Musculoskeletal pain is a common occurrence affecting millions of people of all ages and lifestyles.
If you’ve been sidelined by musculoskeletal (muscles, bone, and joints) pain, whether due to injury or your lifestyle choices and wondering whom to seek diagnosis and treatment from, you’ll greatly benefit from the expertise of an orthopedic doctor.
Let’s take a deeper look into an orthopedic doctor and the condition he/she can diagnose.
What Is an Orthopedic Doctor?
An orthopedic doctor is a medical doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating conditions affecting your musculoskeletal system, i.e., muscles, bones, joints, nerves, and soft tissues.
Orthopedic doctors have completed four years of medical school, followed by five years of residency. Then, they must pass the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) to be licensed to practice. An orthopedic doctor may also pursue one-year fellowship training to subspecialize.
To become board certified, an orthopedic doctor passes a certifying exam by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery or the American Osteopathic Board of Orthopedic Surgery.
What Conditions Can an Orthopedic Doctor Diagnose?
Following are a few of the countless orthopedic conditions an orthopedic doctor can diagnose.
Arthritis is an umbrella term encompassing hundreds of problems that cause swelling and tenderness of one or more joints. The most common of these are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Commonly, people visit an orthopedic doctor for knee, hip, and shoulder joint arthritis.
An orthopedic doctor can use different modalities to diagnose arthritis. They perform a physical exam during which they check your joints for redness, swelling, warmth, and tenderness, as well as the range of motion. They order laboratory tests and diagnostic imaging tests such as X-rays, computerized tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and ultrasound.
Sports injuries can occur during sports and while exercising. Commonly these may occur due to overuse of a muscle or joint or lack of training. These injuries are not limited to athletes only but can also afflict any physically active person. Common sports injuries an orthopedic doctor can diagnose and treat include:
Sprains. This results from overstretching or tearing of ligaments.
Strains. This results from overstretching or tearing of a tendon or muscle.
Knee injury. This results when a muscle or tissue of the knee joint overstretches or tears.
Achilles tendon rupture. As the name indicates, this is a rupture of a thin but powerful tendon located at the back of your ankle.
Bone fractures. Also known as a broken bone, this results from sudden trauma or stress to bones.
Dislocation. This happens when a bone is forced out of its socket.
Rotator cuff injury. This is a tear in any of the four muscles that work together to form a rotator cuff. The rotator cuff allows shoulder movement in all directions.
ACL injury. This results from a tear or sprain in the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), which is a band of tissues that connects the thigh bone to the shinbone.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)
CTS occurs when the pressure compresses the median nerve that passes through the carpal tunnel. A wrists fracture or anything that narrows the carpal tunnel and irritates the median nerve can result in carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). Pain, tingling, numbness, and weakness in the hand and forearm are common signs.
An orthopedic doctor may perform a physical exam or order diagnostic imaging tests to diagnose CTS. A nerve conduction study that determines if electrical impulses are slowed in the carpal tunnel may also diagnose CTS.
Menisci are wedge-like rubbery cushions embedded in your thighbone and shinbone and help your knee joint glide, carry weight, and turn in different directions.
An orthopedic doctor will order a diagnostic imaging test such as MRI to diagnose and assess the degree to which your meniscus is damaged.
This is characterized by the inflammation of the bursae, a small fluid-filled sac that cushions muscles, bones, and tendons near your joint. This condition may cause disabling joint pain, swelling, redness, and bruising.
Imaging tests and lab tests help your orthopedic doctor diagnose bursitis.
Ortho Doctor Near Me in San Antonio, TX
At the Center for Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine, our board-certified orthopedic doctors are committed to providing you with the diagnosis and effective treatment of all your orthopedic conditions and injuries. Our orthopedic doctors use cutting-edge technologies that help them make the right diagnosis and provide the right treatment that promises excellent outcomes.
We look forward to serving you!