March, 2019

Is the Limb Broken or Bruised? When to Go to Urgent Care

Friday, March 15th, 2019

When you injure your arm or leg, the pain can feel so excruciating that you think you may have broken it. Often, there is just some bruising or perhaps a sprain in the elbow or knee rather than a true break. It is important to know when to go to urgent care for injured limbs. You don’t want an unnecessary expense, but you also don’t want to leave a broken limb untreated.

Check for Swelling

A limb that is fractured will swell considerably fairly quickly. Just badly bruising a limb can also lead to some minimal swelling. If you aren’t sure if the limb is broken, put some ice on it for about 15 minutes. If the swelling goes away or decreases dramatically, chances are it is not broken. If the swelling doesn’t go down much or at all, you probably need to be seen.

Feel the Limb

Without putting too much pressure on the limb, feel it carefully for a break. Even if a break is not severe enough to poke through the skin, you will likely still be able to feel it. This is not a tried and true method, however, because a hairline fracture may not be able to be felt. Feeling the limb can give you a hint as to the severity of the injury. If there is too much swelling to tell if it is broken or not, you should be seen by a doctor. (more…)

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