How to Know When to go to the ER if you Suspect a Broken Bone

If you have hurt yourself and think you broke a bone, you are likely worried and thinking about whether it will get better by applying ice and elevating the suspected broken area, or if you need to go to the Emergency Room. 

When you have pain and swelling associated with a broken bone, you don’t want to wait for hours at a big hospital ER. You don’t want to have to go to multiple locations for diagnostics and imagery. Visit the stand-alone Rice ER, located in the Rice Village/West University area of Houston, Texas, where you get the urgent care you need without the wait times associated with a hospital-connected ER. You can even check-in online.

We Have Top-Notch Facilities.

We have state-of-the-art facilities that are equipped with the latest technology. This allows us to provide the best possible care for our patients. We are happy to serve all of our neighbors living in Morningside Place, Southampton, Southgate, Old Braeswood, Braeswood Place, Sunset Terrace, Montclair, Greenbriar and Knollwood Village, Upper Kirby, and River Oaks.

Why Choose Rice ER?

Within minutes of arriving at Rice ER, you’ll be seen and treated by one of our caring Emergency Physicians. No more long wait times.

Insurance Coverage

Rice Emergency Room accepts all commercial insurances. We also offer medical screening examinations to evaluate all patients with a medical emergency.

Billing Questions

Rice ER practices no surprise billing. We bill your insurance directly. Our goal is to prevent unexpected charges. We work with you as an advocate.

Tell Us You’re Coming

Average wait times are less than ten minutes.

Is it a Sprain or a Fracture?

Sprains and bone breaks can be difficult to tell apart without diagnostic imaging. While the symptoms are similar, a fracture is a break in your bone, while a sprain is a soft tissue injury.

Sprains occur when the ligaments around a joint stretch too far or tear, often due to a fall or sports injury. Sprains can range from mild to severe and symptoms can include:

You can typically treat mild-to-moderate sprains at home with rest, elevation, and over-the-counter medication. Severe sprains might require surgery for proper healing and you may want to head to the ER to avoid further injury.

Symptoms of a Bone Fracture

In medical terms, a fracture is the same as a break. Fractures usually result from trauma like car accidents, falls or sports injuries. Symptoms of a broken bone include:

To confirm a fracture, you generally need an X-ray unless the bone is protruding through the skin. Severe fractures and sprains might also require an MRI or CAT scan to check for damage to other structures such as ligaments, tendons, and muscles.

Types of fractures

There are many different types of bone fractures. Treatment will depend on the type of fracture and its severity. Severity generally depends on the force that caused the break.

If there was only slight force, the bone may have been cracked and not broken all the way through. With greater force, like often occurs in a car crash or a gunshot, the bone may be shattered or broken in several spots.

Types of fractures commonly seen include:

Treatment for Bone Breaks

The bone needs to be restored as much as possible to its pre-break condition. Treatment depends on the severity of the break. Common treatments are:

When you Should go to the ER if you Think you Broke a Bone

While a walk-in clinic or primary care physician can treat some broken bones, you should head straight to an Emergency Room if you suspect you have one of the following types of fractures:  

Avoid Wait Time by Choosing Stand-Alone Rice Emergency Room

The stand-alone Rice ER is open 24-hours, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Rice ER provides all the same services available at a hospital-based ER but with a much shorter waiting period. At Rice, you will talk to a board-certified physician within minutes of your arrival.

Rice ER is fully staffed with board-certified physicians and specially trained registered nurses. The ER has all the necessary diagnostic tools, including imaging and laboratory testing, which allow for quick results.

Rice Emergency room specializes in getting you the urgent care you need without the long wait times or the need to go to multiple locations for diagnostics and treatment. If you need to be seen immediately, head to Rice ER.


24/7 – 365 DAYS

Do You Have A Medical Question? Call now to speak with one of our board certified emergency physicians or use our online  check-in below.

If this is a medical emergency call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.