An orthopedic doctor treats conditions and injuries that affect the musculoskeletal system. Bones, soft tissue, muscle, tendons, and ligaments are musculoskeletal structures that, when injured or affected by illness, are diagnosed and treated by an orthopedic doctor or orthopedic surgeon. Orthopedic specialists also help prevent orthopedic injuries and conditions from developing in the future.
Below are examples of issues orthopedic specialists treat.
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis, and like all forms, it is progressive and can eventually become debilitating. The painful condition breaks down cartilage in joints and depletes the cushioning within the joint that protects the ends of bones. As cushioning disintegrates, bone on bone scraping occurs, which becomes very painful over time. Stiffness and swelling of the joint are also characteristic of osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis can affect any joint in the body, including even the joints of the fingers. Knees, hips and shoulder joints are most commonly affected.
Osteoarthritis damage is often treated using conservative methods first, followed by surgery. Conservative treatments include over-the-counter pain medications, prescription pain medications, physical therapy, steroid injections in the joint, and many other forms of treatment. These treatments work wonders for many people who have mild to moderate arthritic damage in a joint. Over time, however, it is likely that such treatments will not give you the same results. When that happens, joint replacement surgery is the most common option to reduce pain and restore function.
Sports and Workplace Injuries
Sports and workplace injuries are pretty common issues that orthopedic specialists treat. Regardless of the sport you play, there are some injuries you are at risk for. Some injuries happen suddenly, such as when you collide or fall while playing. Others are overuse injuries that develop gradually as you play with the same musculoskeletal components over and over again. Such injuries often cause symptoms such as pain, stiffness, swelling, limited mobility, and reduced performance, which will alert you that you need to see an orthopedic doctor for a diagnosis and treatment.
Overuse injuries also common in the workplace. If you work in an office, for example, you could develop carpal tunnel syndrome in the wrist from typing. Another example is a construction worker who develops a rotator cuff injury from over-the-head movements. Orthopedic physicians very often see patients for injuries such as these. The most common way to treat overuse injuries is through rest and a break from the activities that cause the problem. Next, you will be instructed to use special equipment (such as a brace), take frequent breaks, do physical therapy, and take pain medication when you have symptoms. Many overuse injuries can be treated early on so symptoms don’t get worse. If this is done successfully, your symptoms will subside and there will be no need for invasive procedures. However, in some cases, it may be possible that you need surgery for long-term relief.
Orthopedic Specialists in San Antonio, Texas
Doctors at the Center for Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine are available to diagnose and treat any orthopedic issue you may be experiencing.
Call (210) 692-7400 to schedule an appointment or request an appointment online.