What Types of Common Minor Procedures Does MedWise Urgent Care Perform?
Minor procedures differ depending on the health concern being addressed. MedWise providers are well-trained to perform the following minor procedures in our urgent care clinics: Laceration and wound repair, ingrown toenail removal, splinting of fractured bone, abscess incision, and drainage (I&D), and earwax removal.
Cuts, wounds and lacerations Repair
A laceration is a wound in which the skin is cut or torn. Depending on the size, depth, location, and shape of the wound, MedWise providers can repair lacerations with sutures, staples, liquid adhesive or adhesive wound closure strips. Treatment may also include a tetanus vaccination, topical antibiotics, and/or oral antibiotics.
A laceration with possible damage to tendons, ligaments, neurovascular systems, vision, and facial aesthetics may require evaluation in the emergency department.
Abscess Incision & Drainage
An abscess is a collection of pus, which is indicative of an infection. There are different types of abscesses that can present anywhere in the body. Symptoms may include a swollen lump under the skin, fever, chills, pain, redness, tenderness, and warmth. MedWise providers can diagnose skin abscesses and perform a small cut (incision) and drain the abscess, if necessary. Antibiotics may also be prescribed to treat the underlying bacterial infection.
- Swollen lump under skin
Ingrown Toenail Removal
An ingrown toenail occurs when the corner or edge of the toenail grows into the surrounding skin. It often affects the big toe but can affect any of your toes. Symptoms may include pain or tenderness, inflamed skin, swelling, redness, warmth, and drainage. Common causes include trimming toenails too short, injuring a toenail or wearing poorly fitting shoes. Treatment may include soaking the foot in warm water, manually lifting the affected toenail using floss or cotton, and prescribing over the counter pain relievers and/or antibiotics. For severe cases, a MedWise provider may numb the toe and perform partial or complete toenail removal.
Bone Fracture Splints
A fracture is a medical term for a broken bone. Fractures are often caused from trauma, such as motor vehicle accidents, falls or sports injuries. Symptoms of bone fractures include pain or tenderness, swelling, limitation in movement, bruising or discoloration, and a bump or deformity that isn’t usually present. MedWise offers digital X-ray services to determine the existence and location of a broken bone. Common types of bone fractures that we treat include the foot, ankle, hand, arm, elbow, finger, and toe. If a bone is broken, a MedWise provider will evaluate the type of fracture and recommend appropriate care and treatment, such as splinting of the affected limb.
A splint is a piece of material that is used to immobilize and support a body part. Splints are often used when an individual fractures a part of their body (e.g., wrist, arm, finger, or leg). A splint may be used to immobilize and support a specific body part throughout the healing process.
Common types of fractures we treat
Types of Bone Fractures
Although it is common to refer to broken bones by their placement (e.g., broken arm or broken leg), there are also different types of fractures. Common types of bone fractures include:
- Stress fracture: Also known as a hairline fracture where the bone looks like it has a crack in it.
- Partial or incomplete fracture: The bone is cracked but not completely broken.
- Complete fracture: The bone completely breaks into two or more pieces.
- Closed or simple fracture: The bone breaks but does not penetrate through the skin.
- Open or compound fracture: The bone punctures through the skin and is visible.
Because not all bone fractures are the same, treatment varies depending on the type, location, and severity of the injury. In some cases, a splint, along with rest will be sufficient, but other times surgery may be required. Simple fractures on bones such as a finger, wrist, ankle, or toe can be treated by a MedWise provider. Individuals with more serious fractures that require specialized or emergent treatment will be referred to an orthopedic specialist or emergency department.
If the broken bone is the result of major trauma or injury, of if you have a fracture with any of the following symptoms, go to the nearest emergency department or call 911:
- Pain is triggered by very little movement or light pressure.
- Heavy bleeding.
- You suspect a bone is broken in the head, neck, or back.
- The bone is broken in multiple pieces.
- Bone sticking through your skin or there is obvious deformity.
- The extremity of the injured arm or leg, such as a finger or toe, is numb or bluish at the tip.
Earwax (cerumen) acts as a self-cleaning agent and protects your ears from dirt and infection. However, sometimes earwax can build up and cause problems. Symptoms of cerumen impaction may include decreased hearing, clogged ear sensation, minor discomfort in one or both ears, ringing in the ears, and dizziness. If MedWise providers determine that you have an earwax impaction, we can manually remove the excess earwax or perform ear irrigation. This involves gentle pulsations of warm water into the ear canal to break up the impaction. After the earwax removal, our providers may also discuss at home treatment options to help prevent future occurrences.
- Decreased hearing
- Clogged ear sensation
- Minor discomfort in one or both ears
Foreign Body Removal
A foreign body is an object stuck in the body that has been introduced from the outside. When you have been punctured by an object and its remnants remain in your body, it is important that the wound is explored by a provider to try and retrieve the foreign body before infection and complications occur. While some foreign bodies can be removed easily (e.g., splinter, pencil lead, or glass), others may require surgical intervention. The decision to remove a foreign body is based on symptoms, risk of complications, or if the object is causing pain. The removal process depends on where the foreign body is located and what it is. Many foreign bodies can be removed by a MedWise provider, but dangerous objects lodged internally or deep within the skin may require surgical removal.