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You’re out for a morning jog and severely sprain your ankle. You’re cleaning the gutters and take a fall from the ladder. You’re spending the day at the park with your child and fear she broke a bone after a mishap on the monkey bars.

These situations all feel quite urgent, maybe even like emergencies. But, is the emergency room always the right place to go when you suffer an acute orthopedic injury?woman with a running injury needs orthopedic walk in

In many cases, it could be a better decision to visit a local orthopedic walk-in clinic to receive immediate care. HFM Lakeshore Orthopaedics’ Walk-in Care is an option to consider when you or a family member need professional care for a variety of orthopedic injuries.

Common musculoskeletal issues for which orthopedic walk-in care is ideal include:

  • Fractured or broken bones
  • Strained or sprained muscles, tendons, or ligaments
  • Painful or swollen joints
  • Minor cuts requiring stitches
  • Contusions (bruises)
  • Sports injuries
  • Injuries suffered from falls

While most people are likely to think of the ER first, there are several good reasons to go directly to orthopedic specialists.

1. Less Time in the Waiting Room

When you or someone you love is suffering from an unexpected bone, joint, or muscle injury, you want it examined and treated as soon as possible. Yet, while the emergency room is viewed as a place where you’ll be taken care of quickly, research from the CDC found only 35 percent of patients are seen within 15 minutes.

The CDC reported that typical ER wait times in the U.S. were around 30 minutes with actual treatment taking another 90 minutes. A total of two hours is also what Pro Publica suggests patients in Wisconsin can expect from admission to release. Of course, your wait time will vary depending on the hospital, which healthcare professionals are available to see you, and who else needs to be seen at that time.waiting room at emergency room

At HFM Lakeshore Orthopaedics, we strive to make our walk-in clinic quick, comfortable, and convenient for people in the Manitowoc area. You can even check wait times online and reserve your spot through our website before you leave home to make your wait even shorter.

2. See the Right Provider Sooner

When you visit the ER with an unexpected injury such as a fracture, sprain, tear, or dislocation, it’s likely you’ll eventually be referred to an orthopedic doctor. That will happen after you’ve been assessed by someone like a physician assistant and perhaps have some X-rays taken of the injury.

According to the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA), 70 percent of musculoskeletal injuries in urgent care settings are referred to an orthopedist. As explained in an article the AAPA republished from PA Professional:

“In many cases, the facility will take an X-ray, splint the joint and tell the patient to make an appointment with an orthopedist as soon as possible, which may be days or even weeks later.”

If you know you have an urgent issue with muscles, bones, or joints, why wait to be told you need to see an orthopedic specialist? Why not cut out the middle man and go directly to the source by visiting an orthopedic walk-in clinic?

Unless there is exposed bone or excessive bleeding, which would require an ER visit, many orthopedic injuries can be treated faster and more efficiently at a place like HFM Lakeshore Orthopaedics, where walk-ins are welcome.

3. Smaller Medical Bills

“When people need urgent, orthopedic care, they want to get in quickly, find the care they need and get on with their day,” said David Mikolyzk, MD, and orthopedic surgeon at HFM Lakeshore Orthopaedics. “Orthopedic Walk-In Care is more cost-effective than a trip to the emergency room and more specialized than a normal walk-in clinic.”

While your costs will depend on your insurance plan, in many cases, orthopedic walk-in care will be less than the cost of an ER visit. Check with your insurance carrier for co-pay information.

4. Get Specialized Care from Experts

woman at urgent care walk in orthopedics clinicWhen you take advantage of HFM Lakeshore Orthopaedics Walk-In Care, you’ll see a specialist during your visit. We’re proud to provide highly trained professionals who are able to diagnose and treat orthopedic injuries and provide specialized care that’s not commonly found at other urgent care facilities.

At HFM Lakeshore Orthopaedics you can meet with orthopedic care providers in a variety of specialties, including, for the back/spine, knees, hips, shoulders, wrists, and more. Find out more about our expert doctors. You can filter results to identify physicians with a desired specialty and location.

There will certainly be situations when it makes more sense to visit the ER. Chest pains or difficulty breathing, seizures, loss of consciousness, excessive bleeding, and severe cold or flu symptoms are all potential reasons to go to an emergency room.

However, when it comes to orthopedic injuries, don’t forget that there are other options. Manitowoc County residents can visit one of the Holy Family Walk-In Care facilities for non-orthopedic urgent care needs.

But, the next time you hurt your back shoveling out from the latest snowstorm or your teenager suffers an injury during football practice, think of the HFM Lakeshore Orthopaedic Walk-In Care first. We’ll help you save time, money, and get you to the right specialist sooner … no appointment or referral necessary. Check with your health insurance carrier for information on co-pays. Workers comp patients are welcome.

walk in clinic in manitowoc

It’s not only unexpected acute injuries we are ready and willing to treat at the walk-in clinic. People with dealing with chronic orthopedic issues are also welcome to stop in to see our specialists.

Walk-in care is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and you can reserve a spot online or call (920) 320-5241.