Orthopedic walk-in clinics offer more convenience, fast care

Providers will see you right away for breaks, sprains and other urgent injuries

Senior Woman Runner Hold Her Sports Injured Knee Outdoors.

Sanford Health Orthopedics & Sports Medicine is giving the Sioux Falls, South Dakota, community an opportunity for faster care with its five walk-in clinics.

Verle Valentine, M.D. is a Sanford Health expert in athletic and activity injuries, specializing in both family medicine and sports medicine.

“The orthopedic walk-in clinic is designed to see patients with bone and joint aches or pains and get them on the fast track to great care,” Dr. Valentine told Sanford Health News. “From there, if they need to see a specialist, for example, foot and ankle or hand and wrist, we can set that up as well.”

Walk-in care: Find a Sanford Health walk-in clinic near you

Patients will likely be seen by an advanced practice provider — a nurse practitioner or physician assistant who can get you started.

Dr. Valentine said summertime is prime for injuries while people of all ages are outside and keeping active.

“These days, we’re getting ankle sprains and things like that,” he said. “Most people are outside being active, especially this year when there are less organized sports.”

But providers see a wide range of injuries all year including bone fractures, muscle or tendon strains, separated shoulders, broken collarbones, hamstring injuries or injuries impeding your ability to walk or hurt when moved or touched.

“If it’s a simple, treatable injury, certainly that may be the end of the road for your care,” he said.

Keep in mind, the walk-in clinic is available for all injuries and all ages.

“The majority of the patients that come and see us are not athletes and they’re not just the kids or the adults out playing sports. The majority are anywhere from little kids to 95 year-old patients who have aches and pains from whatever it may be,” Dr. Valentine explains. “We certainly would we see any patient, of any type, with aches and pains, sprains or strains.”

Convenience during COVID-19

While added safety precautions are encouraged during the coronavirus pandemic, hospitals and clinics are safe.

In fact, health care leaders stress the importance of not putting health care on hold.

Sudden, physical injuries can be hard to ignore. Dr. Valentine said that’s why these walk-in clinics are a great option for getting care when you need it.

“We’re asking patients to wear masks when they’re here and obviously the employees wear masks as well. So, I think it’s a safe place to be,” he said. “I certainly think if you do have aches and pains, you shouldn’t stay home and suffer and wonder if it’s a more severe problem. Please come in, and we’ll take care of it in an expedited manner.”

Care that hit home

Cody Breen can’t say enough good things about his experience at the east Sioux Falls walk-in clinic after a hand injury in 2019.

“I was sitting around a fire with my fiancee and one of my good buddies at the time,” Breen said. “I went to leave the deck real quick and I kinda stumbled off my feet and tried to try to catch myself in my garage and I injured my hand.”

He was certain he broke it near the pinky finger with the onset of pain that followed.

“I thought to myself, ‘It’s really starting to hurt,’ so I should probably go in to be seen.”

He walked into the clinic at 26th and Sycamore, explained what happened and was seen by an APP within ten minutes, got X-rays and the results fairly quickly.

“They said, ‘Yup, you broke your hand.'”

Breen was diagnosed with a fifth metacarpal fracture, otherwise known as the pinky “boxer’s” fracture. He was set up with a temporary cast and a follow-up appointment with a specialist who gave him a full cast within a few days.

He was pleased with the opportunity to visit a clinic close to home and be seen quickly instead of resorting to the emergency department.

“When things like that happen to you over the weekends and stuff, you don’t have to sit there and wait forever,” he said. “You don’t have to take time off of work. You can just go in there and just get seen right away and get taken care of. You know, even if they had to have a followup appointment for you, at least you can get majority of your needs taken care of right away and then see a specialty provider later.”

After six weeks in a splint and some recommendations by his doctor, Breen made a full recovery and credits the walk-in clinic for the ability to be seen right away.

“Overall, the care was fantastic.”

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Posted In Family Medicine, Orthopedics, Sioux Falls, Specialty Care, Sports Medicine

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