When you sustain an orthopedic injury, you need prompt medical attention. But where should you go – the nearest urgent care facility, or an orthopedic urgent care center – and is there a difference?
The short answer is yes, and it does matter.
Appropriate care following an injury involving a bone, muscle, ligament, or tendon can make a huge difference in receiving prompt and accurate treatment that leads to a faster recovery. Here’s why.
Typically, an urgent care center is located in a retail space that has limited medical resources when it comes to orthopedic injuries. That’s why they often refer their walk-in patients to another health care provider – such as an imaging center or an orthopedic specialist.
An orthopedic urgent care center, on the other hand, tends to be located within a larger orthopedic or medical facility where it serves as the gateway to an orthopedic practice. While both urgent care facilities may treat orthopedic injuries, only an orthopedic urgent care center is designed exclusively to treat both acute and chronic musculoskeletal injuries.
For example, an urgent care clinic can treat most minor breaks and sprains – provided the break isn’t an open fracture with the bone protruding through the skin or another kind of deformity. In that case, the patient would be referred to an orthopedic clinic, which provides prompt specialized care for all types of bone injuries.
At best, a physician at an urgent care center will patch you up and refer you to an orthopedic specialist for continued care. However, if you went to an orthopedic urgent care center in the first place, you would be examined and diagnosed, and receive treatment and continued care – all under one roof, saving you time, expense, and the hassle of consulting with more than one doctor.
Unlike urgent care doctors, orthopedic urgent care providers are specially trained in bone, muscle, and joint injuries. As such, they deliver same-day treatment, on-site X-rays and, should it be necessary, follow-up care with an orthopedic specialist.
Naturally, if you sustain a major, life-threatening musculoskeletal injury – especially one that occurs after hours – you should go immediately to the nearest emergency room for treatment. Otherwise, by heading straight to an orthopedic urgent care center, you’ll receive specialized care with less waiting time and minus the cost of an emergency room visit.
QUICK CARE for Orthopedic Injuries in Missouri
Recognizing the need for quality, last-minute care for unpredictable events – such as broken bones, sports injuries, falls, sprains, and strains — Advanced Bone & Joint offers urgent orthopedic care at our QUICK CARE clinic. We’re happy to attend to new injuries that happen today, as well as those that have happened within the previous 72 hours.
We’re open Monday through Friday, 8 am – 8 pm in St. Peters, and 8 am – 4 pm in O’Fallon. There’s no need to call for an appointment and no need to wait. You are welcome to come in and we’ll take care of you as quickly as possible. So that we can ensure timely service to you and others, guests who walk in with an injury or ailment older than 72 hours between 8 am and 4 pm will be required to make an appointment.
To learn more about our QUICK CARE clinic, simply drop by or call (636) 229-4222.
For all other comprehensive orthopedic concerns, including foot, ankle, and diabetic wound care, call Advanced Bone & Joint today at (636) 229-4222, or simply request an appointment online.