An orthopedic surgeon is a medical doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal (orthopedic) conditions, and this type of physician can also perform surgery if necessary. An orthopedist treats conditions related to the bones, muscles, joints, and related structures in the body.
If you’re suffering from arthritis – which is inflammation in one or more joints – an orthopedic surgeon can help, and this doctor will not necessarily recommend surgery. Let’s talk about some of the main benefits of seeing an orthopedic surgeon if you are suffering from arthritis, and where you can go in South Texas and the Greater San Antonio area for outstanding orthopedic care.
What Kind of Doctor Should Diagnose Arthritis?
If you’ve been suffering from pain, stiffness, and/or swelling in one or more of your joints, an orthopedic surgeon will be able to efficiently make a diagnosis of arthritis or another condition. This doctor will review your medical history, listen to the specific symptoms you’ve been experiencing, consider the medications you’re currently taking, and perform a comprehensive physical exam to derive a diagnosis.
The doctor may order blood tests or imaging tests to determine an accurate diagnosis. Sometimes, a sample of fluid is taken from a joint for analysis.
An orthopedic surgeon is well-versed in distinguishing between the various types of arthritis. There are more than 100 types of arthritis, and they all warrant different treatments – so you will want an experienced orthopedist to be the one to diagnose and treat your condition so you can enjoy effective and long-lasting relief. Other types of doctors may just assume that you have osteoarthritis, but treatment for this type is not always effective for other types of arthritis.
An Orthopedic Surgeon Can Provide Long-Lasting Treatment for Arthritis
Depending on the location, severity, and extent of your arthritis, your orthopedic surgeon may recommend noninvasive treatment first. The doctor may also administer pain-relief injection treatment into the joint, which can provide arthritis relief for weeks or months at a time.
Surgical Arthritis Treatment
If noninvasive treatments and joint-injection treatments have not worked to provide lasting relief from your arthritis pain, your orthopedic surgeon may recommend a surgical approach. This may be total joint replacement, partial joint replacement, or joint resurfacing surgery.
A joint replacement involves replacing the joint with an artificial (prosthetic) one. This is most commonly done in a hip or knee.
Your orthopedic surgeon may also recommend joint fusion surgery, which is commonly done in smaller joints such as the wrist, ankle, fingers, or vertebrae. This involves fostering adjacent bones to fuse together in order to eliminate arthritis pain. Joint fusion is also a natural process that occurs when the body needs to repair broken bones, and joint fusion surgery ensures that the bones heal together properly and straight.
Orthopedic Surgeons in San Antonio, TX
If you suffer from arthritis, look no further than the experienced orthopedic surgeons at the Center for Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine. If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment with one of our outstanding orthopedists, call our office today at (210) 692-7400 or use our online appointment request form. We look forward to helping you get back to enjoying life!