Orthopedics is a branch of medicine that deals with the health and treatment of bones, joints, and connective tissues. If you are a patient suffering from neck pain or back pain or have a sports injury, you could benefit from orthopedic care. Orthopedic doctors are most qualified to treat musculoskeletal conditions.
Many people have questions about general orthopedic care. In this article, we will talk about the most frequently asked questions patients have about orthopedics.
Are Orthopedic Doctors and Orthopedic Surgeons The Same?
An orthopedic doctor specializes in diagnosing and treating musculoskeletal disorders such as muscle strains, arthritis of the hip and knee, fractures, ankle sprains, shoulder tendonitis, bursitis, and more. There are orthopedic doctors who do not do surgery and focus on patient management through non-surgical treatments. An orthopedic surgeon is a medical doctor who can provide non-surgical treatments, as well as perform surgery on bones, joints, ligaments, and tendons to treat patients. Many are also trained and capable of performing highly advanced, minimally advanced arthroscopic surgery.
What Can Orthopedists Treat?
Orthopedists can treat a wide range of orthopedic issues affecting every area of the body. This includes everything from the most common to most complex issues, such as strains and sprains, dislocations, fractures of the collarbone, bicep, and shoulder tendonitis, knee ligament and meniscus tears, arthritis of the knee, arthritis of the hip, and elbow bursitis.
Who Needs a Joint Replacement?
Joint replacement surgery is a procedure in which a damaged joint is replaced with an artificial one. Joint replacements are most commonly performed on the hip and knee but can also be performed on the shoulder, elbow, wrist, finger, and ankle.
People who need a joint replacement typically have persistent pain that does not respond to conservative treatments, such as medications or physical therapy. In some cases, X-rays may show evidence of bone damage due to wear and tear from long-term use of the joint. If you or a loved one suffers from these symptoms, speak with an orthopedic surgeon about joint replacement.
How Long Is Recovery From Orthopedic Surgery?
Recovery time depends on many factors, including age, health status prior to surgery/injury, and the type of procedure performed. Orthopedic surgeries that are minimally invasive usually allow patients to have a faster recovery, provided they stick to their physical therapy and rehabilitation program.
What Should I Expect During My First Visit with an Orthopedic Surgeon?
Your initial visit will involve the physician collecting a thorough medical history, which includes information about any past medical problems you may have had, along with current symptoms you’re experiencing. The doctor will perform a physical exam before ordering imaging tests, such as X-rays, for further evaluation purposes. In some cases, diagnostic imaging can be done during the first appointment. In other cases, you may need to schedule a follow up after getting imaging tests done at another time.
This is also an opportunity for you to get to know each other and for the doctor to learn as much as possible about your health, lifestyle, and current symptoms.
Orthopedic Doctors in San Antonio, TX
The orthopedic doctors at the Center for Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine are orthopedic surgeons who provide non-surgical and surgical treatments for patients, including minimally invasive arthroscopy. We also have orthopedic doctors with advanced training in sports medicine for patients who are injured during sports or exercise, as well as orthopedic surgeons highly trained in the treatment of hand, hip, knee, and shoulder disorders.
To schedule an appointment with an orthopedic doctor, call our office today at (210) 692-7400 or use our convenient online request form.