What is orthopedics? It is a branch of medicine that deals with injuries and diseases of the musculoskeletal system. This amazingly complex system includes bones, muscles, joints, ligaments, tendons, and other connective tissue.
Who should visit an orthopedist?
Chronic pain is the major symptom of an orthopedic injury or disease, and typically it is treated by a combination of physical therapy and pain medication. Dealing with such pain can be a frustrating process, and sometimes it can take a long time to pinpoint the source of the pain. The big question, however, is, how do you know when you should visit an orthopedist?
- If you are experiencing continuing pain in a specific area of your body.
- If you’ve suffered a bone fracture and it didn’t heal well after six weeks.
- Tendon pain is another major complaint for which people often visit an orthopedist. This includes injuries like tennis elbow or Achilles tendonitis.
- If you still feel pain after undergoing surgery.
- If your family history includes injuries or diseases that may affect you in the future
The key to dealing with orthopedic conditions is early diagnosis and the right treatment plan. Also, it is imperative that you find the right orthopedist as they play a crucial role in determining the course of treatment. That is why it is highly recommended to consult with an orthopedist, even in the case of a seemingly minor injury or condition.
What to expect during your appointment
When visiting an orthopedist for the first time, you might be terrified at the same time confused. Understandably, you may be worried about your new diagnosis or the pain that has been bothering you for so long. The good news is that most orthopedic doctors are used to dealing with such circumstances, and they are willing to explain everything down to the smallest detail.
Below are two main things you should expect during your first visit;
- A diagnosis
The first thing that you should expect from an orthopedist is a diagnosis of your symptoms. This will usually involve assessing the symptoms you are experiencing and conducting medical tests if necessary. Also, they might recommend certain imaging tests to pinpoint the location of your injury or condition. Such diagnostic procedures can help determine how severe it is and what sort of treatment plan would be best for you.
- Treatment options available
Once you have been diagnosed with an orthopedic condition, you will need to choose a suitable treatment option. An important thing to keep in mind is that conservative treatments are always preferred over surgery.
There are several treatment options that you might hear about during your first visit with the orthopedist. You should expect to end up discussing all of them and how they will help you solve your condition.
Some of the treatment plans include medications for the pain and inflammation. Orthopedic doctors may also recommend physical therapy that will improve the function of your muscles and connective tissues. In severe cases, surgery might be necessary to remove the damaged tissue and repair the affected area of your body.
It is also important that you ask as many questions as possible to get a complete understanding of your condition. This is because it will enable you to take an active role in the process of getting better.
That said, let us now look at factors to consider when choosing an orthopedist.
How to choose the right orthopedist
Many orthopedists are available, but not all of them are good at their job. Some might even recommend unnecessary procedures that will lead to greater problems down the line. Therefore, it’s crucial that you find an orthopedist who is experienced and knowledgeable in diagnosing your condition. Here are some factors to consider when choosing one;
The reputation of the orthopedists says a lot about the quality of their service. That’s why you should always ask your friends and family for recommendations if possible. You can also check their online reviews to find out what patients say about them. In addition, check if the physician has been involved in any medical malpractice or lawsuits recently to make sure that they are a trustworthy professional. Note that while SEO for orthopedics has helped many doctors maintain a good reputation and rank higher on search results, it is always advisable to ask around before checking out their SEO score.
You should also pay attention to certifications because they can help you determine which orthopedists are experienced in treating your condition. You can even ask for copies of their certification to determine whether or not they are qualified enough.
Another factor that will influence you is the amount of experience they have in diagnosing and treating orthopedic conditions. You can learn about this by checking their website and learning more about what makes them different from the rest. An experienced orthopedist will be able to provide you with an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.
- Examination capabilities
You should also look at whether or not an orthopedist has all the necessary equipment to accurately diagnose your condition. For example, an MRI machine is essential for diagnosing most orthopedic issues, including a herniated disc or bone tumors. You want to make sure that they have one on-site before you agree to work with them.
It is understandable that cost may play a big part in your decision-making process when choosing a particular orthopedist. Therefore, you should consider the fees charged by the professionals before making your final decision. Also, find out if your insurance covers the procedures performed by that particular doctor.
The location of your orthopedist is another important factor to consider when choosing a physician. A good orthopedic clinic should be easily accessible from your place of residence. In addition, you should not have to go through a lot of trouble to book an appointment with an orthopedist as you probably have other commitments as well.
Orthopedics is a broad topic that covers a wide range of conditions and injuries. However, that doesn’t mean that you should be discouraged from seeking help when you need it. Just make sure to do your homework and choose an orthopedic clinic with the right equipment and expertise to accurately diagnose and treat your condition.