How Much Does a Broken Bone Cost Without Insurance in 2023?

Alexis Bryan
Alexis Bryan15 Mar 2023

The cost of treating a broken bone can quickly add up, with the price ranging from a few hundred dollars to over $10,000 in some cases. The cost of a broken bone usually includes the price of primary treatment, a facility fee, anesthesia (if necessary), x-rays, and any rehabilitation services you may need.

The Cost of a Broken Bone Cost in 2023

The costs of a broken bone include the cost of primary treatment (such as getting a cast) plus the facility fee, whether that be in an outpatient or inpatient setting.

Outpatient care is when you receive medical services but do not need to stay overnight at the facility. You can treat simple breaks, get blood tests, x-rays, medications, and minor surgeries in an outpatient setting. Inpatient care is when you receive medical services and are required to be admitted to a hospital for an overnight stay. If you have multiple broken bones or a more serious break, you may need to stay at a hospital for an extended period of time. In general, inpatient care is more expensive than outpatient care. 

In the table below, we list the cost of some commonly broken bones and associated fees. If you are required to be admitted to a hospital, you will need to pay an additional inpatient hospital fee. 

Cost of a Broken Arm Without Insurance in 2023

TreatmentCost Without Insurance
Diagnosis and non-surgical treatment$2,500+
Forearm X-ray$190 to $1,000
Application of an arm splint$201 to $239
Application of a forearm or upper arm cast$228 to $242
Surgical treatment of a broken arm$16,000+

Cost of a Broken Leg Without Insurance in 2023

TreatmentCost Without Insurance
Diagnosis and non-surgical treatment$2,500+
Leg X-ray$210 to $1,000
Application of a short or long leg cast$221 to $238
Crutches$15 to $100
Surgical treatment of a broken leg$17,000 to $35,000

Cost of a Broken Nose Without Insurance in 2023

TreatmentCost Without Insurance
Facility and doctors fees without realignment$500
Non-surgical realignment$2,000 to $5,000
SurgeryUp to $8,000
Nasal X-ray$180 to $100

Costs of Anesthesia for Broken Bones

The cost of anesthesia will likely depend on which bone you broke as well as if you need an open or closed treatment. An open treatment is when the provider needs to create an incision to expose the bone and treat the fracture. 

A closed treatment, called a closed reduction, does not require an incision. It is performed by an orthopedic surgeon who sets the broken bone into place so the bone can grow back together, and then usually casts the broken bone when possible. Healing can take up to 12 weeks, but also depends on your cage, size of the broken bone, type of break, and your general health status. 

Even with a closed procedure, anesthesia is sometimes necessary to set the bone back in place. For a closed procedure on a broken foot bone, anesthesia costs $2,375. In this case, the total cost of a broken foot in 2021 was $5,745. 

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Additional Costs Associated with a Broken Bone

Going to an emergency room for initial treatment of a broken bone could add $1,000 to $2,000 more to the final bill. An ambulance ride could add another $500. Lastly, if you need physical therapy, it could add thousands of dollars more to the total depending on the duration and frequency of visits.

Commonly Broken Bones

Of the 206 bones in our body, some are easier to break than others. The most commonly broken bones include the following:

  • Collarbones are prone to breaks among children and active individuals. They are usually broken from sports injuries and car accidents.
  • Arms can break in the upper or lower portion, and also are common among children. Arms are also susceptible to compound fractures, which are multiple breaks at once.
  • Wrists are susceptible to fractures from falling. Sometimes people can ignore the symptoms of a broken wrist which can lead to pain and reduced function later in life.
  • Hips are frequently broken in women over the age of 65. Women over 65 are at an increased risk of osteoporosis, a disease that weakens bones, leaving them more vulnerable to fractures.

Dr. Mubashar Rehman,
 Ph.D., with Health Creeds shares, “The bones in our body all differ in size, shape, and thickness. Common bone fractures you normally see being brought to the ER are usually in the upper or lower arms and are likely due to a bad fall. This is because of the body's involuntary reflex of reaching out our hands to break our drop when we trip. 

This commonly results in a spiral or compound fracture, meaning numerous fractures that happen in the wrist or bones in the arms. Another frequently fractured bone is the clavicle/collarbone. We usually see this in car accident patients caused by the snapping of the seatbelts.”

Broken Bone Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Broken bones can be mistaken for sprains, strains, or bruises, but can cause complications if not treated properly. Read on to learn more about diagnoses and what to do if you think you may have broken a bone.

How to prevent broken bones?

Dr. Rehman offers his advice on steps you can take to avoid getting injured. He advises, “The best way to prevent broken bones is to avoid accidents that could potentially cause harm. Also, another way is to have sufficient intake of Calcium, Vitamin D, and minerals that make your bones denser and stronger.” Weight-bearing and resistance exercise has been proven to strengthen your bones as well.

What’s the difference between an Ambulatory Surgical Center (ASC) and a hospital-based outpatient department (HOPD)?

Ambulatory Surgical Centers (ASCs) are modern facilities that provide same-day surgical care including diagnostics and preventive procedures. ASCs are standalone facilities that are not associated with a nearby hospital. Patients typically report greater satisfaction at ASCs presumably because they are more efficient, more specialized, and have smaller care teams.

The services offered at an ASC and hospital-based outpatient department (HOPD) are similar, but the way they operate is very different. An HOPD is owned by and typically attached to a hospital, while an ASC is a standalone facility. 

In general, procedures done at ASCs cost less than those performed at HOPDs. If you believe you have a broken bone, you should contact any local ASCs for their pricing.

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How do I know if I have a broken bone?

After sustaining an injury, it is not always obvious if you have broken a bone. Dr. Rehman explains, “You can usually tell if you have broken a bone when you feel pain or observe swelling and redness in the area. 

If that's the case, you should first start by immobilizing that region of your body so as to not aggravate it any further while waiting for medical help. You should also apply an ice pack to reduce the pain and swelling in the affected part. Always remember, it's important that bones heal properly, so don't hesitate to get checked by a doctor immediately.”

How is a broken bone diagnosed?

If you are concerned you may have broken a bone, you should seek medical attention to prevent further complications. Depending on the severity of the injury, there are four broken bone diagnostic tests your practitioner may use:

  • X-Rays provide a two-dimensional picture of the broken bone
  • Bone scans are used when fractures don't show on an X-Ray
  • CT Scans use computers to show detailed slides of broken bones
  • MRIs create a very detailed image using a magnetic field

Your provider will decide which diagnostic tool to use based on several factors, including the severity and location of your injury. 

How do I care for a broken bone at home?

The key to healing a broken bone is rest. Raise the broken bone above the level of your heart and ice when possible. You can also check with your doctor to see which over-the-counter medication you can take if you are in pain. Check with your provider about taking over-the-counter medicines for pain such as:

  • Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin)
  • Naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn)
  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol)

Bottom Line

Accidents happen and can lead to broken bones. Thankfully, minor fractures can heal relatively easily with proper treatment and care. If you are injured and think you may have a broken bone, you can get an x-ray at most urgent care centers.

Alexis Bryan

Alexis Bryan MPH, is a recent graduate of Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health. She is passionate about increasing access to care to improve health outcomes. Outside of work, she loves to travel, read, and pay too much attention to her plants.