Acute orthopedic complaints summed up:
Emergencies – hip dislocations and ankle dislocations with tenting.
Surgical Urgencies – open fractures, compartment syndrome, high pressure injection injuries (paint being injected into the soft tissue for example).
The majority of other complaints can be managed via:
- Splint, ice, ibuprofen/Tylenol
- Rest/non-weight bearing
- Follow up ortho (time for referral depends on the pathology)
99% of all orthopedic complaints I see are managed simply by “splinting and sending.” Do not over complicate it in the majority of situations. As always, use your own clinical judgement.