Low angle close up of male patient's foot with a green cast and a crutch lying beside him.

Fractures and trauma

Care for fractures and orthopedic trauma

Whether you’ve fallen off your bike or been checked against the boards, almost everyone has experienced an accidental injury. And when you hear a snapping sound or feel a sharp pain, it may mean a broken bone. Over six million Americans deal with fractures every year, and being seen quickly after the injury is important. Seeking care right away can help manage pain and set you on the road to recovery more quickly.

At TRIA, our team of orthopedists and sports medicine doctors will guide you from the moment you arrive, explaining your diagnosis and working with you to develop a treatment plan. Whether you walk in to one of our orthopedic urgent care clinics or are interested in specialized rehabilitation programs, we can care for even the most complex orthopedic injuries.

"[My doctor] and her team were phenomenal throughout my broken ankle journey – surgery and follow-up care. They educated me and put me at ease every step of the way. They took the time to listen and guided me through questions about both medical and emotional side of things. I trusted their care and am thankful for the peace of mind they brought me. Amazing!"

Types of fractures and orthopedic trauma we treat

We treat all types of broken bones and sports injuries anywhere in the body, including:

  • Typical fractures and fractures that break through the skin (compound fractures)
  • Dislocations
  • Fractures that have healed in a bad position or are having difficulty healing (malunions and nonunions)
  • Spinal fractures
Why visit orthopedic urgent care

After a painful injury, waiting for an appointment isn’t always an option. You can stop in at any of our orthopedic urgent care locations seven days a week, no appointment needed.

We have the only orthopedic urgent care clinics in the Twin Cities that are staffed with board-certified, fellowship-trained doctors. When you have an injury that needs immediate attention, we can get you the orthopedic and sports medicine care you need under one roof, including splinting and casting, imaging tests, physical therapy and, when needed, orthopedic surgery. If your condition requires it, we’ll make sure you get the splint or cast you need during your visit.

Accidents can happen at any time. If you need help with an injury when our orthopedic urgent care clinics are closed, we can take care of you at one of our hospitals.

What are symptoms of a fracture?

Common symptoms of a fracture include:

  • A pop or snap reported at the time of injury
  • Decreased range of motion
  • Difficulty or inability to move or bear weight on an injured limb
  • Persistent or severe pain, swelling and/or bruising
  • Visible deformity
  • Weakness or numbness in the injured body part
Treating fractures and orthopedic trauma

When you need help with an unexpected injury, we’ll work with you to create a personalized treatment plan. We may recommend one of the following treatments:

Splint or brace

Orthotics like splints and braces hold the injured body part in place so it can heal. Braces are typically used to help heal a tear or sprain, and splints are most commonly used for broken bones. Braces can be used to reduce swelling and increase circulation by compressing the injured tissue.

Even though braces and splints limit motion of the injured area, you’re still able to move other parts of the limb while wearing them. And unlike wearing a cast, it’s usually okay to do some load-bearing activities.

Splints are generally not removable, but braces may be. A brace can be worn throughout the entire day and night, or during specific activities. The length of time you’ll wear a brace or splint varies depending on your injury.

Casting

When you think of treating a broken bone, you probably think of a cast. A cast is a hard shell made of plaster or fiberglass that supports the bone in order to keep it still and protect it from further injury.

Before the broken bone is covered with a cast, an orthopedist may set it to make sure it heals correctly. Casts normally stay on for four to 12 weeks, during which time you may need additional X-rays or other imaging tests. When your cast is ready to come off, it will need to be removed by a medical professional.

Surgery

We use surgery when an injury causes the bone to become unstable or displaced. During surgery, we’ll use plates, pins or screws to help stabilize the fracture and hold the bones securely in place while they heal.

Our orthopedic surgeons will determine the most effective way to surgically support your bone if surgery is needed. At TRIA, we’ll guide you toward surgery only when it’s the most effective treatment for you.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

The amount of time it takes for fractures to heal varies depending on how severe your injury is and the location of the fracture. Some fractures can heal as quickly as three or four weeks, while others may take several months to fully heal.

Even though it can take a while for your broken bone to heal, the pain caused by the injury will decrease significantly well before you’re fully recovered.

Diagnosing a fracture starts with a physical exam. In many cases, we’ll need to use imaging tests like X-rays, computed tomography (CT) scans and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to rule out sprains and strains. We can perform imaging tests at our orthopedic urgent care locations, if needed.

There are many different causes of bone fractures, ranging from medical conditions to accidents, including:

  • Conditions that weaken bones, such as osteoporosis, can make bones more susceptible to breaking
  • Sports and other physical activities, like rollerblading or playing on a playground, can cause orthopedic trauma and broken bones in people of all ages and physical abilities
  • Accidents like falls and car accidents often cause broken bones or other orthopedic trauma
  • Overuse, including overuse from repetitive motion, can cause stress fractures

We accept most health insurance plans, including Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, CIGNA, HealthPartners, Medica, Medicare, Medicare Advantage, PreferredOne and many others.

You can check with your insurance to see if your plan covers part or all of the services needed. Call the number on the back of your card for help looking at your options.

Don’t have your card in front of you? Here are member services numbers to help you get started: