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To go to A+E about something that's neither an accident or emergency?

(152 Posts)
FiveSugarsPlease Fri 07-Jun-13 12:34:00

My right foot hurts. Really hurts, and has been hurting for three weeks.

At first I thought i'd sprained it and it would go away itself, but for the past few days, I've been struggling to walk for longer than 10 mins at a time.

I have no idea how it happened. Can't remember tripping or anything like that. I can just recall it starting to be a bit painful when I walked.

I've been managing to get around the past few weeks by tilting my foot slightly so that pressure is going to the outside of my foot rather than the sole. Pressing my foot, the pain seems to be in the centre at the top, about an inch below my middle toes. My foot has swollen, and my lovely summery flats don't fit. sad

I called the GP and asked if I could see a doctor today just to get it checked over. She asked symptoms etc and said it sounds like a sprain. The next appointment is 2 weeks time (and she made out I was lucky to be offered this, as most appointments have a 4 week waiting time).

Ideally, i'd like an x-ray or thorough check of my foot as soon as possible, as it could possibly be a fracture.

If I were to go to A+E about this today, will I be turned away/told to get a GP appointment?

It's not an emergency, as I can still walk (albeit painfully), and the pain's only present when I put pressure on my foot. When i'm resting, my foot just has a heavy feeling (because of the swelling) and I can't flex my toes.

It's not an accident either as I can't think what caused it.

In fact, it's so much of a non-emergency, I think I may even leave it until Monday if I decide to go, as I've left it too late now and would be late for school pick up.

More of a WWYD, I suppose.

MaxPepsi Fri 07-Jun-13 12:37:32

Find your local minor injuries unit instead.

They will x ray it and if nec refer you back to your GP for pain killers. When you then ring your docs tell the receptionist you have been referred by the hospital and they will find you an immediate appointment.

I say this with confidence as I did the same last week.

chimchar Fri 07-Jun-13 12:37:54

I think it sounds like a case for A&E.

Your Gp would probably send you as a precaution to get X-rays, to rule out a fracture.

I would go there, and now rather than later when the alcohol related injuries start to clog the place up.

And I say this as someone who doesn't do doctors or A&E!

chimchar Fri 07-Jun-13 12:38:39

Didn't realise about minor clinic.

I don't think we have one.

Sounds like a compromise.

YouTheCat Fri 07-Jun-13 12:38:42

Accident departments are way over stretched. Take the appointment and if it has stopped hurting you can always cancel.

If it hasn't stopped hurting you may get a referral for some physio or an xray.

Rest it. Elevate it as much as possible and get a support bandage on it.

JumpingJackSprat Fri 07-Jun-13 12:40:19

Can u ask your gp for an emergency appointment? Ususlly get triaged by a nurse on the phone and then they get you an appointment that day. at my gp anyway!

LunaticFringe Fri 07-Jun-13 12:40:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CMOTDibbler Fri 07-Jun-13 12:42:06

Don't go to A&E. But I think as it is swelling more, minor injuries would be a good place - they are brilliant in my experience

ubik Fri 07-Jun-13 12:42:57


Minor injuroes may not have an x-ray machine/fracture management - dare you call 101 or direct/24 just to check? silly to have a wasted journey and get sent to A&E anyway.

Withalittlesparkle Fri 07-Jun-13 12:45:42

I wouldn't go to A&E, you've already said its not an emergency! The last time I visited an A&E department the ambulances were actually queuing up to unload their patients!

Call your GP back and request another appointment, refuse to talk through your symptoms with the receptionist, they're not medically trained! Or try a drop in centre, minor injuries etc

olidusUrsus Fri 07-Jun-13 12:45:55

A minor injuries unit should have access to an X Ray. They will have fracture management, the two biggest injuries they deal with are lacerations and fractures. OP I would give them a call.

FiveSugarsPlease Fri 07-Jun-13 12:46:08


I'm not near any minor accident units, as far as i can tell; just had an online look (had never heard of them either).

Youthecat - I really don't think I can go on like this for the next two weeks though. I'm self employed, so can't take time off work to rest. Already taken too much time off this week and I need to make some money.

I can just about limp to my daughter's school (which is just around the corner) and back, but it's not a comfortable journey.

I had thought of the drunk emergencies over the weekend, which is why I think if I do decide to go to A+E, it will be Monday morning I go after dropping off DD at school. Much too late now as I have to get her from school at 3pm.

I was hoping to get something just to make walking more manageable, and to rule out any broken bones. I'll be okay over the weekend as I can rest then.

Sirzy Fri 07-Jun-13 12:47:42

I would go to minor injuries/walk in centre or push for a sooner GP appointment.

If you can wait for 3 days before going you don't need a and e

BoreOfWhabylon Fri 07-Jun-13 12:48:43

YWBU to go to A&E with this.

YWNBU to demand an earlier appointment with your GP. Speak to the Practice Manager. Also, what qualifications does the person you spoke to have to decide it 'sounds like a sprain'?

Most unlikely you have a fracture if you can't recall any injury. The foot is a v complicated structure and lots of things can go wrong with it but if pain and swelling are present then rest, elevation and painkillers is the way to go until you can get it properly examined.

MaxPepsi Fri 07-Jun-13 12:49:19

Where are you Five Sugars?

Minor Injury Units don't exactly advertise themselves. It's just something you get to know when you've had the pleasure of attending one, so there may well be one near you.

Birdsgottafly Fri 07-Jun-13 12:49:22

If you don't have a walk in centre/minor injuries unit with x ray facilities, then go to A&E.

My DD went to A&E yesterday, initially for advice, she works within walking distance, she had a severe migraine and they were happy to give her an injection.

I went to sit with her and it was really quiet. If it isn't to far away, go along.

My DD's friend had a fractured knee, but left it and now she is looking at a knee replacement (after many OP's) by the time she is 40.

crashdoll Fri 07-Jun-13 12:50:15

I do appreciate that it is painful and empathise with you but YABVU. If you are planning to go (!), then it really is not suitable. Insist on an emergency GP appt. You may get to speak to a GP on the phone and they might just send you for an x-ray.

FiveSugarsPlease Fri 07-Jun-13 12:50:39

Yes, it was a same day appointment I had called and asked the doctor for. But the receptionist said you have to call first thing in the morning for such an appointment, and they are usually all given away by 9 am (but the phone is constantly engaged!)

Feel silly now for considering A+E. I was there with my daughter seriously bleeding a few months ago (by ambulance - I thought she was going to die!) and here I am considering wasting their time with a dodgy foot.

I definitely can't work though until something is done. But I need to work. Could I try strapping it myself with something? Would that help it?

IKnowWhat Fri 07-Jun-13 12:51:13

You can search for a Walk In Clinic HERE just enter your town or postcode.

You can also use THIS to search for Minor Injuries Clinic. (Just type Minor Injuries Clinic into the search field)

Alternatively, Could you try calling your Doctor again and say you need an earlier appointment?

It doesn't sound like you should go to A and E confused

crashdoll Fri 07-Jun-13 12:51:28

There may be a walk in clinic near you. I don't have a minor injuries unit near by but they call themselves a walk in clinic and they x-ray.

TheSmallPrint Fri 07-Jun-13 12:51:30

Sounds exactly like my stress fracture. It probably wont show on an Xray til it starts healing. I was ent away from A&E twice with mine and it was incredibly swollen, painful and going numb! It was diagnosed by a referral from my GP to a foot specialist when it showed up on Xray.

Birdsgottafly Fri 07-Jun-13 12:51:36

Just to add, i apologised to the doctor for my DD, but they said that they look at it as preventative treatment, which in the long run does save money.

SybilRamkin Fri 07-Jun-13 12:52:06

Don't go to A&E, that is not what they are there for. Ring the doctor back, explain how much pain you're in, and tell them that you either need to see a doctor on Monday or you'll have to go to A&E because it's too painful to work with.

All GP's surgeries have appointments for short-notice things like this, don't let them fob you off! GPs are there precisely for this kind of thing. They might ask you to ring back at 8 am on Monday to book an emergency appt, which you should then do.

If the GP thinks it may be broken they'll send you for an x-ray, but at least then you'll have an expert opinion and won't feel guilty about wasting NHS resources needlessly. To

Really hope you get it fixed, sprains can be jolly painful and limiting. flowers. Put your feet up with a nice cup of brew.

TheSmallPrint Fri 07-Jun-13 12:52:16

Stress fractures can be caused by walking in heels, running or normal every day stuff btw, you don't need to have had an 'injury'.

Sirzy Fri 07-Jun-13 12:52:20

Can you not be on the phone first thing Monday morning to the GP to get a same day appointment?

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