Sprains and Strains (cont.)
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Exams and Tests
When visiting the doctor, expect many questions about the accident. The mechanism of injury can give clues as to what stresses were put on the body part and what injuries likely happened. The doctor will perform a thorough physical examination of the injured area. The physician will want to examine the joint above and the joint below an injury to make sure no hidden injuries are missed.
The doctor may need to take x-rays or perform other tests. X-rays only show bones and not the soft tissues, such as the muscles, tendons, and ligaments. The physician determines when it is appropriate to order x-rays. Injuries of knees, ankles, and the low back, are often unlikely to warrant x-rays to rule out any broken bones. The physician should discuss the reasons for or against taking x-rays.
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