Urgent Care vs. ER: What’s the Difference?

It’s 8:00 at night, and one misstep in the dark leads to a painful tumble down a few stairs. Perhaps your child collides with the catcher at home plate on Saturday morning, and his ankle swells up like a balloon. You know that immediate care is needed for these injuries, so you go to the ER, right? Well, that’s not always the case for certain musculoskeletal injuries, where an orthopaedic urgent care might be your better option.

Orthopedic injuries (musculoskeletal) require the attention of a trained practitioner who has access to the right diagnostic equipment. In the evening and on the weekend, an orthopedic urgent care center like the one at Spectrum Orthopaedics can make all the difference to the healing of an injury and the preservation of your body’s function.

At the ER, you are exposed to all kinds of germs from sick people, especially now during flu season. And there can be very long wait times, as life-threatening conditions are prioritized by a possibly overworked and understaffed hospital department. When you are seen, the practitioner may not have a lot of experience in orthopedic injuries and fail to diagnose the condition correctly or order expensive and unnecessary tests. In some hospital emergency rooms, you could be seen by a resident doctor who has not yet become board certified.

At an urgent care that specializes in orthopedic injuries, you will find shorter wait times and no patients seeking treatment for infectious diseases. Many imaging and diagnostic tools are available, and your provider is experienced in recognizing and treating broken bones, sprains, ligament tears, and other orthopedic injuries.

If your injury requires surgery, you can schedule the procedure with an expert orthopedic surgeon the very next day. No waiting for referrals or multiple appointments for a diagnosis. When you have a sports or other musculoskeletal injury, any delay can interfere with your body’s healing process. The best outcomes result from prompt diagnosis and immediate treatment.

In some cases, as with open fractures, where the bone has broken through the skin, and severe head injury, a trip to the emergency room is seriously advised. However, for most sprains, strains, breaks, and other musculoskeletal pain, an urgent care is often your faster track for quality care.

The Orthopaedic Urgent Care at Spectrum Orthopaedics in North Canton, Ohio sees patients weeknights from 5 – 10 pm, and Saturdays from 8 am – 1 pm. Contact our caring and experienced staff at (330) 305-0838 when you need urgent orthopedic care.

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