WXXI AM News

Broken bones? Orthopaedic urgent care clinics available in lieu of ER visits

Apr 9, 2020

 


With warmer weather in spring, a URMC orthopaedic surgeon says that injuries tend to rise as people become more active. But because of the coronavirus pandemic, orthopaedic patients are now encouraged to seek care at designated clinics rather than at emergency rooms. 

Credit University of Rochester Medical Center

Dr. Paul Rubery, chairman of the Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation Department at University of Rochester Medical Center, says specialized orthopaedic urgent care centers are expected to receive more cases, ones that would usually end up in emergency rooms.

"They can get that evaluation including the x-ray and including definitive treatment in a setting that’s away from emergency rooms and away from hospitals,” Dr. Rubery says.

He adds that those who are injured and seeking care should first call an access line (585-275-5321) for an over-the-phone evaluation of their injuries and to screen for possible signs of novel coronavirus. 

“Of course a broken bone isn’t minor when you have one,” he says. “At the same time many broken bones can be handled without going to the hospital.”

Rubery says that right now with the COVID-19 pandemic, people may be reluctant to seek medical care for fear of coming into contact with people who are sick. He stresses that both hospital systems in Rochester are taking extraordinary precautions to help protect staff and patients and prevent the spread of the virus.

"We encourage people who need to come to the hospital to be seen because there are many conditions in healthcare that can get worse if they’re ignored or if they’re set aside,” he says.

The clinics have been around for a few years, but now they are expecting to see an increase in more severe cases usually seen in an emergency room, which Rubery says the clinics are equipped to handle.