If you have a broken bone, you might have the option of getting it taken care of at a local urgent care center instead of heading to the hospital. Many people do not realize that urgent care treatment is perfect for injuries that might require stitches or a simple cast in order to set the bone. But how can you tell if urgent care is the right treatment facility? Some breaks are more severe than others, and sometimes hospital care is needed. Here are some guidelines to help you know where to go.
1. Are there other injuries?
Sometimes, you might simply break your wrist when falling from your bike. Other times, you might experience a fall down some stairs or experience an injury when playing sports. These activities can mean that you sustain other injuries in addition to the break. For example, if you break your ankle, you might also experience muscle tears or ligament damage. These should be evaluated at a hospital. Similarly, if the break is a compound fracture, which means the bone pierces the skin and leaves an open wound, you should go to the hospital because compound fractures can require much more extensive treatment.
2. Is there more than one break?
Sometimes, you can tell that the break is simple and only in one place. A broken arm, for example, might have an odd angle that clearly shows the break. However, if there is a possibility that the bone is shattered or broken in many places, go to the hospital.
3. Where is the break?
Simple breaks are simple to treat, but the location of the break often affects whether or not the treatment can be simple. For example, if someone experiences a trauma where their hand is crushed, the hospital might need to do several delicate surgeries to help make sure your hand heals to the point you can use it again. A broken femur is another example of a more serious break. The upper leg has several important blood vessels, and broken femur bones might require extensive pain medication to set and treat. On the other hand, a simple broken arm, wrist, or collarbone might need a basic cast and sling, and these can be seen by a doctor at an urgent care center like Alaska Urgent Care LLC.
4. How old is the patient?
Finally, the age of the patient can factor into whether or not urgent care can treat the fracture. Very young children, for example, might need to be seen by a pediatric orthopedic specialist because their bones are still developing. An elderly female with osteoporosis might also need a more in-depth treatment plan.