How to decide where to go when you think there is a broken bone

You may want to consider an orthopedic urgent care

It happens in an instant -- you twist an ankle, or your child is hurt in a tumble and you wonder, is that injury a sprain or is it broken?

You don’t know whether you should go to the ER, urgent care, or somewhere else. Well, there is a new option called orthopedic urgent care that may be the perfect fit.

We spoke to two physician assistants, Mitch Misiak and Andrew Cox, from Synergy Health Partners Orthopedic Urgent Care, to find out where to go in these emergency situations.

First, let’s understand the differences between these different options.

Orthopedic urgent care is an urgent care facility that specializes in orthopedics or musculoskeletal issues. In the case of a potential broken bone, it means you will be seen by someone who specializes in that area of medicine more quickly. Generally, an urgent care center will refer you out to a specialist anyway, so this allows you to skip a step and some money, the experts said.

Now, in some situations, you should head directly to the emergency room at a hospital. Misiak and Cox say if the bone breaks the skin, if there was any sort of head trauma, if you cannot stop the bleeding, or if the person loses consciousness, then skip urgent care and go directly to the hospital, because something more serious could be going on.

Here’s when an orthopedic urgent care might be right for you:

  1. You can’t walk on the hurt limb.
  2. You can’t lift anything with the hurt limb.
  3. When the area is swollen or bruised.
  4. When the limb is unable to bear weight.

Once you are at one of these care facilities, you should ask some follow-up questions: Are there any restrictions? Should you not be walking on the limb, or lifting with it? When should I follow up, and who would that be with? Always make sure you know the next step.

If you think an orthopedic urgent care may be right for your injury, there are two Synergy Health Partners Orthopedic Urgent Care locations in Metro Detroit:

  • 36622 Five Mile Road, Livonia 48154


  • 45300 Mound, Shelby Township 48317 within the Greg Grant Sportsplex

For more information on Synergy Health Partners Orthopedic Urgent Care click or tap here.

About the Author:

Michelle Oliver is a multimedia Journalist for the 10 a.m. lifestyle show, "Live in the D." She is known as "the food girl" because of her two popular food franchises, Dine in the D and Find Your Fix. Michelle also covers stories on homegrown businesses, style, and other fun things happening in the D.