4 Reasons a Walk-In Physician Is Beneficial for Your Student Athlete

4 Reasons a Walk-In Physician Is Beneficial for Your Student Athlete

Being a parent to a student athlete makes for an exciting, busy and sometimes nerve-racking life. Watching your athlete run past home plate, catch the winning touchdown or spike the ball over the net is exciting—but when it comes to sudden injury, your heart probably skips a beat.

Luckily, the services of an orthopedic walk-in clinic can be a big help in remedying this. Here are four reasons why.

At-the-Moment Convenience

Having kids can fill up a schedule fast, but having student athletes can fill up a schedule even faster—especially when it comes to injury. Luckily, orthopedic walk-in offices are often available to you when injuries occur—after regular clinic hours. Orthopedic Institute’s (OI) walk-in hours range from 3 to 7 p.m., weekdays and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., on Saturdays, so you can rest more easily that specialists are ready to care for you student athlete in a timely manner. OI also hosts morning student-athlete clinics on the third floor of its facility Saturdays through Oct. 21, 9-11 a.m. You can check in your student athlete between 8:30 and 10:30 a.m.

Prevent Emergency Room Bills

Having student athletes can get expensive—from paying for equipment to the gas to drive them to practice or attend games—but injuries don’t have to be. Emergency room bills are an expense you can sometimes cut by seeing a walk-in physician for non-emergency situations. Sprains and fractures are not uncommon for student athletes and can be treated by one of OI’s walk-in physicians and can save you the ER visit.

Cut the Middleman

While an ER is always available, moderate or non-severe injuries might not get preferential treatment on being seen when emergency medical situations are present in other patients. If you are not the highest-risk patient in the waiting room, you will likely see a longer wait time. And if your student athlete is referred to a specialist, an appointment may not be available for a few days following your ER visit. OI’s walk-in clinic is designed to handle these types of injuries and offer direct contact with an orthopedic specialist when you stop in. 

See a Specialist

Speaking of specialists… Two common injuries athletes suffer from are sprains and knee injuries—physicians at OI are specialized in sport injuries, with physicians that can treat ACL and other knee injuries, as well as foot, ankle, hand, wrist, elbow, back, neck, shoulder and knee injuries. When your athlete gets hurt, go somewhere that offers specialization to ideally see a faster recovery time.

5 Benefits of an Orthopedic Walk-In Clinic

5 Benefits of an Orthopedic Walk-In Clinic

Injuries and illnesses don’t always occur during business hours – but heading to the ER can be expensive and time-consuming. That’s why walk-in clinics are so great! Where else can you get high-quality care, with less wait, without an appointment? That being said, not all walk-in clinics offer the same types of care.

If you suspect a muscle, bone or joint injury, here are five benefits of an orthopedic walk-in clinic.

1. Specialized expertise

Primary care walk-in clinics are staffed with general practitioners for good reason. They see everything from colds and flu to chest pain and eye infections. An orthopedic walk-in clinic, on the other hand, specializes in bone, muscle and joint injuries. A medical specialist, with extensive training in orthopedics, will look over your injury and carefully evaluate the situation.

2. Coordinated follow-up care

Whether you’ve broken a bone, torn a rotator cuff, hurt your back or one of any number of orthopedic injuries, odds are your primary care physician will refer you to an orthopedic specialist for follow-up care. From initial diagnosis to ongoing care, starting the process at an orthopedic urgent care clinic is like cutting out the middle man. No need for unnecessary appointments.

3. Less expensive than the ER

Emergency rooms are for critical and life-threatening situations. If your orthopedic injury can’t wait, but it’s not life-threatening, save yourself the expense (and the long wait times) of an ER. Just like hospitals, an orthopedic walk-in clinic has the ability perform X-rays, MRIs, and other procedures. And because most are an extension of an orthopedic practice, the cost savings over an ER visit are substantial.

4. “What if” sports injuries

Any athlete, or parent of a student athlete, knows the drill… something hurts, but it’s (probably) not broken. The coach says, “tough it out.” A friend says, “ice it.” These types of “what if” sports injury situations occur everyday—and more often than not, athletes try to play through pain. But what if they end up injuring themselves worse? Good news! An orthopedic walk-in clinic can help diagnose the issue in a timely manner so they can start their recovery right away.

5. Hands, wrists, elbows, feet, ankles, shoulders, necks and backs

If you’re thinking “that’s just a list of body parts that could be giving me pain on any given day,” you’re right. Orthopedic walk-in clinics specialize in bone, muscle and joint care. When you experience a sudden injury or pain that can’t wait, skip the primary care clinic or ER and go straight to the experts.

Orthopedic Institute is proud to offer two OI Now walk-in clinics in Sioux Falls and Yankton. We’re here for you and your family, no appointments or referrals necessary unless required by your insurance.

4 Key Benefits of Going to an Orthopedic Walk-In Clinic

4 Key Benefits of Going to an Orthopedic Walk-In Clinic

Whether it’s scheduling, varying degrees of urgency or fear of price tags, dealing with orthopedic emergencies or non-emergencies can be tricky. Thankfully, orthopedic walk-in clinics provide an option for those acute injuries and pain and they don’t require an appointment.

Here are four key benefits of an orthopedic walk-in clinic, a feature that Orthopedic Institute (OI) happens to offer.

Avoid Unnecessary ER Visits

Not every injury is alike. That’s why some minor, non-emergency injuries that require treatment but may not be urgent enough to foot the bill for an emergency room visit can be dealt with thanks to orthopedic walk-in clinics. Say you experienced a knee sprain or fracture during an evening sporting event—you may be more inclined to take this condition to an orthopedic walk-in clinic than to a potentially pricey emergency wing of a hospital.

Be Seen After Hours

Speaking of time of day, one of the biggest benefits of orthopedic walk-in clinics for daytime workers is the ability to be seen after hours for spur-of-the-moment issues such as flare-up pain, dislocation, fracture or muscle spasm that is causing loss of sleep. Timing may vary from clinic to clinic, but these walk-in-style situations will typically offer hours both after 5 p.m. on weekdays and on weekends for added availability. For example, OI’s own walk-in clinic in Sioux Falls provides weekday hours from 3 to 7 p.m., and Saturday hours from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.  In Yankton, we see patients Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Reduce Costs

It can be expensive to see a doctor in an immediate situation. Luckily, walk-in orthopedic clinics often provide flexible hours for more immediate care in cases of injury or sudden pain. Better yet, specialty clinics such as OI have the equipment available for treating these types of injuries—which isn’t always true of a general walk-in clinic. These general clinics may be able to diagnose and offer minimal services and pain relief but will often times require a referral to follow up with a different clinic or physician.

A walk-in clinic at a specialized healthcare provider such as an orthopedic clinic can offer you highly personalized care that a general urgent-care clinic may not be able to provide—not immediately, at least. OI’s walk-in clinic puts you in front of an orthopedic health professional from the get-go to meet your specific needs.

See the Right Healthcare Providers

One of the key benefits of an orthopedic walk-in clinic is that, if you need to be referred to a specialist, such as a hand, foot and ankle, or back specialist, a walk-in clinic healthcare professional can supply you the connection you need to be seen by the appropriate people, often in a timelier manner than you may expect. OI’s team consists of a variety of caregivers, from physical and occupational therapists to interventional pain management services to orthopedic surgeons, so you have comprehensive orthopedic care at your disposal.

Ready to Be Seen?

Click here for details on how to be seen at OI’s walk-in clinics, OI Now.