My name is Erik Nilssen. I'm a board certified orthopedic surgeon, dual fellowship trained in both sports medicine and foot and ankle surgery. I think passion is what drove me into healthcare in the first place and it still sustains my interest as we speak today. If you're looking at personal injury patients, those that are in car accidents, what's often misunderstood for these patients if they don't have healthcare insurance, oftentimes the patient's car insurance will cover the first $10,000 of their health care.
And I've noticed over the last five, six years, I'll see these patients well after they've been treated somewhere else, Urgent Cares, ERs, and they just... the funds are taken up and they don't have the money to be treated. So it puts the patient in a really difficult spot. If you look at healthcare today with cost quality and access, we're trying to provide really cheap costs, keep the costs really low for the patient, provide the best quality and give everybody access.
So it's an interesting question. When it comes to an injury, let's say car accidents for example, the typical fender bender, my suggestion is if you've been hurt at all, if you have any sprain or strain... because I've seen in the past what you deem as a sprain could actually be a stress fracture. So I think if you have any type of pain, or injury, or concern after a car accident, you should seek medical care. For those accidents where it's just a simple fender bender and you actually have zero pain for a couple of days, maybe you can avoid it. But otherwise I would err on the side of caution.
So as a board certified orthopedic surgeon, our training involves, multi specialties of the musculoskeletal system. So for example, in our training we do spine. We spent a good year of our training as a resident in spine. We do a year of total joint replacements involving hips and knees. We do sports medicine for a year. We do pediatric injuries as well for a year. And we also do foot and ankle and hand for a year. So it's a five year training program. And after that you can go ahead and become practicing physician.
I actually sort additional training on top of residency, which is called fellowships. So I did a one year fellowship in sports medicine, which involves an intense focused training of shoulders, elbows, and knees, and also hips. Also sports related injuries in terms of athletes of all different levels. And then on top of that I did another year of focused foot and ankle injuries as well. So with that background, it really gives us the ability to diagnose any musculoskeletal injury in terms of spine injuries, shoulder injuries, elbow, hand, knee, wrist, pelvic injuries, foot and ankle, it doesn't really matter. We can diagnose it and put you on a proper treatment plan.
We break this into two categories. There's nonsurgical and surgical. So nonsurgical involves things like physical therapy, involves durable medical equipment such as boots and braces, anti-inflammatories. It's really the nonsurgical modalities which the majority of injuries can be treated in mobilization. And again, the key is to really getting an adequate diagnosis to put you on the right treatment plan. If indeed you have a more serious injury or something that fails, sort of nonsurgical treatment, or someone comes in with an acute fracture that needs to be fixed we also have surgical options and we have the ability to take you to surgery and operate, if you will, on the various different body parts.
And again, if it's something highly specialized in something that we personally are not comfortable with, we have a team of physicians that are really just glorified mechanics. We have the oil guy, the timing belt guy, the tire guy. So we all have sort of a specialty that we really focus on and give you the best quality of care.
So in terms of recovery, it really depends on your type of injury, what you've had done and whether it was a nonsurgical or surgical injury. If by chance, say you had a fracture, you broke a bone, in general, whether it's surgical or nonsurgical, bones take eight to 12 weeks to heal. There's also some recovery in terms of therapy. So it really depends on what your injury is, but it can be as little as two months up to a year, depends on what you've had done.
Yeah. So for those patients that do not have health insurance, they have the ability to use their personal injury insurance under their car insurance. Now for those patients that have health insurance and have car insurance, I think you can still use your car insurance under that, but you have the ability to use your own health insurance as well. So for those uninsured patients that don't have health insurance, it's really, really helpful for them to have that personal injury protection in their car insurance to cover them. It's why it's really imperative to see someone early who knows what they're doing, to use that allocated money very wisely to get them back to where they were before.
Our caller phone number, which is (850) 435-4800 ask for Tara, my scheduler, or you can go to our website @www.nilssenorthopedics.com.