Fell off Bike and Doctor Told Me to Get X-Ray - What Do You Guys Think I Should Do?

Hi Guys,

I just recently fell off from my bicycle two days ago, a few brushes, and cut. But now my left hand is so pain when I move it around I can't even lift my MacBook Pro.

I went to see GP and the doctor take a look they charged me $80 which Medicare will refund $35. The doctor only told me to do x-ray at some other place. I live up North Shore.

What do you guys think i should do in this instance?

Thank you

closed Comments

  • +91

    Go to emergency at hospital? They will x-ray on the spot and get it sorted quickly.

    • +19

      this comment. also free.

      • +111

        Crowd source healing "thoughts and prayers" from the Ozbargain community will fix it. I can also happy clap for you.

        • +10

          Maybe start a go-fund-me page. People do that for just about anything these days lol. Pay for your doctor's and X ray 😆

        • +1

          Clap for mac book Pro user too

        • +2

          I'll do Jazz Hands

      • +4

        We've paid for it with taxes, it's not free.

      • -1

        Free COVID if you goto hospital.

        Just get it x-rayed ffs.

    • +58


      Any time I've been to Emergency, the wait time to be triaged can be 30 minutes to one hour and then can be hours to actually be seen by a doctor, hours waiting for test results, hours to see the doctor again to discuss test results…hours to get treatment…have typically spent at least 4 to 6 hours or more there per visit.

      • +30

        Similar total time to making, driving, and attending multiple GP and x-ray appointments? But instead of it being spread over days, it's done in one go.

        • +3

          and FREE

        • +3

          This is why we can't have nice things…

          The emregency room exists for emergencies.

      • +53

        Yep, you'll be triaged when you arrive at ER and for something like this it's the lowest priority so you'll be waiting several hours to be seen then more time waiting for x ray then more again for it to be reviewed and finally speak to a doc again. All the time surrounded by genuinely sick people which given the current situation just seems like a bad idea on it's own.

        • -3

          A possible broken wrist isn't genuine? Everytime they move or bump it they could be damaging it further.

          • +102

            @iamherenow: Everyone I’ve known that worked in emergency has said if you’re well enough to go to a gp you should be going to a gp and not emergency.
            It happened 48hrs ago, doesn’t sound like an emergency to me.

            • -17

              @mapax: An injury can get worse over time, what you think wasn't that bad when the injury occurred can be seen as an injury requiring emergency medical treatment within 24-48 hours. Urgency does not necessarily determine if you need to go to emergency or not.

              • +6

                @garetz: look up the definition of "Emergency" please

              • +10

                @garetz: I've made fractures wait 6 hours for a consult… Unless it's spinal, orthopaedics aren't usually considered emergencies. Even the most serious fractures aren't going to kill you, and another several hours aren't going to affect the long term functionally, especially if the OP has already waited several days without issue.

          • +38

            @iamherenow: It's not an illness, it's an injury and it's clearly not serious given it's been days and OP is still debating following doctors advice. The person sitting next to you isn't suddenly going to catch a broken bone from you but you may well catch something from them. Given the current situation I'd go with the quicker and less crowded option rather than ER.

          • +8

            @iamherenow: It's not that possible broken wrist isn't genuine… but in terms of emergency it's so far from life and death that plenty of people will be above you on the waiting list.

            Usually broken in to five categories of "emergency" - need for resuscitation, emergency, urgent, semi-urgent, non-urgent. A broken wrist will fall all the way down to non-urgent… so anyone in the four categories above you is going to be seen first.

            It's a good thing. The lower your category the less chance you have of dying. Your non-urgent category means it's highly unlikely you'll die in the next 24 hours… unlike the guy who needs resuscitation now :)

          • +1


            • Bleeding
            • Breathing
            • Bites
            • Burns
            • Bones

            So, last on the priority list.

        • +4

          You’re right - but at the same time ED has whole areas and workflows for these types of injuries ie ‘minors’. Very often they’ll have nurse practitioners and specialist physios dedicated to these patients.

          Unfortunately the primary care system is very poorly set up for fractures, e.g. you go to the gp, then get an X-ray, then go back to the GP who might not have the resources/time to cast it or will refer you on to a private physio or surgeon for $$$ or just send you to ED after all of that.

      • +81

        Emergency is slow because of people like OP who go there for non-emergencies.

        • +4


        • +10

          The Medicare cuts the Morrison/Liberals have just brought in on July 1 will only increase emergency visits.

        • +2

          You say that, but my GP told me to go to hospital with a broken arm a couple of years ago because the X-Ray place was closed for the weekend, so there's sometimes a necessity to visit the ED for things that aren't quite "emergencies."

          • @barcer: I was told by the doctor to go to emergency for stitches.

            • +1

              @poohduck: That’s pathetic. Every doctor should be able to suture.

              • +2

                @diazepam: They can do it… just tricky to get it done in the 10 mins that the doctor allowed for your appointment ;)

          • @barcer: Thank you for finding an exception to the rule.

          • @barcer: Your GP has assessed it as an "Emergency" in that if not properly diagnosed within 24Hr it may not heal properly. Nothing wrong with that just a shame there isn't a better system in place to deal with it than the ED.

        • If you have come off your bike and have possibly broken your wrist then the ER is exactly where you should go.

          • +3

            @trapper: He has already seen a GP and been told what to do. He doesn't need emergency medical treatment.

            • @wanderlei: I mean he should have just gone there in the first place, not so much point now.

          • @trapper: He has seen a GP.

      • +8

        Yeah, it is definitely faster to go to the GP, then post about it on OzB, then to wait for the results and finally perhaps going to get an x-ray.

    • +37

      Do not fill up waiting rooms with non emergencies, as this is for SlavOz use only - Using the emergency room as a GP?

      • +4

        OP, might meet him there?

        Next post from SlavOz, “I saw some guy looking completely fine in ED, can’t see anything wrong with him and I’m there because I have an emergency.”

    • +10

      Lmao quickly? Shouldnt clog up emergency for stuff like this.. have been there 6hrs on more than one occasion.

    • +1

      Take a very strong light and put it behind your hand, you should be able to see if there are any broken bones.

    • -5


      I expect most GPs don't have the facilities and expertise to cast nowadays

      An ed / physiotherapy job

      • +5

        FYI this isn’t correct, most gp’s do, and Physio’s won’t help with this. Maybe thinking of an hand OT perhaps?

        • No. Physiotherapist.

          Definitely physics doing casts in my LGA and GPs not doing them. Younger GPS especially don't have the time or expertise. Pay is trash too.

          Answer is correct.

          • +2

            @mdavant: Yes, physiotherapists can diagnosis and treat fractures and other musculoskeletal injuries. They need specialist training to do so. In the emergency departments I work in they have a physio on duty to see these type of injuries, quicker and faster (and cheaper for the hospital). In my experience the physios know more about the correct treatment and management of these injuries than the doctors do, as this is all they do. They often run tutorials for the doctors on casting and management of msk injuries

          • +5

            @mdavant: I work at a GP, we definitely do casts.

            But I'm sure there are many who don't bother

            • -4

              @cheesecactus: I personally know many Gps who do not cast. I stand by my original statement.

      • Wow I love being negged, considering I am probably one of the most qualified person in this thread to have an opinion on this question. Opinion vs expertise.

        GPs in general do not do casting. Yet people here who don't work in health seem to think that they do

        • +3

          I'm a GP.
          I do casts for fractures.

          • @Flyingdoc: I know gps who cast.

            I know more who do not cast.

            What is your experience of this.

            • @mdavant: it's more often not a matter of expertise but remuneration. casting is easily done by an intern (casting well and appropriately on the other hand is a different matter). a lot of GPs aren't set up for plasters and fracture management because medicare removed the payments for those procedures. doing a plaster will set you back at least 30min with no medicare rebate, in some cases after subtracting equipment and facility fee you are barely breaking even. and patients who have poor understanding of how medicare works will abuse clinics that attempt to charge privately or just choose to go to ED. therefore a lot of GPs don't do them nowadays which is unfortunate.

          • @Flyingdoc: Weighing in here with a very small sample. Broke my arm on two separate occasions. Both times went to a bulk billing GP and both times they referred me to ED.

            Can GPs actually reset the bone and cast? Had to go under GA both times.

            • @Xastros: Fractures vary - some are undisplaced (ie the bones are still aligned) and immobilisation via cast is all that's needed. Many GPs can do this. Other fractures needs to be put back in place - via local or general anaesthesia.

              GPs vary - some have the equipment and skillset to 're-set' under local. Some even have hospital access to do it under GA. Many GPs do not.

              Clinics vary - a bulk-billing clinic is (solely) relying on Australia's public health insurance (ie medicare) to fund the time and equipment/materials/nursing support to do this work. Generally speaking, medicare's funding is inadequate and so the bulk-billing clinic refers to systems that are funded.

              • +1

                @Flyingdoc: Thanks mate. Clears things up. Totally understand about Medicare. Even the standard consult rebate is only $40.

            • @Xastros: anything that involves GA will need to be done in hospital

        • Was referred to physio by my GP, He mentioned he had treated my GPs son for a "sprain" as diagnosed by the GP.
          Said it took him about 2 minutes to determine it was probably a fracture not a sprain. I imagine a slightly embarrassing discussion with Dr Dad followed. Don't know if there was any imaging but you'd have to wonder why if not?

      • Based on this I assume it is based on individual clinics. My physio did mine, GPs did shit all.

    • +15

      emergency is not fast at all, you'll spend about 4hours in waiting room since broken hand is low-priority. then there's another few hours for the xray report to come out. much better off going to private radiography

      source: I work in emergency, please save emergency for actual emergencies

    • How good is universal healthcare!

      • Awesome for serious medical conditions, like cancer.

    • +5

      This is not an emergency

    • +11

      Well no. Is this really necessary to attend Emergency? No it's not.

      You're not too sick to go the GP, who refereed you to the xray clinic and not ER.

      This is an example of why ER is busy with non emergency things.

      Follow your GPs advice and keep the Emergency room free for those that need it.

    • +5

      Your comment is the reason why our hospitals are overburdened.

    • +6

      This is exactly the opposite of what you should do. An ED visit costs the tax payer hundreds if not thousands of dollars. It is significantly more expensive to go to ED than to get an XR via your GP and get a cast put on. Please don't do this.

    • Dude, you only go to the hospital if you're literally so unwell that you are concerned. Not for a sore hand… This is like the 101 of A&E

    • +1

      Quickly? Maybe after a 6-8 hour wait depending on who else is in the waiting room.

    • +1

      You can actually take the request to the medical imaging department in most hospitals and have it done there. Bulk billed and won't need to wait in emergency.

      Most radiographers should send you to emergency if it's obviously broken. They might not want to tell you anything specific since that's kind of not allowed, But you can just say my gp said if it looked like anything I should go to emergency.

      Going back to the same doc for results is annoying if it's not bulk billed so that's an easy way if figuring out if anything serious. Then if it still hurts you can just go emergency or a different bulk billing clinic
      The wait can be a while at emergency.

    • Good advice, although if in Hobart it's not so "On the spot". I waited from 3pm until 4am the following day (13hrs) before they found time to do an x-ray. It was all a bit weird considering the triage was empty for the last 4 hours of that wait time… And then I went on a 4 year wait list for surgery. When I finally got in for surgery, they said their systems are pretty bad and I should have called repeatedly every fortnight, otherwise they assume you've left the state or self healed!

  • +43

    Next time find a bulk billing GP (if you can) and it won’t cost you anything.

  • +37

    Take the x-ray referral to an bulk bill x-ray/imaging practice and have it scanned there. Hospital might have that too.

    I live up north shore.

    Where is that in Adelaide?

    • +1

      Sounds like NSW…

      RNS is nearby, St Leonards?

    • Seems like they are in Sydney https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/610015

      • +2

        Must have not got advice to update his location in his profile on his MacBook Pro, which he no longer able to lift with left hand.

        • +2

          What would Siri say?

          • +5

            @holdenmg: Hey Siri I think I might have broken my hand falling off bike what should I do?

            "Go on ozbargain and get advice there". "oh and get some eneloops and a series 6 Bosch dishwasher, a nvidia 3070, quantum dishwasher tablets, a big ass TV, ps5, a new phone, some random female undergarments and a new belt"
            "And stop paying 40 bucks for sound medical advice"

            • +2

              @mdavant: Wrong!

              You're supposed to hold off on the 3070 because the prince will come down soon.

    • Aint no bulk biling imaging practices (or other medical paractices) across large swathes of the country, especially in high business cost places - including lots of Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra. The reason is pennypinching with the Medicare rebates which makes bulk billing economically unviable.

      Which immediately causes EDs in those places to get massively overused by people who can't afford (or are unwilling to afford) any services other than bulk billing ones.

      Which, among other things, costs the taxpayer more than decent bulk billing rebates would.

  • +68

    What do you guys think i should do in this instance?

    4 options.

    1) Ignore Doctor, put up with pain and possibly lose some usage of your hand and possibly arthritis at a future date.

    2) Get the recommended x-Ray ASAP. Your health is more important than saving a few dollars.

    3) Consult with the specialists on OzBargain.

    4) Sell your MacBook Pro.

    • +29

      I vote 4. No need to worry about lifting your MacBook Pro if you don't have a MacBook Pro

      • +2

        And with 4 they can recoup their losses by seeing the doctor who apparently provided bad advice. Win win.

      • +2

        This is a sensible approach, can always downgrade to a non Pro MacBook as they're smaller and lighter

        • +1

          Yes, apple product is not meant for people who asked this question in ozbargain. Try xiaomi.

  • +9

    Follow the doctors advice, and also find bulk billing places. Go to ER. I broke my arm and was told by ER after plastering it to see specialist and I had to pay. There was no way around it. So I called around and some specialists were cheaper than others. Your hospital may be different and has followup care.

    • +1

      Every public hospital has a fracture clinic that is free. It's an outpatient appointment. If you weren't referred there, that's not on the system, it's on the doctor/admin that gave you bad advice. Perhaps they were trying to lesson the waitlist on the OPD… dunno.

      • Some of the rural/non-metro fracture clinics don't accept complex fractures and refer on to private orthopods.

        • This is not the case. They would refer on to the next tier hospital with ortho services.

  • +99

    Gee I don't know mate, maybe follow the advice of a medical professional, rather than random nitwits on the internet?

    • +30

      Do not follow 78zeros advice! They're from the internet too!

      • +25

        I mean, you're not wrong

    • +4

      Best to get unqualified opinions to verify qualified opinions.

    • Came here for this exact comment.

      Surprised I had to scroll down so far to find it.

      Have a plus vote my good man… hopefully OP will get the message.

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