Attending The Fracture Clinic is a technique that you can refine! Fracture clinics are invariably busy and sometimes overcrowded. It is impossible to predict when delays are longer as fractures happen through the year- slipping on the ice in winter or falling as a result of being more active during the summer. So pay for extra parking!
It is advisable therefore to bring a book or magazine and expect a delay at the fracture clinic or outpatients department. Bring a toy if you are accompanied by a child. Frequently you may be seen by a doctor or nurse, then sent for an x-ray, then sent for a cast application and/or removal, sent for a repeat x-ray and reviewed again!
Wear loose accessible clothes to facilitate any examinations during the appointment, for example, a t-shirt, a short sleeve shirt, a tracksuit or a pair of shorts if possible.
If you have the x-rays or scans that were done at another centre, please bring these to your appointment. Sometimes even though a report on a scan or xray may be available, the doctor is always more reassured when you have the disc or films of the scan with you at the clinic. Furthermore, you should always ask how you want the disc of films handled- kept in storage with the medical file, kept by you, uploaded to the digital X-ray network or otherwise.
If you are on medication, it is advisable to bring a list of tablets.
If you are having a cast removed, the plaster technician will often use the cast cutter to do this. While the machine is noisy with a big metal blade on it, do not worry: the cast cutter is designed to shake as opposed to rotate so that it does not damage the skin, so do not worry!
Check out this YouTube video in case you or your child are worried about the cast removal …
Frequently patients leave the clinic and have forgotten to ask key questions or address issues that the doctor may not have considered. It is always worth writing these down as a memory aid.
You may be attending the clinic after an operation. The doctor may check your wound and you may need to have the stitches/sutures/staples removed.
Remember, if your cast is going to be removed for the last time, plan ahead and bring the other shoe!!!