Injuries

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…)

Steps to Take for Knee and Ankle Injuries

Friday, February 15th, 2019

If you have a knee or ankle injury, it is important that you take the appropriate steps in first aid to avoid the injury from worsening. Knee and ankle injuries can cause quite a few complications if they are not handled appropriately. In some cases, knee and ankle injuries can lead to a lifetime of chronic pain and joint problems. Make sure you follow these steps to ensure that your injury is not worse than it needs to be.

Do Not Put Weight on the Joint

If you are unsure how severe the injury might be, do not put any weight on the joint. You should get someone to help you to your vehicle to seek medical attention. Do not try to walk normally. If you have crutches available, use them. If not, put all of your weight on the person helping you and as little as possible on the affected limb. Putting unnecessary weight on the injury could make it quite a bit worse.

Apply Ice to Reduce Swelling

Most knee and ankle injuries swell considerably fairly quickly. The swelling can make it difficult for a doctor to diagnose the severity of the injury and provide treatment. While you are waiting to be seen by a doctor, apply ice for fifteen minutes on and ten minutes off to help reduce the swelling and pain in the injured area.

Seek Medical Attention

Only a trained medical professional can determine how severe your knee or ankle injury might be. It may be necessary to take X-rays of the affected area to ensure that nothing is broken or torn within the joint. Sometimes, diagnosis can be made without X-rays. The doctor will also be able to bind the joint with a brace or wrap in such as way that it will be protected. You may also be given crutches to keep weight off of the joint.

If you or your loved one have suffered a knee or ankle injury and you don’t want to have high medical bills from the emergency room, urgent care is a viable option. You can come to our offices and we can diagnose and treat your injury.

Tips for Having a Healthy and Safe Winter Season

Sunday, January 20th, 2019

The winter season is here, and with it comes cold weather and school break. Whether you are traveling somewhere during this time of year or staying home, you should take some basic precautions to stay safe this season.

Flu Season

Since flu season is here and in full force, you can take some extra steps to help prevent yourself from getting sick. Wash your hands after sneezing or coughing, even if you did so in your elbow. You should carry hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes with you for quick ways to clean your hands and surfaces. Also, try refraining from touching your face if you come in contact with unclean surfaces.

In addition to good hygiene, maintaining a healthy diet and frequent exercise will help boost your immune system. You should make it a priority to get the right amount of sleep to give your body time to rest and recover. If you do catch the flu this season, be sure to contact a medical professional right away to get proper treatment.

Outdoor Safety

If you don’t live in an area where it snows, you might be traveling elsewhere to experience the winter activities. It is important to wear proper layers when going outside in cold temperatures. If you plan on participating in activities like sledding or skiing, make sure to wear gloves and boots. While you are having fun and getting your heart rate up, don’t forget to stay hydrated and eat. It’s important to get the right nutrients when partaking in physical activities such as snowboarding or trekking through the snow. (more…)

Burn Care 101: Basic First Aid Vs When to Seek Emergency Treatment

Thursday, September 20th, 2018

Burns are some of the most common household injuries, so it’s important to become familiar with basic burn first aid and recognize when to seek emergency treatment. The good news is that most burns are minor and can be treated at home, but severe burns pose serious risks and complications. Educate yourself now so you can act appropriately in the future.

An Introduction to Burns

Burns are categorized as being first, second, or third degree. Everything from scalding liquids and fires to excessive sun exposure can cause burns on the skin.

  • First degree burns: affect the top layer of skin with redness, minor swelling and pain

  • Second degree burns: damage extends beyond top layer of skin, causes skin to blister and become very sore

  • Third degree burns: most severe burns that affect every layer of skin and turn skin a waxy, white color (more…)

Enjoy the Fourth of July but be careful around fireworks !!!

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2018

Injuries from fireworks are on the rise. Please remember to be careful if you plan to create your own fireworks show !
Following are some safety tips from the Consumer Product Safety Commission :

1. Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
2. Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.
3. Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Parents don't realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees - hot enough to melt some metals.
4. Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
5. Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
6. Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
7. Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
8. Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
9. Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
10. After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.
Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.

Did you know sparklers can burn at 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit ? Yet we often allow our young kids to hold these. They can easily cause burns.

Summer Sports and Injuries

Thursday, June 28th, 2018

Part I
Now that the kids are out of school and families are taking vacations we are all more prone to common musculoskeletal injuries from sports and just plain "horsing around" and playing in the yard.
One of the most common injuries we are seeing at this time of year is an ankle strain :

An ankle strain is an injury to a muscle or tendon in the ankle. An ankle strain is a common injury that occurs when the ankle muscle is stretched or torn. A strain is caused by twisting or pulling of the muscle or tendon and may be caused by playing sports, lifting heavy objects or an injury that causes the foot and ankle to twist inward.

Symptoms of an ankle strain may include pain, muscle spasms, swelling and bruising. The affected ankle is often difficult to move, making it difficult to walk and put pressure on the foot. An ankle strain may be diagnosed through a physical examination and X-rays may be performed to rule out the possibility of a fracture or dislocation. Most ankle strains can be treated through conservative methods such as:

Resting the ankle
Applying ice
Using compression bandages
Elevating the ankle
Taking anti-inflammatory medication
Going to physical therapy
Ankle strains usually heal within 2 to 6 weeks, and most individuals can resume physical activity at this time. Surgery is not usually required to treat an ankle strain. Taping or bracing can help protect the ankle after injury and also helps prevent future injuries from occurring. It is important to take extra precautions after an ankle injury, as some patients may be susceptible to recurring injuries.

Whenever there is doubt consider having a physician evaluate your injury and possibly obtain x-rays to rule out a fracture of the ankle.

Don't forget your sunscreen !

Thursday, June 28th, 2018

Sun damage can affect any area of the skin as a result of long-term exposure to the ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun. Sun damage most commonly occurs on the face, hands and arms, and may lead to sun spots, age spots, rough skin and wrinkles. Years of sun exposure can also lead to premature aging and skin cancer. Because of the damaging effects of the sun, adequate protection is essential in maintaining the long-term health of the skin, especially in the summer months.

In addition to avoiding the sun during peak hours and wearing protective clothing, sunscreen is one of the best defenses against the harmful rays of the sun. Sunscreen protects the skin against harmful UV rays and should be applied to the skin before engaging in any kind of outdoor activity.

It is important to choose a sunscreen that provides protection from all UV rays of the sun. UVA rays can prematurely age the skin, causing wrinkles and age spots and UVB rays can burn the skin. Too much exposure to UVA or UVB rays can cause skin cancer. The best sunscreen offers protection from all UV light. Sunscreens that provide protection from all types of UV rays are often advertised as broad-spectrum coverage. It is also important to choose a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15, which refers to the amount of time it takes the skin to react to the sun as opposed to unprotected skin.

To ensure that sunscreen provides the best protection from the sun, is beneficial to remember the following:

Apply generous amounts of sunscreen to the skin
Apply sunscreen at least 30 minutes prior to going outdoors
Reapply sunscreen at least every two hours
Reapply sunscreen after swimming or heavy perspiration
Apply sunscreen even when it is cloudy
With regular sunscreen use, people can reduce their risk of skin cancer, age spots, burns, premature aging and other forms of sun damage.

Ankle and Knee Injuries in Sports

Thursday, September 19th, 2013

Schools are back in session and that means kids athletics are here again as well. Unfortunately, what also comes along with sports are injuries. We have experience evaluating both kids and adults for sports injuries involving both the upper and lower extremities.

In football season we see a significant number of ankle and knee injuries as well as foot injuries.

It is always best when you are concerned that your child has pain in the knee, ankle or foot after a sports injury to have it evaluated. If they have swelling of the area and difficulty putting weight on the leg this could signify a broken bone. Kids also have growth plates, areas in the bone where growth is occurring. These are very susceptible to injury and damage if injuries go undiagnosed. The outcome can be abnormal growth of this bone following an injury.

Do not wait for pain in an extremity to go away if your child has difficulty putting weight on it. Come to us and let one of our physicians examine the joint and decide whether an x-ray is necessary. We have digital x-ray on site and our physicians have extensive experience reading these x-rays. If there is a fracture or concern about a broken bone we will place the patient in a splint to keep the injury safely immobilized until further specialist evaluation can be obtained.

With locations in Spring Hill and New Port Richey we have you covered.

Does my cut need stitches ?

Monday, July 29th, 2013

Wound repair is one of the procedures we perform frequently at Suncoast Urgent Care. When our skin is "cut" there is a risk of infection and there is always scar formation, that is the only way for skin to heal.

What is important is that a professional determine whether the cut needs to have stitches placed to help close the wound. If the wound is very small, or if it does not penetrate the skin too deeply stitches or skin adhesive can be avoided. Cleaning the wound thoroughly is the highest priority to minimize any chance of infection. Secondly, if the wound penetrates the skin completely the structures beneath the skin must be explored to ensure there is no injury to blood vessels, ligaments , tendons or muscles. After exploration and thorough washing of the wound it is closed with sterile stitches.

Closing wounds minimizes the risk of infection and results in smaller scars as it assists the body in going through the stages of wound healing that always follow an injury. By closing the wound the body has less work to do to heal itself by creating a line of scar tissue.

When there is any doubt about a cut it is always best to have it evaluated. We will also make sure your tetanus vaccination status is up to date.

Prior to wound preparation a cut is anesthetized (numbed) with lidocaine to ensure there is no discomfort while we clean and close it.

Some wounds can be closed with skin adhesive. This is a glue which can be applied over the wound. Your provider will discuss the pros and cons of glue versus stitches if they are both options.

A Warning to the "Weekend Warrior"

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

Are you a Weekend Warrior?  A Weekend Warrior is an individual who participates in sports at a level for which they are not in proper shape or physically conditioned.  A Weekend Warrior injury is what we call the injury that occurs as a result.

These injuries most commonly occur when adults who do not exercise regularly go out after work or on the weekends to play sports thinking “I’ve got this covered.”  Unfortunately, when we are working full-time and when we do not exercise regularly our muscles, tendons and ligaments lose strength.  Weekend Warrior injuries can occur when any part of our body that has not been exercised regularly is strained by the force of movement:  Shoulders, backs, and calves....no where is immune.

A common Weekend Warrior injury is a strain, pull or rupture of the Achilles tendon. That lay up that used to come so easily can pull the Achille’s tendon with such extreme power that an injury occurs; the pivoting and changing direction when playing basketball or tennis happens so rapidly that it may cause a rupture of the Achille’s tendon or strain elsewhere.

Studies have shown that the force put on the achilles tendon can be up to 10 times your body weight when performing extreme changes in direction. An achilles tendon that is "conditioned" can endure this force, but one which is not can quite easily rupture.

As the summer starts we want to remind all those Weekend Warriors out there to be careful as you head out to play with your children or friends.  It is  important to condition and strengthen before heading out to the courts, fields and beaches and to remember to start slowly and build endurance week by week.

So, be careful and smart as you head off to play.  Remember to start slowly and build up strength.  But, if you get hurt....Suncoast Urgent Care is here when you need us!

 

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