If you suffer an accident, a sports injury, or have acute pain in your muscles, bones, or joints, it’s important that you see a specialist right away. But when should you visit an urgent care facility versus going to the emergency room or calling your physician for an appointment?
When acute – but non-life-threatening – injuries occur, urgent care clinics provide a cost effective and efficient alternative to the emergency room. Making the right choice is just a matter of assessing the severity of your condition.
Here’s a helpful guide to understanding where to go for sudden orthopedic problems, such as musculoskeletal injuries and conditions:
Urgent Care or ER?
Urgent care is required for the following:
- A minor cut or wound
- A twisted ankle or foot
- A possibly broken bone
- A minor dislocation
- A sprained knee
- An injured shoulder, elbow, wrist, or hand due to a fall
- A minor blow to the head if the symptoms are mild; although, the urgent care provider may send you to the ER for more advanced imagining
- Work-related orthopedic injuries, such as: blunt trauma, a minor cut, ankle or wrist sprain, etc.
Otherwise, an emergency room visit may be necessary for:
- A deformity of the shoulder, elbow, knee, or ankle. These injuries are best treated in the ER since you may need more effective pain control than what is available at the urgent care.
- A motor vehicle accident if the injury is serious. If the injury is minor, your physician would be most appropriate.
- A large blow to the head is best treated in the ER, where CT Scans are available.
- A large cut or serious crush injury since these injuries may require more involved wound repair and pain control than what is available in an urgent care facility.
For chronic back or neck pain, you should see a physician who knows your history and can provide more available treatment.
Your Best Choice for Orthopedic Care
Our Physician Assistants and Nurse Practitioners are trained to handle serious, non-life-threatening injuries. We offer a full range of services, including imaging, casting, splinting, and much more. Plus, if your condition requires surgery, we can schedule your appointment at our ambulatory surgery center for the very next day.
In addition, OrthoUnited’s board-certified orthopedic surgeons are always available for consultation to ensure that patients receive the best quality orthopedic care. Staffed with orthopedic trained clinical assistants and X-ray technicians, our state-of-the-art facility also includes on site X-rays and full-body MRI.
Also, we realize injuries can occur at any time. So, for your convenience, our Express Care facilities provide extended hours on weekdays and Saturdays.
Regardless of your age, if you’re having muscle, bone, or joint pain, the orthopedic physicians at OrthoUnited can help diagnose your injury and provide answers to any questions you may have about appropriate treatment. OrthoUnited offers experienced providers and the latest in diagnostic techniques to ensure prompt care. Call (844) 469-2663 for an appointment today.