Viscosupplementation is the injection of hyaluronate into the knees to cushion them and provide lubrication. These injections are comprised of a thick substance with the consistency of jelly that helps to cushion the joints and lubricate them. Known as hyaluronate, this substance is a naturally occurring protein in the joints that is elastic and thick in young, healthy joints. Over time, hyaluronate may begin to degenerate and weaken, causing pain and discomfort. By injecting the lubricant directly into the joint, inflammation is soothed and pain minimized.
Did you know…
that hyaluronate injections have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration since 1997? Since its approval, viscosupplementation injections have been administered to millions of people all over the world for the treatment of osteoarthritis and joint pain. Viscosupplementation has been widely tested and is deemed safe with a very high success rate and low risk of side effects.
Viscosupplementation may be right for you if you suffer from chronic knee pain or have been diagnosed with osteoarthritis. Hyaluronate injections are an effective alternative to surgery for many patients, although it may take several injections to achieve desirable results.
Viscosupplementation is a quick procedure performed in the comfort of your providers office, taking only minutes to administer. You will lie on your back with your knee extended. An antiseptic will be applied to the injection site before the needle is gently inserted just to the side of the knee cap. You may experience some slight discomfort at the injection site. Additional injections will be administered weekly over a period of three to five weeks.
Viscosupplementation recovery requires very little ‘down time,’ although you will need to avoid placing pressure on your knee for long periods of time. Apply ice to alleviate soreness or bruising. You may find that your knee pain has subsided immediately following an injection. However, it is normal for results to continue to improve over the course of several weeks.
The skin is the body’s largest organ and is made of many layers. It is sensitive to both internal and external irritants and may become inflamed, infected, or injured when exposed to certain substances or extreme heat. Millions of Americans develop rashes, skin infections, and burns every year – many prompting visits to urgent care providers. Treatments are available to remedy these conditions and restore the skin to a healthy condition.
Did you know…
urgent care centers treat many types of conditions. Rashes, for example, are very common among patients of all ages and may appear on any area of the body for a number of reasons. The skin may also become irritated due to exposure to external substances, such as harsh chemicals or certain plants. Skin infections, on the other hand, are identified by isolated areas of the skin that are inflamed, hot, and tender to the touch. Burns are also common, resulting from exposure to hot water, the sun, fire, steam, or hot objects. Some patients may present with electrical burns or chemical burns.
Some skin reactions and minor burns are treatable at home. However, there are certain circumstances that warrant a visit to an urgent care center.
Burns are first graded according to their depth of penetration. Some minor burns will heal by simply keeping the skin moisturized. Burns that are more serious may need to be cleaned and dressed with an antibiotic ointment. The burn will need to be regularly re-dressed and checked for signs of infection.
Skin irritations may be caused by a number of sources, each of which requires a different type of treatment. Infections are common and generally require a course of topical or oral antibiotics. Depending on your diagnosis, you may be prescribed a medicated cream, lotion, or oral medication to help clear up your skin condition.
Warts and skin tags are skin growths that grow to the size of a few millimeters. Warts grow quickly, are bumpy, and are caused by the human papilloma virus. Skin tags, on the other hand, are simple overgrowths of flesh often found on neck, back, and in the armpits. Both warts and skin tags can be a cosmetic problem and may also become irritated as they rub up against clothing. Though some warts and skin tags go away or fall off on their own, it can take many months or years. Instead, many people choose to remove warts and skin tags during in a quick visit to a nearby urgent care center.
Did you know…
that between 7 and 10 percent of all people have at least one wart? Skin tags are even more prevalent, affecting 50 percent of all people at some point in their lives (usually during middle-age or later). Both warts and skin tags are considered harmless; though they may be an annoyance or a source of embarrassment for some people.
The choice to have your wart or skin tag removed is yours. However, doing so could boost your self-confidence and improve your overall quality of life – especially if your skin growth is located in a highly visible area or frequently becomes irritated by clothing, jewelry, or basic activities like walking. It is recommended that you see a providers about any rapidly growing or changing skin blemish to rule out potentially serious health problems, such as skin cancer. Never attempt to cut off a skin tag or wart on your own, as doing so could lead to excessive bleeding and infection.
Depending on its size and the method of treatment, your providers may first numb the wart or skin tag to prevent discomfort. Warts can be removed using a number of in-office techniques, including cryotherapy and laser surgery. Cryotherapy freezes the wart, causing it to scab over and eventually fall off. Laser therapy does the opposite – heating the wart with an intense beam of light until it burns off. Skin tags may also be removed by freezing or burning them, or your providers may remove them using sterile surgical scissors.
You can return home immediately after having a wart or skin tag removed. However, it may take several days for the excision site to heal. Your providers will provide instructions for post-treatment care and follow-up.
Athletes are at high risk for developing injuries – especially those pertaining to the muscles and connective tissues. Sprains are diagnosed in patients who have stretched or torn a ligament, whereas strains are identified by a stretch or tear in a tendon or muscle. Sprains and strains may occur suddenly, or they may develop gradually over time. It is important to seek urgent care for sports injuries to help reduce pain and accelerate healing.
Did you know…
some sprains and strains – such as those caused by falling on a foot or twisting a knee – are accidental and difficult to prevent. Others – such as those caused by lifting heavy objects the wrong way – can be prevented with proper training. The National Institutes of Health recommend stretching prior to physical activity, as well as wearing protective equipment during play to prevent sports injuries. It is also important to avoid overuse injuries by taking the time to rest tired and sore muscles.
You may have a sprain or strain in need of urgent care if you notice a joint or muscle is swollen, painful, weak, or bruised. By having your injury medically evaluated, you can rule out any other more serious injuries and determine the best course of treatment.
Your treatment will be contingent on the extent of your injury. In many cases, the injury requires compression using a bandage or cast. You may also be given crutches if your injury involves your knee or ankle. Some sports injuries require physical therapy to help reduce joint or muscle stiffness and restore full range of motion.
It may take a few weeks before your sprain or strain has fully healed. During the initial healing phase, you may be instructed to rest the injury and ice it several times a day. Over the counter pain medications may help with discomfort. As the injury begins to heal, you may be instructed to gradually resume activity, carefully exercising the joint or muscle without straining it. Be careful not to do too much too soon, as doing so could prolong your recovery.
Millions of people visit urgent care centers every year for treatment and repair of cuts and lacerations. providers have several ways of repairing a wound, depending on the type and extent of a laceration, its location on the body, and the ability of the patient to protect the cut during the healing process. Often, stitches are the answer – working to close wounds, manage bleeding, minimize the risk of infection, and achieve aesthetically appealing recovery with minimal scarring.
they are also known as sutures, stitches are medical thread used to shut a wound and secure it while it heals. How do you know when to visit a urgent care facility for stitches?
Keep in mind that some wounds require medical attention even if they do not need stitches. Examples include puncture wounds, lacerations caused by a rusty object, and wounds caused by an animal.
Yes. The first goal is to control the bleeding by applying firm pressure to the wound for several minutes using a clean cloth. Once bleeding is under control, rinse the wound with clean, cool water to remove any dirt or debris inside it. Cover the area with a bandage or sterile gauze until you can get to an urgent care facility. So long as bleeding is under control, it is safe to wait up to 12 to 18 hours before getting stitches.
Your providers will examine the wound for any debris. The laceration site will then be numbed and cleansed, and the edges of the wound pulled together. The stitches are threaded through to each side and tied off with a knot to hold them in place. The number of stitches required depends on the size of the wound.
It is important to keep the stitches clean and dry. You may also be instructed to change your bandage and apply antibiotic ointment periodically. Some stitches – especially those used for deep wounds – are designed to dissolve over time. Others will need to be removed within a 3 and 14 days, depending on the wound.
Acute health conditions occur suddenly, whereas chronic conditions produce symptoms that are ongoing. Occasionally, chronic illnesses produce acute conditions. Osteoporosis, which is a chronic condition, may cause a patient to break a bone, which requires acute care. Acute conditions can also occur independently of chronic illnesses. Examples include injuries, headaches, sudden chest pains, first-time asthma attacks, and contagious diseases like chicken pox. Sometimes, an acute health problem can lead to the discovery and diagnosis of an underlying chronic condition, such as cardiovascular disease. It is important to seek medical attention for any health complication, whether chronic or acute.
Did you know…
that approximately 1 out of every 2 American adults live with at least one chronic illness? According to the Centers for Disease Control, many of these diseases are highly manageable with medical oversight and lifestyle modifications. Acute conditions are also common – representing more than 350 million urgent care visits per year.
Yes. Both acute and chronic conditions can worsen and become potentially life-threatening without medical attention. Some conditions are more serious than others, but only a providers can determine the best course of treatment for you.
Acute health problems are often brought on by viruses, bacterial infections, or injuries. Treatment of acute conditions can vary from a prescription for an antibiotic to resetting a broken bone. Our urgent care center is fully equipped to handle many types of acute health conditions and symptoms.
The treatment of chronic disease requires periodic providers visits, as well as a combination of medical interventions and lifestyle modifications. The CDC cites four major factors – poor eating habits, smoking, alcohol consumption, and a lack of physical activity – as the primary components driving much of the chronic disease in America. By eliminating poor habits, adopting a healthier lifestyle, and taking medications as prescribed, patients living with chronic illnesses may be able to stabilize and even reverse their symptoms.
Electrocardiograms, or EKGs, are diagnostic tests used to detect, diagnose, and monitor many types of heart problems. They are designed to detect heart rate and record electrical signals as they travel through the heart. Not only are EKGs painless and non-invasive, but they are also performed relatively quickly and easily from the comfort of a providers office or testing facility.
Did you know…
Some people require a modified EKG due to special circumstances. For example, those with an irregular heartbeat may undergo testing outside of the providers office during a 24-hour period at home. Known as Holter Monitoring, these EKGs monitor heart rhythm while the patient keeps a diary of activity at various times during the day. For patients who have exercise-induced heart complications, an in-office stress test may be appropriate. These are EKGs administered while the patient is on a treadmill or stationary bike.
There are many reasons why your providers may suggest getting an EKG. If you have had a prior heart attack or are considered at-risk for future heart attacks, you may undergo periodic EKG testing to monitor the condition of your heart. Other reasons for getting an EKG include heart defects, irregular heartbeat, chest pains, and coronary artery disease. Your providers may also suggest an EKG if you have a family history of heart disease.
There is nothing you need to do to prepare for an EKG other than inform your providers about any medications you may be taking. You will be asked to change into a hospital gown and lie down on an examination table. The EKG technician will place electrodes on your chest and limbs. The test will begin shortly after, taking only a few minutes. During this time, you will be asked to lie very still and avoid talking.
Your providers should receive the results of your EKG the same day of the test. In fact, you may discuss them before you leave. If there are any problems, additional diagnostic testing may be necessary.
Ingrown toenails are nails that have grown into the soft skin that surrounds the nail bed. In many cases, it is the corner of the nail that curves downward into the skin. However, the entire side of the nail may grow into the skin as well. Many ingrown toenails can be resolved at home by frequently soaking the foot in warm water. However, some ingrown nails do not resolve with home remedies and instead require medical attention.
Did you know…
that ingrown toenails are a very common condition? In fact, 1 in 20 people get one every year. Both genders are susceptible to ingrown toenails, but women are most likely to develop the condition – often due to the strain placed on feet from narrow, pointed, high-heeled shoes. In most cases, it is the big toe affected by an ingrown nail.
You may need to visit an urgent care center if you have severe pain or swelling around one of your toenails. The toe may also be reddened and tender near the ingrown nail. It is important to seek medical attention for an ingrown toenail to ensure that it does not become infected.
If your toenail is only slightly ingrown, your providers may lift the nail, separating it from the skin using a splint. Standard treatment for a severely ingrown toenail involves removing the portion of the toenail that has grown into the skin. Your toe will first be numbed, and sterilized surgical scissors will be used to carefully cut along the nail. The providers will then dress and bandage the toe, sending you home with topical ointments and instructions for post-treatment care and follow-up. Your toenail should re-grow within a few weeks.
Yes. When trimming your toenails, cut them straight across instead of rounding them. You should also check your shoes to ensure there is plenty of room for your toes. Cramped toe space raises your risk of ingrown toenails.
An echocardiogram is a diagnostic test used to measure the heart, its chambers, and blood flow. The test uses sonogram technology to convert sound waves into visible images. This allows providers to evaluate the health of a patient’s heart and how well it can pump blood. Echocardiograms often reveal underlying conditions and abnormalities that could put a patient at risk of heart failure, stroke, or heart attack.
Did you know…
that there are several types of echocardiograms? The standard test, known as a transthoracic echocardiogram, is fast and non-invasive. Electrodes are placed on the outside of the body where they record sound waves in the chest. Stress echocardiograms are also minimally-invasive though they require images to be taken while the patient’s heart is under medically or exercise-induced stress. Transesophageal echocardiograms are more invasive, but provide the most detailed results. During this test, a transducer monitors sound waves from inside the body.
The only way to know for sure if you need an echocardiogram is by consulting with your providers. However, it is common for providers to recommend echocardiogram testing to patients with abnormal results from an EKG or those who have suffered a heart attack or stroke. An echocardiogram may also be right for you if you are experiencing chest pains, shortness of breath, or suffer from certain cardiovascular conditions like congenital heart disease, heart murmur, or pulmonary hypertension.
Standard echocardiograms require no preparation. If you are undergoing a transesophageal or stress echocardiogram, however, you will be instructed to avoid eating in the hours leading up to the test. During a standard test or stress test, special electrodes will be attached to your body. If you are having a transesophageal echocardiogram, your throat will be numbed and you may be given a sedative before a transducer is placed into your esophagus. You will either be sitting, lying down, or on exercise equipment depending on the nature of the test. Your providers or technician may give you special instructions during the test, which usually takes less than an hour.
The results of your echocardiogram will be available to your providers the same day as your test. Your providers may require additional testing or develop a plan for treatment depending on the results of the echocardiogram.
Fractures can occur in any bone of the body, causing pain, swelling, and immobility. Fractures can occur in people of all ages due to slip-and-fall incidents, car accidents, sports injuries, and any other traumatic impact. A fracture of any kind requires immediate medical attention to determine the extent of the injury and rule out the possibility of any other underlying problems, such as internal bleeding. In most cases, acute fractures can be managed and treated at a local urgent care center without the need for surgery or highly invasive treatment.
If you suspect…
you may have a fracture or break, do not attempt to reset or straighten the bone yourself. Doing so could make the injury even worse. Instead, take steps to immobilize the affected limb using either a splint and bandage or a sling. Apply ice to the injury to control swelling and help manage pain until you are able to get to your nearest urgent care center.
The only way to know for sure if you have a fractured bone is by getting an x-ray, MRI, bone scan, or some other diagnostic imaging test. However, there are some signs of fracture that signal the need for urgent care. They include visible deformity, pain that worsens under pressure, swelling, bruising, or loss of limb function.
Fracture treatment will depend on the extent of your injury and its location. Collarbone and rib fractures, for example, often heal on their own with rest and immobilization. Fractures to the limbs, however, may need to be set into place before being immobilized with a cast. You may be sent home with medication to help manage pain.
If you have a cast, you will need to wear it for several weeks while the bone heals. Smaller bones heal faster than larger ones, and people with simple fractures have a shorter recovery than those with compound fractures. The amount of time it takes you to make a complete recovery will also depend on your age. Most adults require about 6 weeks healing time for small bones and up to 3 months for larger bones. Children tend to heal faster than adults, taking only 4 weeks to recover from a simple fracture.