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When an orthopedic injury occurs, you have an important decision to make: go to the nearest ER or visit an orthopedic urgent care. That’s why it is important to understand the differences between the two so that when an injury strikes, you know where to go to receive the best medical attention for you and your injury.

When to Visit the ER

ERs are designed to handle life-threatening injuries as well as specific emergencies. While most of these medical facilities are available 24/7 and can provide help for a wide array of problems, it can be expensive to receive care there. It can also be time consuming, since ERs can have long wait times, especially for patients with nonemergent orthopedic problems.

However, while the ER can be expensive and time consuming for nonemergent injuries, it is the right place to visit for any life-threatening injuries as well as for the following problems:

  • Allergic reactions
  • Animal bites
  • Bleeding that won’t stop
  • Broken bones where the bone has gone through the skin
  • Burns
  • Deep cuts or lacerations that require stitches
  • Illnesses

When to Visit an Orthopedic Urgent Care

Unlike the ER, orthopedic urgent cares are not equipped to handle life-threatening injuries or available 24/7. Instead, these facilities are designed to provide immediate, specialized care for acute bone, joint, and muscle injuries during normal business hours or during extended care hours. Orthopedic urgent cares are also staffed with specialty-trained orthopedic experts, which means you don’t have to wait to be seen by a specialist. One is already available on-site.

Additionally, orthopedic urgent cares have a more affordable price as well as a shorter wait time, which makes them the ideal place to seek care for acute bone, joint, and muscle injuries, such as the following:

  • Ankle sprains
  • Broken bones without an open wound over the fracture location
  • Concussions
  • Hand, wrist, and shoulder injuries
  • Recent back pain
  • Sports injuries
  • Sprained knees
  • Swollen joints

If you recently experienced an orthopedic injury or sustain one in the future, our Orthopedic Urgent Care at Sierra Pacific Orthopedics is available to provide you with immediate care for acute orthopedic injuries. For more information or to be seen, please call (559) 256-5200 or walk into our Orthopedic Urgent Care to be seen right away.