When is it time to see an Orthopedic Specialist?

Orthopedic Physicians are those doctors that have a specialty in treating pain and injury to the musculoskeletal system, or specifically, bones, joints, ligaments, and muscles.

Many orthopedic physicians choose specific conditions to concentrate their area of study in, such as the foot and ankle, the back, or wrists, arms, and elbows. When the injury involves the foot, many may wonder what the difference is between choosing a Podiatrist or an Orthopedic specialist with a focus in the foot and ankle. The podiatrist is trained only to treat the foot and the ankle, whereas an orthopedic specialist is trained to treat the whole body, as well as the foot and ankle and so, therefore, may have a better understanding as to how the rest of the body works in conjunction with the foot and ankle injury as well as the healing.

Many children and young adults visit orthopedic doctors for an obvious reason, broken bones. The elderly commonly visit for knee and hip surgery and/or replacements. Another common issue is osteoporosis that comes with aging.

Persistent problems, or those that last longer than a few days and cannot be alleviated with rest, indicate that it is time see a doctor. These problems can include:

  • Discomfort in the feet or back when walking or in climbing up and down stairs.
  • Back pain where you cannot straighten the back to stand correctly.
  • Knee pain when doing everyday activities
  • Chronic muscle or joint pain
  • Inflammation, swelling or redness around a joint
  • Limited movement
  • Deformity in bone growth

The Orthopedist has a variety of options to use when treating an injury. Swelling and inflammation can be minimized by taking prescription medications combined with a regimen of icing and rest. Treatments can also include orthotics, or equipment worn to help correct or mobilize an area to help repair muscle or bones. Surgery and rehabilitation may be used as a last resort to treat an injury.

If you are experiencing chronic or persistent pain, visiting an orthopedist, like Steamboat Orthopaedic Associates, P.C., can get you back on the road to recovery.