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ER or Urgent Care for Broken Bones?

  • Category: Injuries
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Alex Murray
ER or Urgent Care for Broken Bones?

Broken bones, medically known as bone fractures, are common injuries that happen more often than you might think. While children and the elderly are more susceptible to breaking their bones—due to kids playing or bone density decreasing with age—fractures can happen to anyone. Some of the most common bone breaks are in the ankle, wrist, forearm and vertebrae located in the back, and the most common types of fractures include:

  • Stable fracture: When the bone breaks, but the broken ends are still in line with each other.
  • Compound fracture: The skin is broken either by the bone or during the incident that caused the injury.
  • Transverse fracture: The break is perpendicular to the length of the bone.
  • Oblique fracture: The bone breaks at an angle.
  • Comminuted fracture: The bone breaks into three or more pieces.

Depending on the location and severity of the bone fracture, the healing process could require a splint, a cast, or possibly even surgery. Splints and casts serve similar functions and are an essential step in the treatment of broken bones. They hold the limb steady, allowing time for the bone to heal by ensuring that the bone will heal straight. They’re also a form of immobilization to prevent the bones from ultimately moving and causing further damage.

Broken bones can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months to heal. When the fracture is not severe, a splint will suffice. Casts are sturdier than a splint and are more restricting in movement. In severe breaks, surgery is usually required. A doctor will use pins and screws to realign the bones in open reduction and internal fixation or external fixation medical procedures.

Seeking medical attention following a bone fracture is crucial. Setting the bone correctly is essential so that when it begins to heal, there are no further complications, and patients can go back to living their lives. Emergency room centers at the hospital are capable of diagnosing and fixing broken bones, but it’s

Urgent care facilities can provide care when the fracture is not severe and is not in a compromising location. They have access to imaging tests and physicians who can serve patients for fractures that require casts or splints. If they discover the broken bone needs emergent attention, they can recommend visiting an emergency room. Many people may not know an urgent care clinic is an option if they have broken a bone, which can certainly save on medical costs to get it set and on its way to healing.

But in some instances, the emergency room is the better option. Emergency room facilities for bone breaks are necessary when:

  • There is heavy bleeding
  • You are unable to move the injury without causing pain
  • The area of damage is deformed or disconnected
  • The bone is sticking through the skin
  • If the broken bone is along the spine, head or back

If you’ve broken a bone, or suspect you have a fracture, don’t hesitate to seek professional medical care to help you with your injury. If you feel it’s a true emergency, call 911. For all others, Legacy ER & Urgent Care is available 24-hours a day, 7 days a week, all year-round.

Legacy ER & Urgent Care is here to meet your medical care needs by providing affordable pricing and quality care. As part of Intuitive Health’s innovative hybrid model ER and urgent care system, patients are only billed for the level of care they receive by professional and highly trained medical staff. With a total of six centered located in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, emergent and non-emergent care are accessible and transparent with a focus on superb customer service.

Find out more about Legacy ER & Urgent Care by visiting