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

  • +2

    Go get the Xray at a bulk billed place. Once you have it, go to a bulk billing GP.

    Unless you have sensory changes in your hand, or no blood supply to it, and it's been 48 hrs and the 2 former statements don't apply, you don't need to go to ED.

  • +1

    Assuming you are Sydney based and North Shore. This place in Crows Nest bulk bills radiology. Have never been there myself, so can't recommend one way or other. https://www.ourmedicalhome.com.au/radiology/crows-nest

    • Cornerstone Health is fairly decent across the board; though its been a few years since I've worked there. CEO ran the medical centre division for Primary Health Care (now named Healius and bought out by a private equity based in VIC).

      I worked for Cornerstone Health as their CIO early days and their mantra seems to be good. Bulk Billing and affordable, accessible health care.

      The medical centres are usually 8am to 10pm - the imaging is run by a seperate entity from what I understand; but generally good.

      I fractured my knee coming off a motorcycle at eastern creek and presented to Blacktown Healius; the doctor made me walk out; swearing the mark on the xray was a smudge, it was fractured. Doctor phoned me hours later after the radiologist looked at it and reported the fracture - 2cm long and I was lucky that I already knew it was fractured and presented to the ER. Wait for the radiologist to report is all I can recommend.

  • Go buy a splint at least and wear it meanwhile so your wrist is in a solid position.

  • Have you tired a physiotherapist?

    I recently fell off my mountain bike and hurt my wrists… I initially just thought they were sprained and the pain would subside but after a few days it wasn't any better, could hardly lift anything. So I went to Dr, he was concerned and sent me for an MRI. $300 later I was advised I had to wait 3 days for result…. but by this time the pain was intense so I went to my Physio who inspected and then strapped both wrists to take pressure off the wrist bones. This worked a charm and after 7 days it was healed. Physio said to go to him first as the Dr's always just refer for Xray to cover themselves.

    • +1

      Have you tired a physiotherapist?

      No, but I've gone to a remedial massage place in a shopping centre where the masseuse asked if "the pressure was OK" and I said "more pressure"…when I was paying, I could see him massaging his own arms like he was in pain, so perhaps I tired him out?

      • thanks for the spell check.

        Sounds like you went for a happy ending, left you both feeling a little tired?

  • do nothing, let it get worse, blame it on the government and then apply for NDIS funding. ORRRR, follow the medical advice. IF you are still not sure, I am worried you have injured more than your hand, maybe your brain.

  • Chop off the leg and become bionic.

  • We are not your doctor, we represent the collective thought of society. Pain is indicating your have a fracture. If you do not have it assessed, it could lead to possible amputation - not joking… this is how people die in the bush.

  • Xrays are free when you take your referral to a bulk billing clinic. So are GPs, you wasted money on that.

    Just get the xray. Keep in mind that tiny fractures in tiny wrist bones can still be missed but there's not much you can do.

    There is probably swelling that will go down over a couple of days. But a fracture will be sensitive for many weeks.

  • How about you do what the doctor suggested?

    Also, find a GP that has no gap an bulk bills upfront, i seriously dont get this, nor do i get the whole not being able to ride a bike thing… me thinks more to the story there.

    thinks knows more than Qualified Doctor, next minute falls of bicycle,……… where is that scum bag Steve meme i need it for something unrelated…….. asking for a friend.

  • You have to realign your chakras so they're balanced with the universe and meditate on the top of a mountain for 4hrs. Then you have to go each corner of the earth and collect a rare artifact from each and combine them all to access a secret portal to another dimension.

    Or you can just go to the ED.

    • +1

      ED = Extra dimension? :)

  • +6

    Please stop being so mean the OP.

    I feel for him as I had a similar experience falling from my Trek Butterfly Madone bike.

    The next day I couldn’t even open the driver’s door of my Veyron. Because the injury was to my left wrist I was also unable to wear my Paul Newman Daytona Rolex!

    I even had the house staff put my Testoni shoes on as I was in so much pain.

    So, show some compassion!

    • +1

      The next day I couldn’t even open the driver’s door of my Veyron

      Only the driver's door? You could open the rest of the doors just fine?

  • +1

    Where’s the poll?

    My choice would have been amputate

  • +3

    What did the doctor sa… oh wait.

  • +2

    ask the Scientologists!

    • Even they would say get an X-ray….. -_-

  • +3

    Darwin's theory suggests you should ignore the doctor's professional advice and crowd source your healthcare here.

  • +11

    As a radiographer, don't be wasting public resources for a wrist you hurt 2 days ago. If your wrist was badly injured enough, you'd have done something about it immediately after the injury. The ED is for actual emergencies. Nothing makes our eyes roll more than people who turn up to ED that could've gone to a GP for treatment.

    You've seen your GP, and you have been given a plan. Stick with it. Go to a radiology clinic and get your XR done. Turnaround for a report takes no longer than 24 hours.

  • +2

    Possibly follow the drs advice and go and get the X-ray? Crazy I know.

  • I don't understand the question? Get a standard scan done, probably bulk billed, or wait to see if the pain goes away?

    Are you worried about paying for another GP consult? Some x-ray places will let you review results yourself online (i.e. you'll be able to determine yourself if you need further treatment). If not, ring the GPs' clinic and ask about the results. They should tell you if you if the results necessitate further consultation. If your GP is half way decent, they'll bulk bill the follow up. If they don't, I'd be seeing a different GP from then on.

    If you're in immense pain, go to a bulk billing walk in clinic if they're available to you (usually staffed by nurses), or the ER if it calls for that.

  • +3

    Just go to your local printing place and photocopy your hand. It's cheaper.

  • +1

    You should try to fall off the bike a few more times.

  • -1

    ok…im going to book xray and ultrasound.
    But does this consider essential?
    Can i go out for this?
    Dont want Cop book me out.

    • +3

      Yes it's a valid reason for essential travel.

  • +7


    This is one of the dumbest questions I have ever seen on OB

    The poster has been told what to do by a PROFESSIONAL DOCTOR who has examined the injuries and is asking us what to do?

    • Probably should have seen an AMATEUR DOCTOR. Would have been CHEAPER!

  • +1

    get a lighter laptop

    • At this stage I think this is the best course of action tbh.

  • +7

    This is why Sydney's COVID outbreak is out of control.

  • tbh he prob should have phrased the question better- cheapest way for an xray?

  • +3

    If you sought medical advice, then decided to ignore it and ask ozbargain instead - sorry pal, but you deserve the pain.

  • +5

    This thread has shown the disgusting amount of people that misuse emergency. No wonder the system is clogged.

    • Sad truth of a public health system, most use it as intended, some will abuse… We are lucky to be australians right noe.

      I wouldn't be surprised if our healthcare systems ends up being like in America (limited public health care) in next few decades.

  • +2

    Get a MacBook Air problem solved

  • so you can't use your hand and are in severe pain - yet you're questioning whether your GP was right in recommending an x-ray?. If this is a real post - I hope you have your hand in a brace and are avoiding its use/painful motions - till you get the imaging results- minimum

  • +3

    I suspect you've hit your head too, or maybe you are just naturally critical thinking challenged.

    You live at North-Shore in Sydney (for non Sydney siders - one of the posher areas in Sydney) and you are making fuss over $50 out of pocket and questioning if your GP was right to refer you for an X-Ray and instead asking us here for opinion??? OMFG… I see you are a candidate for Darwin award.

  • DO NOT delay it. I fell of a bike 8 weeks ago and broke my metatarsal bone.
    Went to emergency and waited for 4 hours and they did immediate X-ray and gave me that weird safety boot.

    • +1

      After breaking the 5th metatarsal on my left foot, My little toe sticks out and makes finding comfortable shoes difficult 😑👟

  • +3

    North Shore, Macbook Pro… one more thing. Does it hurt when you try to open the Scissor Doors on you Lambo?

    • na, he got the kit for the automatic electric opening scissor doors

    • -2

      what is scissor door?

      • +1

        you've just shown how poor you are…..

      • The doors that open up instead of a normal car door. My favourite doors are actually synchro dihedral actuating doors

  • +1

    You can thank successive governments for ruining medicare and turning something that should be obvious (getting the xray) into a decision on finances.

    Once again, the richies have health while the poors don’t.

    Eat the rich is sounding like something that’s on the horizon!

    • -1

      Sure. Eat the rich.

      Many already are through middle class welfare and the rich persons taxes paying for services they think they pay for.

      • You obviously don’t get the statement. But yes, eat the rich.

        • -1

          Oh no, I think they already are eating the rich

          Eg I might be paying to get my x-ray, but I could be very well paying for your x-ray too.

          • @mdavant: Yeah you’re not getting are you.

            • -1

              @Vote for Pedro: Please explain it to me then.

              Because I don't think you get it.

              Be productive with your comment. Not obnoxious.

              • -1

                @mdavant: A simple google search would lead you to enlightenment.

                It is used in response to increasing income inequality. You will see that the demands of those using it are radical and extreme (not), such as free education, fair living wages and free medicare for all.

                Modern Usage:

                “The phrase is often used in reference to opposing wealth inequality and is associated with socialism.

                The phrase has become popular online, particularly with Millennials and Gen Z who are generally more likely to support left-leaning policies, such as Medicare for All in the US, and social democracy.”

    • He has a macbook pro.
      He lives on the North Shore in Sydney (only more expensive is Double Pay).

      He could find a Dr who bulked bill.

      Here are a few facts just to help you out:
      88.7% of GP visits were bulk billed (up from 82%)


  • +1

    Switch to using a MacBook Air.
    (It’s lighter).

    Also, you need to find a doctor that will ‘bulk
    bill’ you for there to be no charge.

    Ring on a telephone to check if a doctor will bulk bill you. Ask when you make the appointment over the phone. (If you make an online booking ring the doctor place to check afterwards if they will bulk bill, if not cancel over the phone).

  • +1

    See you in fast track lol

  • Charged $80 and didn't provide a script for opioid pain relief!? what a rip! ;-)

  • +1

    I wouldn't trust your GP. What does he know? Buy the ozito or Ryobi one+ x-ray machine and DIY or try AliExpress.

  • +1

    I think the logical thing to do here is to saw off your hand. Not only will the pain go away, you will qualify for disability benefits which should help your financial situation. Win win.

  • Do what the GP says, wtf?

  • +1

    Get the X-ray done. I fell off my bike and my left wrist was in a lot of pain. I thought I could just have a quick nap and hopefully will wake up feeling better, but the pain only got worse.

    I drove to the hospital and the X-ray confirmed that I broke my wrist. Fortunately I didn’t need surgery as there weren’t that many fragments. They put cast on my hand and arm to prevent further movement. Everything was free with Medicare.

    I had to see a physio as well afterwards who made a custom plastic mould so it was a bit easier to move my hand. It took months before my hand felt normal again.

  • +1

    So what happened in the end? I assume you go the xray by now, is it broken?

  • +1

    Want bulk bill imaging? IIRC the imaging shop above Chatswood Medical Centre does bulk bill but good luck getting a booking.

    If it all fails, plenty of bulk bill imaging shop near/around south-western Sydney.

  • +1

    What do we think you should do? Follow the advice that a trained medical professional has already given you!

  • -1

    go to the ED at Royal North Shore. They'll sort you out.

  • +3

    Don't take the doctors advice, go to the gym and lift some weights….it will come right.

  • You can go to a bulk billing doctor and he will refer you for an x-ray with a bulk bill request too. So you end up paying nothing.

    But this will drag out for a few days, 1st doctor appointment, x-ray appointment, 2nd doctor appointment, maybe doctor can put it in plaster or maybe not and he has to refer you to a specialist or even to the hospital.

    Just do yourself a favor and go to the ER next time you are injured in an accident.

    Despite all the naysayers here this is a legitimate reason to go to ER. A broken wrist could even require surgery.

  • North Shore, MacBook Pro, cannot afford 80 dollars for X-RAY. Cool story.)

    • Could be the upper north shore past Wahroonga.

  • idk how 'my medical dr told me I should get an x-ray cause my hand is useless so I'm gonna ask a bunch of people on the internet and then get an xray' happened? skip the middle step, get an x-ray, get the problem fixed.

    But if you're really wanting it to get better, I sell a really cheap $30,000 'fix your hand fast'TM cream that'l help.

  • +3

    Dude, this has to be a low moment for your thinking skills.
    A freaking doctor said "Go get it xrayed".

    I really need to understand what's happening here.

    What do you think a doctor is?
    Why do you think random people on the internet are a better source of medical advice than a trained professional?

  • +1

    Hopefully you have done something about this by now - but this exact thing happened to me at Easter. I left it, thought it was just bruising that was causing my hand to hurt but ended up going to the doctor and he sent me for a CT scan. I had broken my hook (hamate) bone - this wouldnt of been picked up on an Xray.

    So I really recommend you get a CT not an Xray as you may have to go back again.

    I am in WA and there are plenty of places that do bulk billing CT scans and xrays. You dont need to go to ED.

    • Nah, XR then MRI if unsure in case it is a scaphoid ;)

  • Why not listen to what you are advised to do rather than waste time on a forum.

  • Splint, ice it + avoid moving the hand. Get pain relief by asking to speak to a pharmacist. The x-rays or scans could be done by bulk billing. Tell them the code written on your referrals for x-ray type. Or pay the extra to hopefully get it done quicker.

  • I really enjoyed this thread.

    Thanks OP and OzB :)

  • I would sell the MacBook Pro and buy an iPad Air. Much lighter.

  • +1

    if you go to the emergency, nurse and doctor will assess you then they make the call on what is necessary.
    It's not for you to walk in and decide what you want.

    You have the doctor's referral for x-ray, go somewhere else and please don't waste resources in the emergency doctor re-assessing you.
    There will be others who need urgent medicare attention more than you.

  • +6

    ED doctor here:
    1) Yes you will be very, very low priority on the queue.
    2) if you go during a non-peak period that's well staffed eg 8am on a weekday, you will likely be seen quickly. FastTrack departments and a bunch of doctors are usually starting their shift around this time.
    3) You may be seen by a Nurse Practitioner instead of a doctor - this is actually ideal, because they are very experienced in minor fractures and can often plaster better than I can as they do it more often / daily.
    4) if you come at 6pm during a peak period, you may be waiting 4+ hours easily.

    The role of ED has slowly been changing to accomodate the fact that GPs charge in 15 min blocks… and many places dont even do plastering anymore.

    ED has the benefit of having a hospital behind it and imaging 24/7. Ortho consults available at all hours, and standard referral processes in place for most common injuries. GPs can access these same services, but it's often not so streamlined.

    Broke your scaphoid? It's a bog standard referral for hand/plastics. Then a thumb spica.
    I can prob sort you out (documentation, referral and plaster and all) in about 40 mins.

    Most minor injuries are not fixed until swelling goes down anyway… even for the dime a dozen wrist fractures.

    Assuming you have had a minor fracture - it will likely be a repeat XR and plastics/hand team clinic review in a week for consideration of elective surgery for non-union (given you are young, it's your dominant hand, functional considerations, risks vs benefit etc.)

    • +1

      lol, imagine coming for an xray and coming out with an operation. That will teach Op to not follow a Dr's advice.

      • +1

        in the example above, a missed scaphoid could mean early arthritis and a dysfunctional hand 5-10 years later… not a disabilty to take lightly for a person in his 20s.

    • which is a shame that those bog standard injuries aren't managed in general practice setting any more when ED are overwhelmed every flu season. it comes down to funding. if an experienced ED physician sorts it out in 40min + consumables medicare pays rebates upwards of $100 for 40minutes work. After the cost of plaster/bandages/nurse wages/reception/rent etc you are basically left on intern rate, if that. sure you can charge privately and not bulk bill and end up with posts like OP and comments suggesting you go to hospital to save $35. and you wonder why ED waiting time is blowing out

      • Not exactly. Public ED structure is such that for every ED Specialist/Consultant, there would be about 5-6 registrars, residents and interns.
        Also in most bigger places Nurse Practitioners do such work as well.

        GPland management would not necessarily be more cost effective, because they are not geared for it (having ready to go plaster rooms, xray services etc). Patient having to make one appointment, see GP, get xray referral, go elsewhere, get xray, see GP next day, have plaster, phone call / referral to ortho at a tertiary center…. All the paperwork, two appointments and crazy inefficiencies and inconveniences for the end user… For what a proper functioning ED can sort out in 40 mins.

        Centralized care is always more efficient.

        Efficient doesnt mean cheap either.

        *The cost of ED is about $550 per visit + costs (radiology + consumables). The ED doctor gets less than a fifth of that btw. Running a hospital is pricey (24/7 pathology/radiology/staffing/building costs add up)

        Australians dont realize this because of Medicare. Foreign visitors are charged this amount upfront.

  • +2

    Good deal by the OP. Got 44% discount off the GPs fee in cashback from Medicare…

    • +1

      Which your tax dollars has graciously paid for :). Thank you for your generosity, jokes aside, that's good logic.

  • Buy a Macbook Air?
    Edit: should have read more pages of comments because you clever kids beat me to it.

  • Agree

  • Haha
    Go to doctor, pay $80 to get a professional opinion
    Then igmor and come to a forum and ask random people what to do

  • Is an x-ray not free with referral in NSW? Pretty sure (from my own experience) the person taking the x-ray would tell you directly if a bone is broken/fractured but more importantly why would you look for a medical second opinion on the internet ?

    Not like you will be waiting long at the radiologist either with Covid spiking

    • No clue why you've been downvoted. X-rays are on the medicare schedule, so it should be possible to find a clinic that will bulk bill them anywhere in Australia.

      The only scans I've ever paid for have been an MRI for a tumor, as I was referred by a GP. If referred by a specialist it would have been free. X-ray, ultrasound, CT, and MRI (head) should all be bulk billable if referred by GP.

  • That's for brightening my day! Needed a laugh! This can't be a real post, but if in anyway real, maybe listen to the medical professional and not the so called "professionals" labelled by harvey

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