Broken bones are undoubtedly painful and should be looked at by an orthopedic doctor. However, not all breaks are serious enough to warrant an immediate trip to the ER room. Some orthopedic injuries can wait until you are able to schedule an appointment with your doctor. At NASA Bone & Joint Specialists, we know it can be hard to determine how to treat a broken bone, so we’ve given you some tips that can let you know how severe the break is:
When Do I go to the Emergency Room?
A severe break needs to be looked at by a professional as quickly as possible. Without proper medical attention, permanent damage can be caused by a severely broken bone. Visit an emergency room if:
- The Deformity is Obvious
When a bone breaks, the out-of-place bone can sometimes cause a deformity to appear at the site of the injury. If the deformity is obviously visible, it means that the break is more severe and needs immediate medical attention. Keep an eye out for bulges or open wounds around the injured area.
- You Can’t Bear Weight on the Bone
If pain is preventing you from placing any weight on the joint, it’s best to go to an emergency room. Treating the bone immediately is especially important if it is a lower extremity that is used for daily activities.
When do I Wait to See an Orthopedic Doctor?
In less severe cases, the orthopedic injury can wait to be looked at by your orthopedic doctor. While an appointment should be scheduled as quickly as possible, a break may not warrant a trip to the emergency room if:
- The Pain is Not Severe
While a broken bone will come with a certain degree of pain, less severe cases will typically be less painful. If the pain is bearable, yet persistent, it is best to wait until you can visit your orthopedic specialist. Typically, bearable pain will still allow you to gently move the injured area without a severe reduction in your range of motion.
- You are Unsure if the Bone is Broken
There’s no deformity–you didn’t hear or feel a pop—the pain is bearable and you’re just on the fence if it’s broken or not. It may not warrant a trip to the ER but If it’s been a day or two and your pain level isn’t decreasing and your range of motion is still limited, it is best to have your doctor examine the injury. Minor breaks or fractures sometimes have the potential to develop into major problems if left untreated. f you are unsure if your bone is broken, it is best to wait until your doctor can examine the injury. Your doctor will examine the injury and prescribe the most suitable treatment plan for your situation.
Broken bones are certainly serious, but do not always mean that patients have to rush to the emergency room. In some situations, scheduling an appointment with your orthopedic doctor may be the best option. Many orthopedic practices, like NASA Bone & Joint Specialists, reserve same-day appointment time slots for patients with possible fractures. For those who have recently suffered an orthopedic injury, schedule an appointment with Houston’s leading orthopedic specialists. Call us at (281) 333-5114 or visit us https://www.nasabone.com/contacts/.