Injuries – Worried About a Broken Bone?

ER vs Family Doctor Clinic

Patients often call our clinic asking to be seen for new injuries.

Common examples include:

  • Falling and hurting your back, hip, leg, shoulder, or wrist.
  • Twisting your ankle or knee.
  • Motor vehicle accidents.
  • Sports injuries.

ER vs Family Doctor Clinic

If there is a concern that you have broken a bone, then you need an x-ray.

If you come to the Family Doctor:

  • We do not have x-rays in the clinic.
  • We can order an x-ray, but it will likely take 1-3 days for you to actually get the x-ray done and for the doctor to get the result. (Longer if it’s a Friday, because it won’t get done until the following week).
  • If there is a broken bone, the Family Doctor cannot do a splint or cast in clinic.
    • So, you’ll need to go to the ER anyway for a cast/splint.
    • Or, the family doctor can refer you to an orthopedic specialist, but that could take an additional week to be seen.
  • The point is, if there is a broken bone, it will take A WEEK OR LONGER for you to actually get treatment!

If you go to the ER:

  • You get an immediate x-ray and immediate result.
  • If there is a broken bone, the ER doctor will cast or splint you right away.

Are you concerned about a broken bone?

YES -> then you need an x-ray.

  • as above, it’s probably best you go directly to the ER.
  • we defer to your discretion here.

NO -> then please think specifically, why do you need to see the doctor?

  • many musculoskeletal injuries can be treated without seeing a doctor.
  • see the webpage on General Advice for Musculoskeletal Pain to see if this answers your questions?
  • the Family Doctor will be happy to see you if you are still worried there is something else going on.