Broken Bones – ER or Urgent Care?

Where to go for Broken Bones?

When to go to the ER or the Urgent Care.

Growing up, whenever we got sick or injured the only treatment options we had were: schedule a doctor appointment or go to the hospital. Today, however, there are many treatment options available and knowing which one you should choose can be confusing.

Part of this confusion comes from not understanding what the differences between an Urgent Care center and an Emergency Room are; after all urgent and emergency are often used as synonyms, but, when it comes to medical care, the difference is clear.

Let’s start with understanding the difference between an Urgent Care clinic and an Emergency Room.

Urgent Care Centers: These healthcare facilities treat many of the same minor injuries and illnesses as your family doctor. Issues like allergies, mild respiratory illnesses, small cuts, and sprains can all be treated at an urgent care facility.

Sprain-Urgent-Care

Emergency Rooms: ER’s can treat any of the illnesses and injuries mentioned above, however, if you are able to get treatment at an urgent care you will most likely save money, as copays for minor injuries tend to be more expensive if treated in the ER. You should, however, go directly to the ER if you are suffering from a life-threatening condition such as a heart attack, stroke or severe trauma.

Emergency-room Texas

Where to Go in Case of a Broken Bone

When it comes to bone fractures, most of the time diagnosis cannot be made by a regular physical exam, diagnostic imaging such as x-rays and CT Scans are necessary. This means that if you suspect you or a loved one has a broken bone, they need to be examined by a qualified physician.

Not all bone fractures are the same, there are many types and treatment varies depending on the type and severity of the injury. In some cases, a brace, along with some rest will be enough, other times surgery might be required.

Types of Bone Fractures

  • Simple Fractures: When the broken bone does not break the skin or muscle tissue
  • Compound Fractures: In this case, the bone does pierce the surface exposing the bone and surrounding deep tissue
  • Comminuted Fractures: These are severe fractures where the bone breaks in different places
  • Greenstick Fractures: Common in children due to the flexibility of their bones, these fractures occur only on one side of the bone, meaning it is just a partial break
  • Avulsion Fractures: When a small piece of bone is torn from the main bone due to extreme force placed on a ligament or tendon, the injury is known as an avulsion fracture

The location of the fracture will also help you determine where you should go for treatment. The following chart was designed to help you make the right decision on where to go in case of a suspected broken bone injury.

Easy Services Comparison Chart ER vs. Urgent Care.

Type and Location of Injury

Emergency Room

Urgent Care Center

Simple fracture on small bones such as a finger, wrist, toe

The ER has all necessary equipment to diagnose and treat these types of injuries. However, these types of fractures can be treated at an urgent care center

If the urgent care has X-rays available, they can place a temporary splint and then refer you to an orthopedic M.D.

Compound and Comminuted Fractures

These need to be treated at an emergency room as soon as possible

Urgent Care centers are not equipped to handle these types of injuries

Bone Fractures in Arms or Legs

Fractures on long bones like those in your arms or legs require more specialized treatment available at any ER

If you visit an Urgent Care center with a fracture to a long bone, they will refer you to the ER or an orthopedic M.D., and it will cost you more money

Centralized Bone Fractures (Skull, Hip, Neck)

Skull, hip, or neck bone fractures are very serious, you will require CT Scans and possibly surgery. Therefore, you need to go to the ER

Urgent Care centers are not able to diagnose or treat bone fractures on the skull, hip or neck

Bone Fracture that Restricts Blood Flow

If the broken bone is restricting the flow of blood in the area, you must immediately be transported to the ER

Urgent Care centers cannot treat this type of injury

Visible Deformity at the Injury Site

This is a sign of a severe bone fracture, and you should be transported to the ER

Urgent Care centers are not able to treat these types of fractures

Bottom Line: If you ever suspect you might have a broken bone your best choice is to visit the nearest Altus Emergency Center. Our physicians will take x-rays or CT Scans and accurately diagnose the severity of your injury, and the best course of treatment.

Know Where to Go In the Event of an Emergency

If you are ever in need of quality emergency care, you will not have to wait in line at Altus Emergency Centers. All of our ERs are fully equipped and open 24/7.

Altus Emergency Centers Texas is Here for You 24/7

altus emergency 24 hr ER Texas

Altus Emergency Centers are all open 24/7/365, with no lines. Our facilities are well-equipped to diagnose and treat everything from major to minor adult and pediatric emergencies.  We are honored to be a part of our beautiful Texas communities and work hard each day to help see them grow and prosper!

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

We offer the best freestanding 24 hour ER services in Texas. We have top of the line medical technology and highly experienced ER healthcare experts prepped and ready to come to your aid in Baytown, Lake Jackson, Lufkin, Lumberton, and Waxahachie.

Each ER team is highly efficient in treating chest and abdominal pains, pediatric emergencies, flu symptoms, sports injuries, bone breaks, as well as all other major and minor injuries. All services are available 24/7, including weekends and holidays with little to no wait times.

Meet the Waxahachie Medical Director – Dr. Greg Byrne

Meet the Waxahachie Medical Director

Introducing – Dr. Greg Byrne, the Waxahachie Board Certified Emergency Room Physician and Medical Director at Altus Emergency.

A good healthcare professional is entrusted by their patients to do restore them to health.  They have a huge responsibility and yet find the time to go above and beyond the call of duty performing selfless acts every day.  The traits of a good doctor have been defined as a combination of compassion, respect, empathy, honesty, courage, competence, commitment, optimism and creativity. In an emergency center, having a stellar Board Certified Emergency Room Physician and Medical Director is especially vital to help set the standard for the entire healthcare team.  Which is why Altus Emergency Centers is proud to have Dr. Gregory Byrne as our Waxahachie Medical Director.

“Dr. Byrne ensures our providers are delivering exceptional patient care and customer service from the time our patients walk in our doors until they are discharged. He is a great asset to have here in Altus Waxahachie.”

Obinna Ononobi, Administrator of Altus ER Waxahachie

Waxahachie ER is the newest addition to the Altus Emergency Center Family. Since its ribbon-cutting ceremony on March 27, 2017, Altus Emergency Center Waxahachie, has become an invaluable active member of Waxahachie and it’s surrounding communities.  Altus Emergency Centers prides itself on employing the most caring and experienced ER Healthcare Staff.  We invite you to get to know Dr. Gregory Byrne, our dynamic and multi-faceted board-certified ER physician and medical director.

Meet the Waxahachie Medical Director is the latest in the series of Altus ER Staff articles dedicated to the amazing people behind what is #TeamAltusER:  Work Together, Achieve More.

Studies and Formation

Dr. Byrne, the site Board Certified ER Physician and Medical Director of Altus ER Waxahachie attended Mississippi State University on a track scholarship where he received a Bachelor’s Degree.  He then attended University of Mississippi medical school and did post graduate training at Charity Hospital in New Orleans.

Dr.-Greg-Byrne-Altus-Emergency-Waxahachie-IG

Born to Cure

Dr. Byrne became the Altus Waxahachie Medical Director since right before the ribbon cutting on March 19, 2018 and has been with us every since.

AWARDS AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS

  • Nine Year Board of Director Member of the Texas College of Emergency Physicians
  • Past President of the Board of Directors of the Texas College of Emergency Physicians
  • Received the Presidents Award in 1999
  • Counselor to the American College of Emergency Physicians for several years
  • Chairman of two subcommittees for the college

I was honored to receive our companys’ award for “Committment to Care”. – Dr. Byrne

The Doc in the Winner’s Circle

Get to know the Waxahachie Medical Director.

We enjoyed a lovely chat with the good doctor.  He was happy to share about his family, hobbies, and passions. The following are some highlights of our interview with Dr. Byrne.  The doctor spoke about his belief in high performance, dedication and excellence and all areas.  What a zest for life!

Q:  “Tell us a little about yourself”

A:  Dr. Byrne.

I have been practicing emergency medicine since 1978 and I have been practicing in Texas since 1981.  I’ve been married to my wonderful wife Laura since 1981 and have one son Christopher and granddaughter Abigale.

Q:  “How did you hear about Altus Emergency?”

A:  Dr. Byrne.

I first heard about Altus Emergency when our company was approached to do physician staffing.

Q:  “What or who have been your biggest influences or your mentor?”

A:  Dr. Byrne.

My biggest influence in my personal life has been my wife and my pastor.  The biggest influence in my professional life has been my mentor Dighton Packard who is one of the wisest men I know.

Q:  “What do you love the most about working with Altus ER?

A:  Dr. Byrne.

What I love most about working with Altus Emergency Department is the people I work with.  I know that’s trite but they are the finest group of coworkers I could possibly imagine.

Q:  “Any Hobbies or passions?

A:  Dr. Byrne.

I have been racing cars since 1993.  I have raced as an amateur and professional at several open wheel Grandprix classes.  One of the highlights of my racing career was standing on the podium after winning the Indianapolis Motor Speedway open wheel world challenge at the ripe old age of 65 while two twenty-year-olds stood beneath me in second and third place.

Q:  “Any Quotes that You Love in Particular that You Relate to?

A:  Dr. Byrne:

“I am blessed and living the dream.” – Dr. Byrne.

Thank you, Dr. Gregory Byrne for sharing about your incredible performance both as a caring ER Doctor and in life.

Altus Emergency Centers Texas is Here for You 24/7

Altus ER. We-Have-Dedicated-Specialists

Altus Emergency Centers are all open 24/7/365, with no lines. Our facilities are well-equipped to diagnose and treat everything from major to minor adult and pediatric emergencies.  We are honored to be a part of our beautiful Texas communities and work hard each day to help see them grow and prosper!

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

We offer the best freestanding 24 hour ER services in Texas. We have top of the line medical technology and highly experienced ER healthcare experts prepped and ready to come to your aid in Baytown, Lake Jackson, Lufkin, Lumberton, and Waxahachie.

Each ER team is highly efficient in treating chest and abdominal pains, pediatric emergencies, flu symptoms, sports injuries, bone breaks, and fractures, as well as all other major and minor injuries. All services are available 24/7, including weekends and holidays with little to no wait times.

Cuts and Scrapes – ER or Urgent Care?

When to go to the ER or Urgent Care for Cuts and Scrapes

When it comes to cuts and scrapes, our bodies can take quite a beating over the years. Luckily most of the incidents we will experience will be minor injuries which won’t require medical attention.

However, there will be instances where we might not be sure if we need medical attention or not, and if we do where should we go for treatment, the Emergency Room or an Urgent Care center?

Cuts and Scrapes-wrist

How to Tell If Your Cut or Scrape Requires Medical Attention?

Scrapes can usually be treated at home with the use of an antibiotic ointment and a thorough cleaning. Determining if your cut is deep enough to warrant seeing a doctor, however, is not always easy, but, we can safely say that your wound will require stitches and possibly other medical attention when:

  • The cut is deeper than a ¼ inch and gapping or jagged
  • The cut was made by a dirty or rusty object
  • Fat, muscle, bone or other deep body structures are visible through the wound
  • The cut is over a joint and continues to open every time you move the joint
  • After 10-15 minutes of applying direct pressure, the cut is still bleeding
Cuts-and-scrapes-child

If you feel your injury requires medical attention, then you should know that the sooner you see a doctor, the better. You should be checked by a medical practitioner preferably within a few hours of being injured, as this will help reduce the risk of infection and minimize scarring.

If your cut was caused by a dirty or rusty object, you will require a tetanus shot if you haven’t had one within the past five years. Tetanus is a disease caused by bacteria that is transmitted through open cuts or wounds.

So, how can you know if your wound can be treated at an urgent care center or if you need to go to the emergency room instead? Here is a helpful guide to help you make an informed decision:

Visit Altus Emergency Centers When:

  • You have a deep gaping wound where muscles, veins, subcutaneous fat or bone are exposed
  • Your injury has cut through a major vein or artery, and the bleeding won’t stop
  • The cut is over a joint
  • The edges of the cut are jagged and uneven
  • It’s a deep or long facial laceration
  • You have an object embedded in the wound (don’t try to remove it on your own, this should always be done by a physician)
  • A partial or complete amputation such as a severed finger or any that has resulted in the partial or full removal of an appendage or tissue from on your body
  • You’ve sustained a scalp cut
Cuts-and-scrapes-ER

Visit an Urgent Care Center When:

  • The cut requires stitches, but the edges are straight, and even that can easily be pushed together
  • Shallow facial cuts
  • Cuts and scrapes that are embedded with dirt
  • Minor animal or human bites
  • Non-life-threatening wounds that were caused by a dirty or rusty object

An urgent care is good for a minor emergency.  However, you can save time, money and a great deal of pain by knowing when to go directly to the emergency room.  To learn more about the different types of Cuts & Scrapes and Treatments, Cuts and Scrapes.

Cuts and Scrapes – ER or Urgent Care?

Altus Emergency Centers are open 24/7 and will always be available to treat non-life-threatening injuries that would typically be handled by urgent care clinics when these are closed.

Know Where to Go In the Event of an Emergency

If you are ever in need of quality emergency care, you will not have to wait in line at Altus Emergency Centers. All of our ERs are fully equipped and open 24/7.

Altus Emergency Centers Texas is Here for You 24/7

altus emergency 24 hr ER Texas

Altus Emergency Centers are all open 24/7/365, with no lines. Our facilities are well-equipped to diagnose and treat everything from major to minor adult and pediatric emergencies.  We are honored to be a part of our beautiful Texas communities and work hard each day to help see them grow and prosper!

24 Hour ER Services – Best in Texas

Looking for the best quality 24 hour ER services?

We offer the best freestanding 24 hour ER services in Texas. We have top of the line medical technology and highly experienced ER healthcare experts prepped and ready to come to your aid in Baytown, Lake Jackson, Lufkin, Lumberton, and Waxahachie.

Each ER team is highly efficient in treating chest and abdominal pains, pediatric emergencies, flu symptoms, sports injuries, bone breaks, as well as all other major and minor injuries. All services are available 24/7, including weekends and holidays with little to no wait times.

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