What to know about bone fractures

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Courtesy of DHR Health

Dr. Felipe Gutierrez, Medical Director
DHR Health Urgent Care Center

What is a bone fracture? A bone fracture is defined as a break or crack in a bone. Fractures can occur on any bone in the body.

What causes bone fractures? They are most often caused by either direct or indirect trauma to the region. Fractures are typically painful and may cause swelling to the region.

How are fractures treated? Fractures are usually treated with splints or casts. Depending on where the injury is, you may need a sling or crutches. Usually, if well aligned and if treated appropriately, most fractures heal within 4-6 weeks. There are different types of fractures and multiple ways of treating them. Most fractures can be treated without surgery or a referral to a specialist. There are some fractures that may require a referral to an orthopedic specialist because they need closer follow-up or even a surgical procedure to correct a deformity.

Where should I go if I suspect I have a fractured bone? You can be evaluated either at an urgent care or an emergency department. Most fractures are not considered an emergency and can be treated at an urgent care. The benefits of visiting an urgent care include decreased cost and shorter duration of the visit.

When should I visit the emergency department? If you have a bone sticking out of your skin, loss of sensation, changes in coloration of the surrounding skin, and/or dislocation of the bone or joint, it is best to go to the ER.

At DHR Health Urgent Care, we are capable of treating most injuries. Our providers are comfortable seeing patients of all ages in our clinic. We see young children, adults, and even our older adult community. We have a dedicated limited medical radiologic technologist (LMRT) on our staff. An LMRT is a person who has undergone specific training to obtain X-ray images. Our LMRT at DHR Health Urgent Care performs custom splinting as needed for minor bone fractures. In addition, most of our providers work in the emergency department setting, as well.

If you would like more information on bone fractures or would like to speak to one of our experts, please call DHR Health Urgent Care Center at 956-362-5030 or visit us at https://www.dhrhealth.com/services/urgent-care/.