Fractures Treatment Clinic Questions and Answers
At Midlands Family Urgent Care, our doctors provide comprehensive treatment for fractures and to heal your pain and help you with a speedy recovery. For more information, call us or book an appointment online. We have 2 convenient locations to serve you in Papillion NE, and Omaha NE.
How do you tell if a bone is fractured or sprained?
Sprains and fractures share a similar list of symptoms so it can be hard to tell on your own which one you have. The difference between a sprain and a fracture is quite significant on the inside, as a sprain is an injury to the soft tissues of a joint and a fracture is a physical break of a bone. Sprains are typically the rest of the ligaments in a joint being stretched too far or getting torn and are usually the result of an injury sustained while playing sports or during exercise, or from a fall. Mild to moderate sprains can mostly be treated at home using the RICE treatment philosophy – Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation. Symptoms of a sprain can include swelling, pain, bruising, limited mobility in the injured area, and a popping sound or sensation in the joint at the time of injury. These symptoms will usually go away within one to two weeks with rest and ice, as well as taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatories as needed for pain. If the symptoms don’t get better in that time, or they get worse, you should see a doctor to ensure there isn’t a fracture in the joint or more serious injury to the ligaments. Fractures are the result of trauma to the bone, for a severe fall or a car accident, among other causes. The first symptom of a broken bone is immediate pain at the site of the injury. Additional symptoms include swelling, bruising, inability to put weight on the area, deformity of the limb, and a crunching sound caused by the ends of the fractured piece of bone rubbing together. If you suspect you have a broken bone you will need to get yourself to a doctor to get the area x-rayed to confirm that the bone is in fact broken. An x-ray will determine the extent of the break as well as any additional injury or damage to the surrounding ligaments and tendons.
Does urgent care treat fractures?
Urgent care is well equipped to treat fractures that are mild to moderate in nature. Life-threatening fractures or breaks where the bone is protruding through the skin need to be assessed and treated through the nearest emergency room. Most other fractures and breaks can be assessed and cast as needed at an urgent care clinic. Many urgent care centers have on-site x-ray services that can be used to determine the severity of the break and provide the right course of treatment. They are also able to stabilize and cast a break so you can walk out after your visit having everything you need to recover. If the break is more complicated or severe than expected, you may be referred to an orthopedic doctor or surgeon for further treatment or consultation. While some urgent care centers do have an orthopedic doctor on staff, there is no guarantee that they will be on shift at any given time. You will be assessed treated by a general practice doctor who is trained and experienced at treating a wide variety of illnesses and injuries, including broken bones.
What happens if a fracture is left untreated?
Fractures that are left untreated may not heal at all or may fuse back together improperly causing future pain and other issues with the bone and joint. The sooner you can receive treatment, the better to ensure the bone is properly aligned to fuse back together correctly. When left untreated, there is a possibility that the bone won’t heal at all, causing ongoing pain, swelling, and tenderness that will get worse over time. In the case of a bone healing without treatment, it can take longer for it to heal and while patients may have a full recovery, the set of the bone may cause complications. Bones that are misaligned when they heal will cause instability in the bone, which will impact the structural integrity, causing additional pain and making the bone more prone to future breakage. Untreated fractures may also have an additional injury to the surrounding ligaments and tendons that will lead to future pain, instability, and a higher likelihood of reinjury.
For urgent treatment of fracture, we welcome you to visit Midlands Family Urgent Care. We serve patients from Papillion NE, Omaha NE, La Vista NE, Fairview NE, Ralston NE, Bellevue NE, Springfield NE, and surrounding areas.