping you to find an orthopedic surgeon that is right for you. We have come up with a guide to follow so that your orthopedic journey is as successful as possible. Follow these steps for making the best choices. This will guide you to find the best specialist who will perform your orthopedic surgery.

orthopedic surgeon

A Guide to Finding the Right Orthopedic Surgeon

Step 1 – Communication

When beginning your search, try not to focus too much on ‘the best’. Many surgeons who do an incredible job, will not need to emphasise that they are ‘the best’. The truth is that there are many surgeons out there who have done a lot of training. They do not need to state that they are ‘the best’.  

Focus your energy on finding a surgeon who has a lot of experience in orthopedics. Focus on finding an orthopedic doctor who is happy to listen to your problem and find you a solution.

To begin your search for the right orthopedic surgeon, focus on the following tasks:

  • Discuss your concerns with your primary doctor. This will start the process. They will be able to refer you to local orthopedic specialists in the area.
  • Speak to people that you know who have already had orthopedic surgery. They may be able to recommend a clinic near you.
  • Do your research. There is no harm in looking on the internet to find some reviews and read other people’s experiences. It could guide you in the most helpful direction.

Step 2 – Preparation

Sometimes doctors have very long waiting lists. It could take some time to book an appointment. When you speak with your doctor, they will be able to determine how urgent your case is. It is especially important for you to communicate your levels of pain. Nobody should have to continue suffering and living with pain. Especially when there are orthopedic solutions available. 

Be sure to reach out to your insurance company to prepare for everything that is ahead. It can be an expensive journey with orthopedics, but it sure is worth it. If you have health insurance, reach out and see what is covered for you.

Step 3 – Document Your Pain Levels

Orthopedic surgery is a long journey but it is for the better. After you have received your orthopedic surgery, you will be able to go on with life pain-free. It is important to document your levels before you meet with your orthopedic surgeon. You will be asked many questions and thus need to be prepared to answer them. The more your orthopedic surgeon knows about your problem, the more they will be able to help. This is a solution for long-term longevity.

Step 4 – Maintain Good Health

It is not always the orthopedic surgeon who changes everything. You can have a huge positive impact on your own orthopedic journey too. Start living a more healthy lifestyle each day because this will prepare you for surgery. The following solutions will help you to achieve the best possible recovery post-surgery.

  • Eat more fruit, vegetables and protein
  • Start taking supplements to boost your immunity
  • Drink more water
  • Ensure you have routine
  • Quality sleep
  • Maintain a positive mental attitude

Orthopedic Surgeon Near Me

Need an orthopedic surgeon to help you find an orthopedic solution? Dr Pavitar Sunner has the tools and training to treat any hip, knee or shoulder injury.

You can take the hip, knee or shoulder quiz today to discover how Western Orthopedics can help you. We are a dedicated team of specialists who are passionate about helping people to live pain-free.

orthopedic replacement
Posted on / by western orthopaedics / in Information, orthopaedic, Surgery

Orthopedic Replacement

Orthopedic replacement is a branch of medicine that focuses on the musculoskeletal system. Orthopedic replacement is when an orthopedic surgeon performs surgery to treat musculoskeletal injuries. The musculoskeletal system is made up of:

  • Muscles
  • Bones
  • Joints
  • Ligaments
  • Tendons

The aim is to improve the range of movement around the joint so that the patient no longer lives with pain. Orthopedic replacement is the most advanced surgery performed in the medical industry. 

3 Common Orthopedic Replacement Questions Answered

orthopedic replacementWhich joints can be replaced?

Orthopedic replacement can be performed on different joints in the body. Surgical procedures include:

  • Total Hip Replacement
  • Hip Resurfacing
  • Total Knee Replacement
  • Partial Knee Replacement
  • Total shoulder Replacement
  • Reverse Total Shoulder Replacement

Most orthopedic replacement procedures are minimally invasive. It requires only a small incision to remove and replace damaged joint materials. Here are some of the common conditions that orthopedic surgeons treat:

  • Arthritis
  • Bone fractures and traumas
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Bursitis
  • Sports injuries

What is the difference between arthroplasty and replacement?

There is no difference between arthroplasty and joint replacement. The two terms involve the same procedure. The term ‘orthopedic replacement’ can seem scary at first. This is why orthopedic surgeons use the term arthroplasty instead.

Orthopedic replacement is not as invasive as it sounds. The orthopedic surgeon only removes and replaces a small part of the joint. This is a procedure called a partial joint replacement. 

Is joint replacement permanent?

An orthopedic replacement is designed to last a long time, yet it will not last forever. There are a lot of factors to consider that determine the time frame. This includes:

The age of the Patient

Younger patients tend to be more active. It is likely they will need a revision for orthopedic replacement.


Certain activities may not be recommended for those who have an orthopedic replacement. This is because some activities can put stress on the area and cause it to weaken. It is important to speak to your orthopedic surgeon about the best exercise program. There are ways to integrate a healthy routine into your new lifestyle. 


Maintaining a healthy weight can have huge benefits for those with an orthopedic replacement. This is because it also puts less stress on the joint area. This is particularly important for those with hip and knee replacements. 

Hip Replacement 

Hip replacement surgery involves replacing a damaged hip joint with an artificial implant. Adults of any age can opt for a hip replacement if they are living with pain. The most common age range is between 60 and 80 years old. A hip replacement lasts for around 15 years.

The benefits of having a hip replacement, when healed after surgery include:

  • Reduced pain
  • Improved range of movement

A sudden injury or underlying condition such as arthritis can cause hip pain. Treatment will vary depending on the cause. Take the hip quiz to see how Western Orthopedics can help you.  

Knee Replacement 

Knee replacement surgery is a complex procedure that requires a knee specialist. An orthopedic surgeon removes the diseased portions of your bone. They shape the remaining bone to assist the knee implant. Finally, the surgeon builds the artificial knee inside of your leg. They will do this one component at a time, to create a practical artificial joint. 

A sudden injury or underlying condition such as arthritis can cause knee pain. Treatment will vary depending on the cause. Take the knee quiz to see how Western Orthopedics can help you.

Shoulder Replacement

A shoulder replacement surgery involves removing damaged areas of your shoulder. The orthopedic surgeon then replaces them with artificial parts. The procedure aims to relieve pain and improve mobility.

A sudden injury or underlying condition such as arthritis can cause shoulder pain. Treatment will vary depending on the cause. Take the shoulder quiz to see how Western Orthopedics can help you. 

Need An Orthopedic Replacement?

Western Orthopedics offers non-surgical options as well as the most complex orthopedic surgery. Their orthopedic surgeon is an expert in:

  • Orthopedic surgery
  • Minimally invasive surgery
  • Arthroscopic surgery
  • Sports medicine

Book a consultation today to find out how orthopedic surgeon Dr Pavitar Sunner can help you.

hip replacement
Posted on / by western orthopaedics / in Information, orthopaedic, Pain, Surgery

The 4 Most Common Hip Replacement Questions Answered

What is a Hip Replacement?

A hip replacement involves replacing a damaged hip joint with an artificial implant. Adults of any age can opt for a hip replacement if they are living with pain. The most common age range is between 60 and 80 years old. A hip replacement lasts for around 15 years.

The benefits of having a hip replacement, when healed after surgery include:

  •         Reduced pain
  •         Improved range of movement

What Are the Signs of Needing a Hip Replacement? 

You should seek hip-replacement surgery if you are having problems such as osteoarthritis. This chronic condition involves a deterioration of cartilage.

Rheumatoid arthritis is another condition. This is where there is inflammation of a joint lining and the lining becomes inflamed. Due to swelling that may occur, it can destroy the surrounding bone and cartilage.

Finally, if you are suffering from osteonecrosis then this is a sign that you may need to seek treatment. Osteonecrosis is a disease that causes a decrease in blood supply to an area of bone. Loss of blood can cause the bone to break down and collapse.

hip replacement
hip replacement

How Painful is a Hip Replacement?

It is important to recognise your journey to take note of the gradual reduction of pain. After all, it is more painful to continue without a hip replacement than having one. Speak to your hip specialist to discuss the journey and take note of pain on the following dates:

  •         Before you have your surgery
  •         Your time during hospital
  •         The first two weeks after surgery
  •         3 months after surgery

A hip replacement is quite painful after surgery but not as painful as a knee replacement. Pain, swelling, and bruising are part of the natural recovery process. That is why medication is the best way to manage pain. Gentle activity and a healthy diet also contribute to a more successful recovery.


There are different types of medication prescribed for short-term pain relief after surgery.

Pain management medication includes:

  •         Opioids
  •         Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  •         Acetaminophen
  •         Local anaesthetics

It is best to try avoiding opioids after surgery. This is because these medications are narcotics and can cause addictions. If you need to use them, be sure to reduce the intake as your pain begins to reduce.

Gentle Activity

Exercise is an essential part of the healing process during the first few weeks. It can be beneficial to have a physical therapist help you at home or in a therapy centre. This is only for the first few weeks after surgery. 3 to 6 weeks following surgery is when you will be able to return to normal life.

Gentle activities include:

  •         Walking programs
  •         Specific gentle exercises several times a day. to restore movement and strengthen your hip.

Healthy Diet

Some people may lose their appetite for serval weeks after surgery. This is common, but, if you feel like you have lost your appetite then be sure to drink plenty of water. It is important to have a balanced diet and try nourishing your body in the best possible way.

Some people use an iron supplement as this is important to promote proper tissue healing. Iron also helps to restore muscle strength.

How Long Does Hip Replacement Recovery Take?

Rothman state that there are 5 tips for successful total hip replacement recovery. This includes:

  •         Having an exercise plan in place
  •         Maintaining a healthy diet and body weight
  •         Taking steps to prevent blood clots
  •         Preparing your household for reduced mobility

Western Orthopedics 

When you need a qualified and caring practitioner in Sydney, Western Orthopedics have a solution for you. Their principal orthopedic surgeon — Dr Pavitar Sunner — has the tools and training to treat any hip injury with careful attention and expertise. Complete this quick and easy hip quiz today to see how Dr Sunner can help you.


Posted on / by western orthopaedics / in Information

Common Musculoskeletal Conditions


Expert orthopedic surgeons such as Dr Sunner work across a wide range of musculoskeletal issues including some largely unknown yet common conditions.

Although some of these conditions may be common the approach to which it is dealt with is unique to every patient.

Below we have explained some medical conditions and surgeries you may not have heard of, but are more common than you think!

Bursitis: What Is It?

Bursitis is the inflammation or irritation of the bursa. The bursa is a sac filled with lubricating fluid, located between tissues such as bone, muscle, tendons, and skin, that decreases rubbing, friction, and irritation.

Who Gets It?

Anyone over the age of 40 can develop bursitis. As tendons age, they are only able to tolerate less stress, hold less elasticity, and are therefore more likely to tear.

Where Does Bursitis Occur?

Bursitis can occur in the knee, hip, shoulder and even in the elbow.

What Are The Symptoms?

Joints may feel achy or stiff, may look swollen or red. The area may hurt more when you press it or move it.

What Causes It?

Bursitis is most often caused by repetitive, minor impact on the area, or from a sudden, more serious injury.

Fact: There are over 150 bursae in the human body

Synovectomy: What Is It?

Synovectomy is a procedure recommended to provide relief from a condition in which the synovial membrane of the joint lining becomes inflamed and irritated. Synovectomy is a useful treatment option for early rheumatoid arthritis that has not improved with medicine, including DMARDs or corticosteroid injections.

Who Gets It?

Anyone who suffers from arthritis can undergo synovectomy surgery as a treatment option under guidance and recommendation from their doctor and specialist.

Synovitis: What Is It?

Synovitis is the medical term for inflammation of the synovial membrane. It is also referred to as the commonly known ‘arthritis.’ However, there is a difference between synovitis and arthritis.

Where does Synovitis Occur?

Synovitis most commonly affects the knees but can also develop in other joints.

What Are The Symptoms?

Swelling, limited motion and stiffness that is usually worse in the morning.

What Causes It?

The pain caused by synovitis can be a major problem in conjunction with other illnesses such as juvenile arthritis, lupus, and psoriatic arthritis. Synovitis can also be part of rheumatic fever, tuberculosis, injury, or gout. It is a defining characteristic of rheumatoid arthritis.

Torn Labrum: What is it?

The labrum is a piece of fibrocartilage (rubbery tissue) attached to the rim of the shoulder socket that helps keep the ball of the joint in place. When this cartilage is torn, it is called a labral tear. Labral tears may result from injury, or sometimes as part of the ageing process. There are different types of Labral Tears including SLAP Tears, Bankart Tears and Posterior Labral Tears.

Where does a Torn Labrum occur?

Most commonly occurs in the shoulder but can also occur in the hip.  

What Are The Symptoms?

The main symptom caused by a labral tear is a sharp pop or catching sensation. A labral tear can be hard to diagnose. Clinicians will perform a physical examination and usually order X-rays and an MRI.

What Causes It?

A Labral tear is often caused by a direct injury to the shoulder or hip. The labrum can also become torn from the wear and tear of activity, a condition called overuse.

For more information or if you are suffering from any of the above conditions and require assistance, book an appointment online with Dr Sunner or call us on (02) 4731 8466.

Posted on / by western orthopaedics / in Information

Insomnia could be causing osteoporosis fractures


Insomnia and disrupted sleep may not just make you feel rotten the next day. Scientists have found that they may be a previously unrecognised cause of bone loss.

A New Study

Researchers at the University of Colorado have just published a new study that found healthy men had lower levels of a key marker for born formation in their blood after just three weeks of sleep restriction and disruption. Meanwhile, the biological marker of bone breakdown remained the same.

The scientists were mimicking the effect of unusual sleep patterns caused by lifestyle issues such as jet lag or shift work, as well as by regular insomnia.

Christine Swanson, the lead researcher and an assistant professor at the university, said that the changed “bone balance” shown by the two markers – in effect, bone breakdown staying the same but bone formation being hampered – could create a “bone loss window: that may lead to osteoporosis and bone fractures.

“If chronic sleep disturbance is identified as a new risk factor for osteoporosis, it could help explain why there is no clear cause for osteoporosis in the approximately 50% of the estimated 54 million Americans with low bone mass or osteoporosis,” she said in a release published by Science Daily.


The study defined sleep disruption as an “a mismatch between your intern body clock and the environment, caused by living on a shorter or longer day than 24 hours” and had the study subjects – all men – go to sleep every day four hours later than the previous day, to replicate jet lag.

They were also only permitted to sleep for 5.6 hours in every 24-hour period.  The men all ate normally during the study period of three weeks.

The study found that younger men suffered a bigger fall in their level of P1NP, which is a bond formation marker founder in the blood than older men did during the study. Their bone ‘reabsorption’ marker, CTX, stayed the same, which indicated that old bone could break down without new bone being formed.

“These data suggest that insomnia or sleep disruption may be most detrimental to bone metabolism earlier in life when bone growth and accrual are crucial for long-term skeletal health,” Swanson said.

The researchers didn’t have funding to study the impact of sleep deprivation or disruption on women but plan to do so.

Posted on / by western orthopaedics / in Information, orthopaedic

Ancient Orthopedics


Throughout history, humans have also attempted to repair and correct broken or deformed bones. The term orthopedics was coined in 1741 by Nicolas Andry when he wrote a book on correcting childhood deformities. The front of this book had an image of a bent tree that was supported by a straight pole. This image has become a symbol for the field of modern orthopedics.

Ancient Egypt 

In Ancient Egypt, there is evidence that splints were used to correct broken bones. These were made with bamboo, reed and linen and have been found on mummies and other specimens. A carving in an Ancient Egyptian tomb from 2830BCE gives evidence that a type of crutch was also used during this time. One document, in particular, the Edwin Smith papyrus, which may be the oldest surgical or medical piece of literature details a few orthopedic conditions such as spinal injuries, how to treat fractures and information on dislocations.


Ancient Greece

In Ancient Greece, the musculoskeletal system was researched and discussed in the Coprus Hippocrates (430BCE-330BCE). This text discussed the field of medicine and illness, through essays, research, notes, lectures and case studies. The field of orthopaedics is discussed, such as dislocations, maneuverers for the shoulder, and how to treat fractures.


Bonesetting as a trade can be seen throughout history, until as late as 1858. Bonesetters were those people that would treat fractures and try to reset bones. This practice has often been under a religious discipline with monks and nuns being bonesetters. However, in history, there have been other non-religious, self-taught healers and bonesetters.


A history of orthopedics can be seen in other cultures such as in Japan where it was practised as part of the martial arts disciplines in Judo. Traditional Chinese Medicine has also used splints, manipulation and repositioning to treat fractures and dislocation. Some of these techniques are over 3,000 years old.

Modern-day orthopedics have come a long way since ancient times. The field has been extensively researched in order to treat different bone and musculoskeletal conditions, with new advances and techniques being continually discovered. Orthopedic surgeons use modern technology such as x-ray and other imaging to diagnose conditions and then advanced techniques to perform surgery. Surgery can now be performed using minimal invasive techniques were only small incisions are made.

Orthopedic conditions are something that humans have always attempted to treat, however there is no doubt that modern techniques and technology mean that you would much prefer to have an orthopedic condition now rather than ancient times.

Posted on / by western orthopaedics / in Information

Returning To Exercise After Surgery

Returning to an exercise routine after surgery is no easy journey. With prolonged bed rest after surgery, you may lose substantial muscle mass and strength.

Non-impact sports, such as cycling are highly recommended when gradually exercising in due time, and It’s important to ease into these activities and try to listen to your body.

It is strongly encouraged that after surgery, recovery time along with regular physiotherapy will assist with returning to a structured and beneficial training routine. Some patients may assume that they will never be able to return to their peak physical performance, but with patience and the right technique, it is possible.

The exercises you want to routinely perform should be planned out with your physio or GP. And after gaining confidence with gentle movement you can gradually increase the intensity of your fitness routine to where you feel comfortable.

Depending upon your surgery you may have up wait up to 6 months before undertaking any rigorous exercise. Therefore, in the first couple of months, you might have to avoid sprinting, heavy lifting, and jumping, as strenuous exercises may actually slow the healing process and possibly cause injury.

Post-surgery Exercise

Hydrotherapy is highly recommended after hip, knee and shoulder surgery. Along with hydrotherapy, it’s important to receive regular guidance from a physiotherapist before you begin self-managing your post-surgery exercises.

Hip Surgery

  • – Most patients start the road to recovery early with light strengthening and range of motion exercises while still in the hospital.
  • – Staying fit after undergoing a hip replacement is particularly important since excess weight can contribute to more pain, and make it difficult for you to retain your range of motion after surgery.
  • – The most important exercises to focus on after hip surgery should involve: stretching, strengthen and low impact training such as water aerobics.

Knee Surgery

  • – Stationary bikes can be a great tool if you are recovering from knee replacement surgery. This equipment can help you increase your range of motion and strengthen your entire leg.
  • – The treadmill will be the best start to getting back on the wagon. It can help you recover strength in the muscles you use for walking and balancing. Start your recovery treadmill exercises with no incline and at slow speeds.


Shoulder Surgery

  • – At 3 months’ post-operative, you should be at the point where you can introduce light resisted exercises.
  • – If you practice regular training with a focus on weight training, it is important to note that your training routine will need to be adapted post-surgery. Exercises that you once performed may be off-limits. Remember to talk to your physio regarding your routine.
  • – Using ice and compression to help accelerate the healing process and help your body recover after exercise is extremely important in the early months of returning back to fitness.

Be mindful that any type of movements you undertake after surgery should be talked through with your surgeon, doctor or physiotherapist. For more information on returning to workouts after surgery visit or contact Dr Sunner here.

Posted on / by western orthopaedics / in Information

Sports Injuries Prevention and Safety

Often no matter how much you can prepare, sometimes sports injuries are unavoidable.

As summer hits and outdoor activities begin, remember to take some measures to ensure that you don’t over-do your fun in the sun.

Here are some tips to prevent sports injuries:

  1. Know your limits: As well as taking a break when you are injured you should also know when you are pushed your limits.  As your body ages, you are more prone to sports injuries. Always listen to your body and consult with your fitness instructor. Pushing it too hard can be the difference between peaking and risking an injury.
  2. Remember to stretch: stretching is the most important warmup for your joints and muscles before an intensive workout. Do not rush your stretching as this is the key for preventing sports injuries.
  3. Seek treatment: It may be easy to self-diagnose and treat on your own. However, it’s important that if you have a sports injury, the best thing you can do is allow yourself time to completely recover. Meeting with an orthopedic surgeon will help determine how long you need to rest and what your rehabilitation will look like.
  4. Wear protective gear: With any sport that you undertake, ensure that you are wearing the best protective gear. Be sure that your safety equipment fits properly and is in good condition.
  5. Drink up: Drinking lots of water is important as hydration helps your body perform at its best. Keeping hydrated before and after exercise also decreases the chance of cramps and other internal injuries. Try to drink electrolyte enriched drinks and always keep a water bottle by yourself at all times.
  6. Health diet: Try to stick to a nutritious meal plan full of lean protein and carbohydrates. Maintaining a balanced diet on a consistent basis is important, not just on days you will be participating in your favourite sport. Make sure you include plenty of vegetables, fruits and the right amount of calcium into your diet. These will promote overall health.
  7. Do not exercise with sports injuries. This can have more severe long term effects.
  8. Conditioning and strength training: No matter what sport is your favourite, you can benefit from strength training exercises to enhance performance and prevent sports injuries. Always consult with a certified trainer or coach about which conditioning exercises are best for you.

sports injuries

If you happen to suffer from an injury this Summer, and if your GP suggests you visit an orthopedic surgeon. Don’t hesitate to book a consultation with Dr Sunner (02) 4731 8466.

orthopedic surgeon
Posted on / by western orthopaedics / in Information

20 Questions to Ask Before Surgery

Planning your surgery can be a daunting process. Your current pain threshold may also make it more difficult to concentrate and think about after surgery plans.

Your surgeon should discuss your surgery and recovery in-depth, but it also never hurts to ask questions that may be on your mind. Being more aware of the surgery process may also alleviate any stress you may be feeling pre-surgery.


Before Surgery

Below are some questions to ask your surgeon that may ease the pre-surgery process.

Here are some questions you may want to consider asking your surgeon:

  1. Step-by-step, what will the entire procedure involve?
  2. Are there any non-surgical options?
  3. Will you need to go on a special diet before the operation?
  4. What are the risks and complications that can be associated with the procedure?
  5. What will you need to do leading up to the surgery to prepare? Will you need to stop any medications?
  6. What is the surgeon’s particular experience with your procedure? How many does he or she perform each year?
  7. What is the success rate with your specific procedure?
  8. Will anyone else be assisting in the operating room?
  9. How long does the operation last?
  10. How long will you expect to stay in the hospital?
  11. How will the pain be managed in the hospital and upon release from the hospital?
  12. Will you need any medical equipment or modifications at home after the operation?
  13. Who will you be able to call after you go home with any questions?
  14. When will you go in for a follow-up visit and who will examine you?
  15. What limitations should you expect following the surgery? How long will limitations last?
  16. Are there any side-effects?
  17. How much time will you need to be off work and/or school?
  18. Will you need to have help at home to assist with bathing and daily activities?
  19. How long will you need to wait before driving again?
  20. What can I do to help with my recovery?


Each patient is different and will have specific concerns and considerations to make. It is very important that you think through your own list and make sure to write your questions down before meeting with your surgeon. It might be beneficial to bring someone with you to help gather the information you need.

If you have any other questions to ask Dr Sunner before or after your consultation, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

If you have any further questions about the information in this article, please ask your GP. If you are experiencing excruciating pain, please call.

Posted on / by western orthopaedics / in Information, Pain

Is It A Sprain Or A Strain?

As we go about our busy days an occasional strain or sprain isn’t uncommon. It is however common to confuse our symptoms of a pulled muscle or a tight pain, between a sprain or a strain. To treat the ailment correctly, it’s firstly important to identify your injury.

Here’s how to spot the difference:



Bruising Muscle spasm
Pain around the affected joint Pain around the affected joint
Swelling Swelling
Limited flexibility Limited flexibility
Difficulty using the joint’s full range of motion Difficulty using the joint’s full range of motion

The main difference between the two is that with a sprain you may have bruising around the affected joint, whereas with a strain, you may feel like you are having muscle cramps.

You may not be aware that sprains are actually classified by grades:

  • Grade 1: Slight stretching and some damage to the fibres (fibrils) of the ligament.
  • Grade 2: Small tearing of the ligament. There is abnormal looseness (laxity) in the joint when it is moved in certain ways.
  • Grade 3: A tear of the ligament. This causes significant instability and makes the joint nonfunctional.

Similar to sprains, strains are also categorised according to the severity:

  • 1st Degree (mild) – Very few fibres are torn
  • 2nd Degree (moderate) – A large number of fibres are torn
  • 3rd Degree (severe) – A complete rupture of the muscle or tendon



Mild strains and mild sprains are treated similarly. All can be treated without surgery.

  • Do not apply pressure to the area. Rest and give it time to heal.
  • Apply ice to reduce swelling and inflammation to the area.

Never apply ice directly to your skin. Instead, wrap a thin towel or piece of clothing around a bag of ice. Leave it on the affected area for 20 minutes, then remove the ice for 20 minutes. Repeat as much as you can for the first 24 to 48 hours.

  • Bandage the injury. This will help reduce swelling around the joint.
  • Try to elevate the affected joint area to reduce swelling. If you can’t keep your ligaments as high as your heart, parallel to the ground is also OK.

If you think your strain or sprain may be something more serious please call your local GP or healthcare professional. If you’d like more information on our orthopedic services, please don’t hesitate to contact Dr Sunner.

If you have any further questions about the information in this article, please ask your GP. If you are experiencing excruciating pain, please call 000.

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