Whether you have difficulty moving body parts or are feeling worsening joint pain, an orthopedic doctor can address your problem effectively. They can handle anything from a minor injury like a sprain to complicated surgeries like shoulder replacement. The right treatment from an orthopedic doctor at the right time can eliminate discomfort and improve your symptoms in less time.
Orthopedic doctors are specialized in musculoskeletal disorders and diagnose, treat, or manage various conditions of bones, joints, and muscles. If they have muscle pain, difficulty in routine tasks, worsening joint pain, swelling around joints, or signs of infection, going to an expert who sees such medical conditions or injuries is always a good idea.
Here are the 10 common reasons for visiting an orthopedic doctor and where you can find the best orthopedic doctors in San Antonio, TX.
1. Persistent Musculoskeletal Pain
You may experience muscular aches or joint pain due to poor posture, exercise, or excessive physical activity. However, the pain usually disappears after adequate rest, a painkiller, or any other home remedy. But if the pain stays for long and worsens, it’s time to see an orthopedic specialist. Persistent pain is the leading reason why people seek orthopedic medical care.
Furthermore, musculoskeletal injuries and conditions commonly present with acute or chronic pain. Your doctor can diagnose, reduce and eliminate different types of pain, including ankle or foot pain, hip pain, shoulder pain, knee pain, and others around the body.
2. Reduced Mobility
People usually decide to tolerate moderate pain, stiffness, or other symptoms and avoid visiting the doctor. However, when the condition worsens and starts affecting the individual’s everyday tasks, there is no option but to see an orthopedist.
You might have difficulty bending over, getting out of bed, or climbing stairs. Musculoskeletal problems like joint stiffness, swelling, and pain, can all limit your mobility. Reduced motion makes it difficult to do routine tasks such as carrying things around or even walking. An orthopedic doctor can discover the underlying cause of your illness and suggest treatment that works best for you. They can help restore your mobility through non-invasive techniques, physical therapy, and sometimes surgery.
3. Bone Fractures and Muscle Injuries
A fracture refers to a crack in a bone occurring from a sports injury, fall, road accident, or any other reason. Bone fractures, dislocations, and muscle injuries are the most common reasons for an orthopedic visit. Whether you have a broken wrist, kneecap, broken hip, or any other type of fracture, an orthopedic surgeon can reset it to allow healing. They can fix broken bones and other injuries to reduce pain and help optimize function. Also, they can collaborate with other specialists to guide an optimized therapy plan.
It’s pertinent to mention here that the treatment of a fracture depends on the severity and location of your injury. Some fractures extend deep into the joints, damaging the cartilage at the bones’ ends in the joint. This is a severe condition often requiring orthopedic surgery.
Also, your doctor may recommend physical therapy to improve movement and prevent joint stiffness.
4. Numbness or Tingling in Limbs
A tingling sensation or numbness in hands or feet may indicate nerve damage, arthritis, or carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). You might have CTS if you face difficulty holding things, frequently drop objects, or feel tingling in your thumb or fingers. Numerous factors, such as a past wrist fracture or using equipment that vibrates or requires repetitive wrist flexion, might contribute to carpal tunnel syndrome.
In addition, numbness and tingling in the lower limbs, including legs or feet, are signs of diabetic neuropathy. If you are a diabetic patient, you must not ignore this condition and consult an orthopedist. Your orthopedic medical doctor will work with other physicians to provide you with proper treatment, which may include nonsurgical and surgical treatment.
5. Worsening Soft Tissue Injury
Have you ever experienced swelling or redness around a joint after an ankle sprain or tendon injury? Mild soft tissue injuries like strain, sprain, and twists usually heal over time without any medical treatment. You can manage them with pain relievers and adequate rest. However, if swelling or pain persists after 48 hours, it’s a sign to see an orthopedic specialist.
Soft tissue injuries may occur in various situations, including rigorous sports, automobile accidents, or even normal physical activity. Whatever the cause of your muscle, tendon, or ligament injury, your orthopedic doctor can treat and manage all your soft tissue injuries. Also, they can recommend ways to help prevent more severe injuries in the future.
6. Treatment of Chronic Orthopedic Conditions
Chronic conditions like arthritis significantly impair the patient’s overall health, affecting hands, shoulders, knees, and other movable joints. Osteoarthritis is the most common chronic condition that can affect everyone. Patients with osteoarthritis require long-term care to continue their normal life.
Early diagnosis and treatment of such chronic orthopedic conditions can prevent further damage. If you have signs of osteoarthritis like joint pain, swelling, and stiffness, visiting an orthopedist for a physical examination is a good idea. Your doctor can diagnose the problem early and provide you with the right treatment options.
To manage your symptoms like pain and stiffness, they can offer non-invasive measures like pain medications, exercise,viscosupplementation while maintaining your active lifestyle. Also, they can recommend surgery if arthritis is not getting better with nonsurgical treatments or is getting worse. Surgery like joint replacement surgery will ultimately alleviate joint function and mobility while reducing discomfort and pain.
7. Determining the Need for Surgery
There’s a common misconception among people that an orthopedic specialist will always go for surgery, even if it’s not required. Some people think surgery will provide temporary relief, and they must handle the discomfort throughout their lives. Others believe surgery is only reserved for apparent conditions like a broken bone.
An orthopedic doctor recommends surgery when non-invasive interventions fail or cannot treat your condition. The goal of treatment is always to improve the patient’s quality of life in the best possible way. You may consult your orthopedic doctor to discover whether you are a candidate for surgery or if you can manage the condition in alternate ways.
An orthopedic doctor will consider all the non-surgical options before recommending surgery. They can try bracing, steroid injections, physical therapy, fluid drainage from the affected area, and many more. Most conditions respond well to non-surgical measures, relieving the patient’s discomfort.
If non-invasive measures fail to relieve discomfort, surgery is the treatment of choice. Your orthopedic surgeon can perform minimally invasive procedures to treat your problem. They are highly qualified to perform complex surgical procedures like joint replacement, hip replacement, arthroscopic surgery, and many more.
Common surgical procedures performed by orthopedic surgeons for various conditions are:
- Hip replacement
- Joint replacement surgery
- Disc replacement surgery
- Removal of soft tissue tumor
- Soft tissue repair
9. Patient’s Education on Treatment Options
Some patients simply visit an orthopedic clinic to learn more about their health condition and decide on various treatment options. At the first visit, an orthopedic doctor performs a comprehensive examination, including the patient’s medical history, current condition, how long they’ve been suffering, and what treatments they have tried. Also, the orthopedic physician may perform a physical exam and order certain diagnostic tests to understand the problem better.
After a detailed examination, the orthopedic doctor educates the patient about their concerns and counsels them about therapy options based on their collected information. Theyhelp the patient walk through treatment options, knowing about the outcomes and deciding what suits them better. After the patient decides to start treatment, the doctor makes a personalized patient-centered care plan in collaboration with the patient.
10. Prevention of Potential Conditions
Prevention is always better and easier than treatment. Sports persons and athletes are more susceptible to orthopedic injuries due to their rigorous activities. They need to work with an orthopedic doctor to optimize their sports performance and prevent potential damage in the future.
In addition, other individuals at risk of orthopedic conditions due to family history or other contributing factors often seek medical help to avoid potential problems. An orthopedic doctor can educate you on how to stay healthy while minimizing the risk of musculoskeletal injuries and other such conditions.
Best Orthopedic Doctor in San Antonio, TX
At the Center for Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine, we offer the best patient-centered services. With advanced training and experience, our orthopedic doctors can provide you with personalized services, including non-surgical and surgical therapy options such as minimally invasive arthroscopy. These board-certified surgeons are dedicated to providing patient-centered services, including non-surgical and complex surgical procedures.