Open Accessibility Menu

Signs You Have an Emergency Orthopedic Injury

  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Fox Valley Orthopedics
Signs You Have an Emergency Orthopedic Injury

Seeking Care for Orthopedic Injuries

While most orthopedic injuries can be watched for a few days to see if your symptoms begin to subside on their own, others require immediate medical attention. When you’re experiencing an orthopedic emergency, they are more serious and can result in more extensive damage if left untreated for too long.

Learn more about the signs that your injury may require emergency orthopedic attention and how the team of orthopedic Specialists at Fox Valley Orthopedics can help you address them.

When to Visit an Orthopedic Urgent Care

In many instances, there are orthopedic injuries that require immediate care. You can still skip out on the trip to the hospital and head to Fox Valley Orthopedics first to receive the appropriate urgent orthopedic care for your injury.

Broken Bones

In most cases, broken bones can be appropriately x-rayed, diagnosed, and set during an appointment with your orthopedic doctor. When you make your way into an orthopedic urgent care clinic, these services can all be offered in one place. The following symptoms may suggest that you have broken a bone:

  • Swelling and tenderness
  • Bruising
  • Visible deformity


Dislocations are orthopedic injuries that happen when the ends of your bones are forced out of position, typically as a result of direct force. Along with being visibly out of place, this injury may be accompanied by swelling and pain, affecting any of the following joints:

  • Shoulder
  • Ankle
  • Knee
  • Hip
  • Elbow
  • Finger

It is important to note that although this type of injury may not warrant a trip to the ER, it is still an emergency, and you should head into an orthopedic urgent care clinic as quickly as possible.

Completely Torn Ligaments

When your joint is forced out of its normal position, you can experience damage to the ligaments that help to support your joint’s structure. If you experience any of the following, you’ve most likely sustained a completely torn ligament and should make a trip to an orthopedic immediate care facility as soon as possible:

  • An audible “pop” at the time of injury.
  • Feeling tearing at the time of injury.
  • Experiencing muscle spasms surrounding the injury site.
  • Instability of the joint.
  • Inability to move the affected joint.

When to Head to the Emergency Room

Although orthopedic experts can handle many injuries at an urgent care facility, other injuries are much more severe and require more extensive treatment.

Severely Broken Bones

While most broken bones can be properly diagnosed and treated during an appointment with your orthopedic doctor, there are certain instances when you should go to the emergency department. Go to the emergency room or call 911 if you experience any of the following:

  • Your bone has broken through your skin.
  • Your limb is visibly deformed.
  • You experience numbness or loss of feeling in your limb.

Head Injuries

Hitting your head can result in some of the most serious orthopedic injuries, especially if you experience intense head or neck pain afterward. If you’ve experienced trauma to your head, it can result in brain damage, and you should be evaluated by a specialist as quickly as possible.

Immediate Orthopedic Care in Fox Valley

At Fox Valley Orthopedics’s OrthoFirst™, we can help you get back to a pain-free, comfortable life. Not only do we offer same-day appointments and care, but we also have onsite digital x-ray and MRI equipment designed specifically for orthopedics, as well as casting/bracing services available.

We offer walk-in and same-day appointments through OrthoFirst Monday – Friday at all three locations, and Saturday in our Geneva North facility. Call (630) 584-1400 today to learn more!