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Texas Orthopedics, Sports & Rehabilitation Associates

Monday, August 21, 2017

Visiting Urgent Care vs. the ER

If you’re sick or suffered a serious injury, where’s the best place to go for quick treatment? It used to be the ER at your closest hospital. But with an urgent care center on just about every corner, how do you know the best place to get treatment? And will they be any faster or less expensive? Those are the burning questions so many people have today.

Here’s a helpful guide to determine when you might need the complete care of an ER, or if a visit to an urgent care or injury clinic will be enough:

Broken Bones or Fractures

Urgent care: possible peripheral bone break such as a foot, ankle, wrist or finger. If you think you’ve suffered a broken bone, or other sports injury, Texas Orthopedics’ Urgent Injury Clinic is a great option for a walk-in with no appointment necessary, and X-ray, casting, and bracing services are available onsite.

ER: possible major bone break such as a leg, arm, hip, neck, or spine; or for a break where the bone is protruding through the skin

Stomach Pain

Urgent care: if you have a regular intestinal problem that is acting up more than usual, such as IBS, acid reflux, or an ulcer

ER: if you have quick, onset severe shooting pains, or cramping in the abdominal area

Fever and Vomiting

Urgent care: a temperature of 102.5-F or more if it persists for over 24 hours

ER: a temperature of 102.5-F or more if it also accompanied by sharp abdominal pain or cramping, or a severe headache; or if it’s a small child experiencing a very high temperature


Urgent care: a shallow cut where you cannot detect muscle tissue or bone

ER: a deep cut, or puncture wound, where bone is visible and it has not stopped bleeding after 15 minutes of direct pressure; also for an animal bite, you would want to visit the ER to determine if there was any exposure to a serious issue like rabies

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(Adapted from Women’s Health)

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