When a sudden injury or pain occurs, it’s important to know where to turn for care that’s both specialized and affordable. With so many quick-service care clinics available, understanding where to go and when to seek treatment can be confusing, especially in circumstances where quick decisions need to be made.
We asked Dr. Jeremy Hunt to answer some common questions about what to do when an injury occurs, the differences between quick-service options and the benefits of our Walk-In Clinics. Dr. Hunt is a board-certified primary care sports medicine physician with over twenty years’ experience in orthopedics. As a Team Physician for Ball State Athletics and one of the physicians managing our Walk-In Clinics, Dr. Hunt has expert training in assessing a variety of orthopedic injuries and conditions. Read on to see what he had to say.
What are differences between quick-service care clinics?
Generally, the biggest difference between care clinics is the type of provider on staff to treat the injury. For example, most urgent care clinics and emergency rooms have general practitioners available to see a variety of illnesses and injuries someone may need treated for quickly. At Central Indiana Orthopedics, we staff our Walk-In Clinics with board-certified physicians and/or orthopedic specialists who have specialized training in musculoskeletal medicine; therefore, we are able to treat injuries related to bone, joint or muscle. Additionally, it’s likely at other care clinics, the provider will change during the patient’s journey of care. In most cases, our Walk-In Clinic patients will see the same provider from the initial visit to release of care.
What can patients expect at CIO’s Walk-In Clinic?
In addition to receiving care from a provider trained in musculoskeletal medicine, patients with a new orthopedic injury or condition bothering them within the last two weeks can conveniently “walk in” without an appointment or provider referral. Our Walk-In Clinics offer one-stop, same-day care for patients to receive a diagnosis and personalized treatment plan, as well as imaging and casting on-site. Should the patient need additional appointments, physical therapy or surgery, those services are often located within the building, making it convenient for the patient to return to the same location for follow-up visits.
What types of injuries are treated in the Walk-In Clinic?
Patients most frequently visit our Walk-In Clinics with sports or activity-related injuries, work-related injuries or any sudden pain or discomfort that doesn’t go away with rest. Common conditions treated include sprains, strains, pulled muscles, fractures, ligament or tendon tears, sudden intense pain or numbness, tingling or discomfort.
When should someone decide to come in?
Without assessing the patient and reason for visit, it’s difficult to answer this question. However, we typically advise that patients can skip the emergency room and wait until our Walk-In Clinic is open to seek treatment if the pain can be managed with over-the-counter medicine, the injury can be splinted and/or there isn’t an obvious deformity (like a bone sticking out and/or a dislocation – yikes!). If patients are able to wait, there will be significant time and cost savings by visiting our Walk-In Clinic vs the ER.
Why skip the emergency room?
As mentioned earlier, emergency rooms typically have general practitioners on staff to treat a broad range of illness/injuries someone may present with for quick service. In many cases, we receive referrals from local emergency rooms due to the patient needing more specialized orthopedic care. When you visit our Walk-In Clinics, you can feel confident that you will receive specialized orthopedic care from the initial evaluation to rehabilitation and release to full activity. Additionally, patients can save on average up to $2,000 by visiting our Walk-In Clinic vs the emergency room and wait times are typically much faster.
What is the wait time?
This is also a difficult question to answer because it can vary by the day, even the hour. We understand each patient’s time is valuable and make every effort to evaluate patients on a first-come, first-served basis. Due to the unscheduled nature of the Walk-In Clinic and the tendency to treat unexpected severe injuries, we triage as patients arrive. We can provide approximate wait times once someone is checked in.
Where can I find a CIO Walk-In Clinic?
Central Indiana Orthopedics has Walk-In Clinics located in Fishers, Anderson, Muncie and Marion. Before venturing out, we encourage everyone to visit our Walk-In Clinic page or call 800-622-6575 to confirm hours and find a Walk-In Clinic nearest you. Learn more at ciocenter.com/services/walk-in-clinic/.