Main telephone number:
020 8401 3000

Fracture clinic

This department deals with patients who have been diagnosed with a fracture other significant musculoskeletal injury within the A&E department or have been sent by their GP with a suspected fracture. The Fracture Clinic is not a drop in centre, but is run on an appointment system only. 

What to do on arrival

On arrival please report to the reception desk located through the Fracture Clinic entrance. The desk clerk will confirm your details and appointment time and ensure your notes are available. You will be asked to take a seat in the waiting room until the doctor is free to see you.

You may be sent for an x-ray before you see the doctor. This is because the doctor has already decided that you require a check x-ray either when you were last seen in clinic or from reviewing your notes.

What to expect in clinic

In an average clinic it is common to have several doctors seeing patients with different problems. It may seem you are being called out of turn. This is because patients may have to be seen or treated by a different doctor or a technician or nurse. The clinic is not like an ordinary outpatient clinic. It is similar to an A&E department, as we do not know what treatments are required until patients have had their consultation with the doctor.

Although you will under the care of a consultant orthopaedic surgeon, fracture clinic are very busy and it is not possible for the consultant to see all the patients personally. Junior doctors work under close supervision by the consultants and are free to ask their advice at any time during the clinic. If you specifically would like to speak to the consultant, please let us know and we will arrange this although you may need to wait a little longer.

Your visit to the Fracture clinic can last for some time. If your fracture Clinic appointment coincides with other medical appointments, such as GP’s, dentists, or other appointments, it may be advisable to ask the clerk for an alternative appointment.

If you have arrived by ambulance you may have to wait for a period of time for your ambulance to collect you as this is a very busy service. It is advisable to bring food and/or drink with you if you are diabetic.

Parents and guardians please note, the clinic is very busy and has many dangerous pieces of equipment as well as patients in wheelchairs and on crutches or sticks. All children must be supervised for reasons of health and safety.

Going for an x-ray

All of our x-ray ordering is carried out electronically. The nurse or doctor will request your x-ray via the electronic hospital requesting system and you will be given a slip of paper containing your patient details to take to the x-ray department.

If you are unable to walk the distance to the x-ray department, we can arrange for a porter to take you there and bring you back. Once you arrive at the x-ray department you will need to book in for your x-ray and the x-ray reception desk. There may be a wait for your x-ray if the department is very busy.

Once you have been x-rayed you will come back to the Fracture clinic. You will be asked to take a seat in the waiting room until the doctor is free to see you. Please note you will not be given x-ray films to bring back to the department as all our x-rays are stored electronically and can only be viewed on the computer screen in the doctors room.

Plaster Room

We have a plaster room next to the fracture clinic. This area is staffed with excellent helpful experienced plaster technicians.  The doctor may send you to the plaster before seeing you to have the plaster removed or changed; they also supply and fit the braces and splints. At the end of your prescribed plaster treatment, you will send to the plaster room to have to plaster removed.  Once the plaster is off, the joint that was plastered will feel very stiff, we will give you instructions on exercises and sometimes send you to physiotherapy to help regain your full range of movement which can take weeks or months.

The treatment room

Once you have seen the doctor you may be given a piece of paper requesting a treatment such as application of a splint, or review of a surgical wound. This treatment request should be shown to the nurse at the front desk who will direct you to the treatment waiting room ready to be seen when a space becomes available.

Some treatments can take a long time and patients may need to return more than once on that day. We may for example need to take a patient’s cast off to remove sutures or clean and dress a wound before x-ray. On your return to Fracture Clinic you may need a new cast which can extend your wait in clinic.

We try to keep the waiting times down to an absolute minimum. Staff can only undertake treatments once the doctors have prescribed them, therefore it may appear that you are being seen out of turn.

Physiotherapy and provision of crutches

On completion of your consultation your doctor may give you a form to be seen by a physiotherapist.

Physiotherapists are responsible for providing you with crutches and other mobility aids, and teaching you how to use these safely.

Once finished with, crutches should be returned to the physiotherapy department.

Further investigations and tests (CT, MR and Ultrasound scans)

On completion of your consultation with the doctor you may be referred for further investigations such as a CT, MR or Ultrasound scan. These are requested electronically by the doctor in clinic. Please note that you may have to wait a few weeks for your scan. Once your doctor has the results of the scan, a follow-up appointment to discuss the results will be arranged for you in clinic.

Cast / injury problems

Patients who are having problems with their cast or injury must telephone for advice and / or for an appointment. When you telephone the hospital you will need to give:

  • Your full name
  • Your hospital number
  • Your consultant
  • Your last and or next appointment date

Extra information may be required such as your date of birth, address and GP. This information will help the contact to assist you in completing your enquiries.

If you have problems outside of Fracture Clinic hours that cannot wait, you will need to attend the A&E department.



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