Your musculoskeletal system supports and moves you through your whole life Sadly, bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and joints deteriorate with age and disease, or they can be damaged from a fall, car accident, or another mishap. Here’s how to know you need to see a bone doctor to address your orthopedic health issue, and where you can go in the San Antonio area for excellent orthopedic care.
Bone Doctors, or Orthopedic Specialists
Orthopedic specialists are providers who have the training and expertise in all things related to muscles, ligaments, bones, and joints. Orthopedic specialists that perform surgery to treat musculoskeletal injuries are known as orthopedic surgeons. Whether you have a tendon or ligament tear, a broken bone, or a dislocated shoulder, your orthopedic specialist will evaluate your injury with today’s best assessment methods and tools, and recommend a treatment plan so you can return to your daily activities as soon as possible.
When to See a Bone Doctor
You’ve Suffered an Injury
If you’ve suffered a sudden injury to any part of your musculoskeletal system, it’s time to see a bone doctor. This includes injuries as simple as straining your calf from running, to complex traumatic injuries like broken bones after a car accident. Your orthopedic specialist will order imaging tests like X-rays and MRIs to diagnose your condition and recommend the best course of treatment, whether it’s physical therapy, surgery, or even both.
You Have Arthritis, Osteoporosis, or other Degenerative Conditions
For most people, joint and bone changes begin at mid-life and accelerate with advancing senior years. Wear and tear arthritis (osteoarthritis) is a common degenerative condition that limits joint flexibility and strength. Another common condition is osteoporosis, which weakens bones and puts people at risk for fractures as well as loss of height, balance, straight posture, and strength.
Your orthopedic doctor can evaluate you for chronic musculoskeletal conditions and even recommend ways to manage their side effects or slow their progression. For instance, osteoporosis and its precursor, osteopenia, can be managed with medications, targeted exercises, supplements, diet, and more.
Your PCP Thinks You Need a Joint Replacement
Sometimes injury, advanced arthritis, or congenital malformation warrant evaluation by a bone doctor. Your PCP may think you need joint replacement surgery for your hip, shoulder, or knee, but it’s always best to consult an orthopedic surgeon as they have the most expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal conditions.
While surgery may be the best choice, other options like physical therapy or guided cortisone injections can postpone or avoid surgery altogether. An orthopedic surgeon can create a custom treatment plan based on your unique musculoskeletal condition.
You Want to Improve Your Sports Performance and Lower your Risk for Injury
If you wish to improve how well and how safely you engage in your favorite athletic pursuit, you should see an orthopedic doctor who specializes in sports medicine. Overuse injuries from running, jumping, and even dancing or swinging a tennis racket can cause substantial pain and may even force you to take a break from your sport.
However, bone doctors who specialize in sports medicine can tell you how to train safely and effectively. Balance, coordination, gait, strength, endurance, and more all fall into a sports medicine physician’s scope of practice. You’ll receive expert advice on how to participate in your sport safely and even how to prevent injury down the line.
Center For Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine
Looking for the best bone doctor in the San Antonio area? Come see our team at the Center for Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine. Our board-certified orthopedic surgeons are Dr. Geoffrey Millican, Dr. Raymond Skunda, and Dr. Michael Jones. They have extensive training and experience in both surgical and non-surgical treatment options to keep you active and pain-free.