Bring out the gimp.
January 16, 2011 11:22 AM   Subscribe

Bicycle accident, sprained or otherwise damaged knee, no insurance - where to go in the East Bay for help?

So I'm waiting for a call back from the Order of Malta clinic. I'm going to call the Berkeley Free Clinic this afternoon but I don't think they deal with injuries like this. There are 2 pay clinics near me - US Healthworks & Quickhealth - that I could go to. I'm also near Alta Bates Summit Medical Center & a Kaiser hospital. Last summer I went to Alta Bates for something else, got a $2300 bill for about 4 hours sitting on a gurney in a hallway, and then ended up paying nothing b/c I was unemployed with no income. I'm now working part time with no insurance. I think I'd rather pay a few hundred dollars & be done with it, instead of gambling on an ER bill that may or may not be forgiven, but is that the best idea? Especially if it turns out to be a serious injury? I can share symptoms if people want to play armchair doctor. Help!
posted by anotherkate to Health & Fitness (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I went to US Healthworks yesterday (for urgent care - I have a sinus infection that hurt so badly I couldn't sleep) and was impressed. The doctor seemed very competent and wanted to make sure I understood how and why he made his decisions with regards to my situation. The one I went to also does sports medicine and PT - maybe the one by you does too? The sign on the front desk when I went in said it's $125 per visit if you're paying out of pocket but that they require full payment at your visit. If you do go I would suggest you make an appointment. I did not and ended up sitting for over an hour because they kept taking everyone with an appointment before me.
posted by kthxbi at 11:29 AM on January 16, 2011

Can you walk on it? Ice, and elevation.
posted by bitdamaged at 11:30 AM on January 16, 2011

(In case it matters I went to one in downtown Seattle on Denny Way. I see you're in California, so I don't think this does you much good)
posted by kthxbi at 11:31 AM on January 16, 2011

Response by poster: I can walk on it, but I can't bend it fully, and it's still incredibly tender even to a light touch. Maybe I'm expecting too much after just a week? The weird part is the parts that hurt the most don't have visible bruising.
posted by anotherkate at 2:07 PM on January 16, 2011

I don't think the Free Clinic will be much help.
posted by salvia at 3:40 PM on January 16, 2011

Best answer: Here's two physical therapy/bodywork folks who would, at least be able to let you know if you need to go to a hospital or if it can be helped w/o having to take it to that level:
Stan Nakahara and Jim Donak.

Hopefully you just have muscle strain or a light sprain. Worst case scenario you've gotten damage to the joint capsule, tendons or cartilege - and that's all stuff that needs surgery. You're going to want someone to check it out at least to let you know what needs to happen.
posted by yeloson at 5:13 PM on January 16, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks, yeloson, I'll give them a call tomorrow.
posted by anotherkate at 7:17 PM on January 16, 2011

Response by poster: So for anyone who needs it in the future - Berkeley Dept. of Public Health has a nurse hotline:

So does Alameda Cty. Medical Center/Highland Hospital:

The phone number for the Order of Malta Free Clinic: (510) 587-3000

I'm having trouble getting through to anyone because of the holiday, so more updates later.
posted by anotherkate at 9:35 AM on January 17, 2011 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: So I ended up calling Stan Nakahara, and he makes house calls! And he charged about the same as the pay clinics. Good news, I didn't dislocate my patella and there's only a small chance that any ligaments were torn. Standard ice + nsaids + rest should take care of it.
posted by anotherkate at 5:08 PM on January 17, 2011

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