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Common Questions – Orthopedic Urgent Care

Questions answered

What are the benefits of going to Orthopedic Urgent Care versus an urgent care or emergency room?

Providers at Orthopedic Urgent Care have special training in orthopedics and a better understanding of orthopedic injuries. If you are treated at an emergency room or urgent care for an orthopedic injury, they will typically have you follow up with an orthopedic office visit anyway. You can save time and money by going directly to Orthopedic Urgent Care. Wait times are typically much shorter at Orthopedic Urgent Care than they would be at an urgent care or emergency room.

Can I get an MRI at Orthopedic Urgent Care?

We have four MRI locations and some evening hours available. An MRI does require a separate appointment which can be ordered and scheduled at your Orthopedic Urgent Care visit if the provider thinks this study is necessary. Sometimes the MRI can be done the same day, but it depends upon availability and your insurance.

Can Orthopedic Urgent Care treat my injury?

99% of musculoskeletal injuries are appropriate for visits to Orthopedic Urgent Care. However, there are certain instances when the emergency room or urgent care provides a better choice, and we want you to be educated about what those are so you can make the right decision for care. Find a location.

When to go to the Emergency Room:

  • If you have a fracture with the bone visible or with an open wound over the fracture. The hospital will use heavier medications and take special precautions to avoid bone infection while they treat the injury. Most often these require surgical intervention and the emergency room provides a quick referral to a qualified surgical team or physician.
  • Fractures where the bone is at a severe angle
  • If there is severe pain requiring IV administration or sedation
  • Deep lacerations (cuts)
  • Burns

When to go to Urgent Care or a non-orthopedic specialist:

  • Injuries to the eye
  • Cold, flu, respiratory and stomach issues
  • Medical conditions that are not related to bones, joints, muscles, and their supporting structures

If unsure feel free to come to Orthopedic Urgent Care and the specialized providers will make sure you see the right provider in the right amount of time.

Do I need to make an appointment to be seen at Orthopedic Urgent Care?

No appointments necessary – just walk in during Orthopedic Urgent Care hours.

How is Orthopedic Urgent Care different from an urgent care clinic?

Orthopedic Urgent Care is an extension of our regular orthopedic clinic. Most insurance companies will charge a larger copay for urgent care and emergency room visits. Since Orthopedic Urgent Care is an extension of our regular clinic, patients typically pay a regular office visit copay.

Why is Orthopedic Urgent Care staffed with a PA-C and not a physician?

PA-C (Physician Assistants) are specially trained health care providers that are able to function with physician oversight but not direct supervision. The PA’s at Summit working in Orthopedic Urgent Care have extensive background in evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of musculoskeletal injuries. All of the PA’s spend significant time with the various surgeons gaining valuable experience in care of all types of musculoskeletal injuries.

Most acute (sudden onset) injuries are evaluated and treated in a similar way. PA’s can immediately determine what injuries require further diagnostic care and treatment, such as a MRI, CT, splinting, crutches, ice, compression, and pain medications. These are all easily directed by the PA. With this treatment and direction, Orthopedic Urgent Care provides excellent care, further diagnosis, enables the patient to follow up with the right provider in the right time, and facilitates patients returning to activities of daily living just as quickly as if seeing a physician during that visit.

Will my insurance company cover my visit at Orthopedic Urgent Care?

As with any medical care, it is always recommended that you check with your insurance company to determine your coverage.

Will I be seen by an orthopedic surgeon at Orthopedic Urgent Care?

Orthopedic Urgent Care is staffed by PA-Cs (certified physician assistants) who have completed special training in orthopedics and are supervised by an orthopedic surgeon. There is always an orthopedic surgeon on-call for more serious injuries.