Our Fracture Care Specialists Discuss Winter Injuries

COVID is on everyone’s mind but that doesn’t mean orthopedic injuries can wait! In fact, orthopedic injuries and complaints include some of the most common reasons for doctor visits nationwide.

At Orthopedic Associates of Hartford, we have two of the nation’s leading traumatologists who treat fractures and bone trauma, including the most problematic cases requiring advanced training and expertise. In addition, we have highly qualified specialists for fractures in different areas of the body who provide the highest quality care for any injury.

In the interview below, Dr. Stephen Davis and Dr. Michael Miranda share important information about injuries during COVID times, their unique expertise, and how to stay safe.

Are you seeing many injuries during this pandemic?

We have seen a lot of injuries during the COVID pandemic, because people aren’t traveling and aren’t gathering inside like they normally would. We’re seeing more injuries from outdoor activities, like mountain biking. We’ve also had a significant increase in car wrecks during the pandemic. Decreased traffic has led to more speeding, so we’re seeing more severe injuries as well.

We are also seeing a higher level of severity with regard to injuries. We are seeing a trend with many smaller hospitals referring patients on to the larger hospitals and more experienced fracture surgeons who are experts in fracture care.

If you are injured, why go to an Orthopedic Urgent Care Center?

We know injuries don’t always happen during business hours and our team is here for patients 7 days a week on nights and weekends. The benefit of coming straight to us is that patients get immediate access to specialists in musculoskeletal injuries.  

Orthopedic-specific urgent care allows for timely assessment and treatment of orthopedic injuries. We can splint or brace various injuries without delaying for specialty referrals, order MRIs or other advanced testing, and we can do this with shorter wait times than ERs. Occasionally, patients will need sedation or other more emergent treatments for which we can refer the patient to the ER, only if necessary.

To learn more about our urgent care services, click here>

Is it safe to come to Urgent Care during COVID?

Yes. We have the highest safety procedures in place. We screen patients, require masks, are limiting visitors, and have large waiting areas to ensure social distancing.

Coming straight to orthopedic urgent care has been found to improve treatment for patients, reduce the number of unnecessary doctor visits, and increase patient satisfaction. Especially during COVID, it is important to avoid unnecessary steps and limit visits to general urgent care clinics, doctors’ offices, or the ER. We offer one stop care for orthopedic injuries.

What are the most common injuries you see in an Urgent Care setting?

Joint sprains, muscle strains, finger and hand injuries, and knee and back pain are some of the most common complaints we see. Most injuries can be treated with rest, icing, anti-inflammatory medication, and physical therapy. 

We offer onsite x-rays so we can quickly diagnose the severity of the injury. We have onsite casting, if needed, and can also provide splints, braces, or other medical equipment. If follow-up is required, we schedule patients for priority follow-up with one of our 30+ orthopedic surgeons.

You both have specialized training in fracture care. How does that distinguish you?

A fellowship trained orthopedic trauma surgeon brings more experience, higher skill level, and more familiarity with the different ways to treat fractures. They typically treat more complex problems and, as a result, fairly straightforward injuries for an orthopedic traumatologist may be a challenge to a non-fellowship trained fracture surgeon.

As fellowship trained fracture surgeons, we have specific expertise in caring for and treating severe fractures, fractures involving joint surfaces, patients with multiple injuries, fractures that don’t heal well or are infected, and pelvic fractures.

Many orthopedic surgeons care for fractures. However, just as you’d want an expert knee replacement surgeon for your knee replacement, an expert in fracture care helps improve outcomes for a broken bone.

Why is it important to see someone who specializes in fractures?

While all orthopedic surgeons are trained to treat fractures, a physician with special expertise in fracture and bone trauma can understand the nuances and subtleties of complex fractures and this can make a distinct difference in the outcome of the care.

Five to ten percent of fractures in North America result in delayed healing, they do not heal, or they heal in a crooked position. This often leads to chronic pain, deformity, and loss of function of the extremity, and can create significant loss of function or income, as well as other health challenges for patients.

Surgery to stimulate healing or to correct poor alignment can improve pain and function. These are complicated surgeries and are best done by an expert in fracture care. Fractures can also become infected, which can require multiple surgeries to eliminate.

Do the other surgeons at Orthopedic Associates have specialized areas of expertise?

Yes. Our physicians are board-certified and fellowship trained in one or more orthopedic areas, providing the highest level of subspecialty care. For example, we have experts specializing in knee, hand and wrist, elbow, foot and ankle, spine, and hip. 

Because our group has subspecialty training in every area of orthopedics, we are uniquely suited to care for all potential orthopedic problems a patient may have. This way, our patients can feel confident that an expert is caring for their problems, no matter which body part is affected.

Any advice for avoiding winter injuries?

We encourage patients to exercise three to four times a week with low impact activities, take Vitamin D, and make sure to use common sense with winter activities.

Proper footwear is one of the simplest solutions for preventing injuries in winter. Crampons come in various brands and sizes, and can be slipped over normal shoes to gain increased traction in slick conditions. Yaktrax is a common brand available at many stores and online. Keep a pair in your car or nearby and use them whenever it looks icy or slippery outside.

What are Urgent Care hours?

  • Walk-in Urgent Care is available in Farmington & Glastonbury on weekdays from 4:30pm to 8:00pm, and weekends from 9:00am to 1:00pm.
  • We also offer same day visits for injuries during business hours. Call (860) 244-8888 to be seen that day by an available provider in one of our many locations.
  • Visit www.oahct.com for details.

How can patients learn more or schedule a visit with you?

People can visit www.oahct.com/brokenbones to learn more about our backgrounds and fracture care. To schedule a visit, please call (860) 549-3210.