Where Do You Go When Your Child Breaks a Bone - What I Wish I'd Known

OrthoExpress in Chelsea, Alabama offers an alternative to the emergency room!

By Jess Searcy June 11, 2019

You know the scream that's different? Yes, that scream. It's the one that you can hear through the closed windows and walls of the house. The one that sends you flying out of your seat, stopping whatever you are doing and rushing to see what's happened. The scream that sends all Mama Bears into warp speed action. I heard that scream coming from my six-year-old, who was outside on the trampoline with his dad and brother, one day. I hope this story will help you learn from our mistakes. We were not prepared. Here is what I wish we'd known. 

I recently learned there IS an alternative to the emergency room. If only we'd known about OrthoExpress Urgent Care in Chelsea, Alabama, we could have avoided so much pain.

But, we didn't.

After hearing that scream, I ran outside and my husband said he'd heard Cole's arm slap against the trampoline. What he actually heard was Cole's arm... snapping. Not a fun thing to imagine is it? Mike brought him in, and I took one look and knew. It was broken.

We weren't sure what to do, so Mike took him to the closest urgent care facility. They couldn't help, so they were sent on to the nearest emergency room. Then they waited. And waited. And waited. While my sweet baby was in so. much. pain. And after all that waiting, they put on a temporary splint and told us we needed to make an appointment for a cast at an orthopedist within the week. WHAT? After all that waiting, how could this not be fixed NOW?!  As awesome as the staff at the emergency room was (by the time we made it to see someone), they simply did not have the equipment or expertise needed to cast a broken bone.

Cole with a temporary splint after his visit to the emergency room with a broken arm.

What you may not realize, is that a broken bone, or other similar injury, is not considered a life-threatening emergency. No matter what it may feel like. So, if you go to the emergency room, you may face extremely long wait times, while true emergencies get pushed to the front of the line ahead of your child. And this is the way it should be.

The next time I heard The Scream, it was Cole again. This time, he had cut his finger with a Swiss army knife (please don't judge, I know better now). I thought surely the nearest urgent care would be able to help us this time. But, nope. The sent us on to the emergency room again. And once again, we waited and waited and waited. He was finally stitched up and we were told to schedule an appointment with a specialist to evaluate whether he would need surgery for a severed tendon (he did).

As you probably can imagine (if you don't already know), waiting, while your child is in extreme pain, is excruciating. There's nothing you wouldn't do just to take the pain away. I remember wishing I could magic it over to myself. The waiting for the pain to be over is The Worst.

Next time something like this happens, we are going to go straight to OrthoExpress Urgent Care and skip the emergency room wait. I recently became aware of who they are and what they do, and became SO EXCITED. You mean there's a place you can go and get in right away? Where pain management is the first priority? Where you can get a cast applied to a broken bone that same day? I could not wait to tell you about them, so you can avoid the prolonged pain we experienced from long emergency room wait times.

Obviously, I hope we never have to go through an injury again. But with two active boys, I know that isn't likely. We aren't that lucky. But, what a tremendous RELIEF to know that OrthoExpress Urgent Care is there, ready and waiting for us, when we need them.

"Next time something like this happens, we are going to OrthoExpress!"

Why Go to OrthoExpress Urgent Care Instead of the Emergency Room?

  • Time Savings - Immediate care and pain management - OrthoExpress patients are usually seen and treated by an orthopedic specialized provider in under an hour including x-rays, and are accepted on a walk-in basis with no appointment necessary.
  • Money Savings - Less expensive - OrthoExpress accepts all major insurances and will only take your specialty copay, avoiding the more expensive emergency room copay.
  • Expertise - Treatment for musculoskeletal injuries, sprains and strains, joint pain, dislocations, back pain, carpal tunnel, fractures, tendon and ligament issues
  • Peace of Mind - Tell them you're on your way - OrthoExpress has a button on the front page of their website where you can let them know you are on your way and what to expect. When you click the button, you will be directed to a page with directions, a map, OrthoExpress' phone number AND a form you can fill out to get the process started even faster. I *LOVE* this!

I feel like there is so much more to tell you about OrthoExpress Urgent Care. This is just an introduction. Macaroni Kid South Birmingham is proud to announce that OrthoExpress Urgent Care is our newest major site sponsor. Caring about the community in which they do business, they are proud to support the work we do here at Macaroni Kid South Birmingham, helping you find your family fun! Thank you so much OrthoExpress.

OrthoExpress Urgent Care
Shelby County’s only immediate injury care clinic

Open M-F 10 am to 8 pm
and weekends 1 pm to 6 pm

104 Chelsea Point Dr
Chelsea, AL 35043
(205) 677-0001



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Macaroni Kid South Birmingham is a free weekly e-newsletter and website focused on fun family events and things to do with kids in the South Birmingham region. We gather together all kinds of local family events and activities each week, and add useful information about classes, family-focused businesses, book and product reviews, recipes, crafts, school and camp guides and more. We proudly serve families in downtown Birmingham, Mountain Brook, Homewood, Vestavia Hills, Hoover, Pelham, the Oak Mountain and 280 area, Helena and Alabaster.