Many times we suffer through the pain of arthritis and joint problems thinking that medication is the only way to treat the pain. Interestingly, many arthritis and joint pain sufferers haven’t considered that a consultation with an Orthopedic Surgeon may present a range of different options to treat and manage the condition, and sometimes with better results than medications alone can offer. But first let’s look at some of the injuries and conditions that an Orthopedic Surgeon can help you with.
It’s important to first define just what Orthopedics is. This is a specialized area that deals with injuries and various issues relating to the musculoskeletal system. The musculoskeletal system takes in a highly intricate network in the human body which includes the joints, bones, tendons and ligaments along with nerves and muscles. Some of the patients that an Orthopedic Surgeon may see suffer from spine injuries as well as other deformities, perhaps they have hip or knee problems and many suffer with arthritis. It is fair to say that the term Orthopedics covers an wide range of disciplines that fall within and under that title. You can find rheumatologists, Orthopedic Surgeons, physical therapists and pediatricians all dealing with orthopedic specific issues.
Most of us can relate to some form of back pain, knee or shoulder injury, even sprains, strains and over use injuries. All of these issues are very common amongst Americans, and if you don’t suffer from it yourself, then chances are you will know someone or have a family member that does. When we look at the figures for those of us that do suffer from a musculoskeletal problem, it is staggering to learn that there are over 28 million Americans each year that seek out the expert care and treatment of an Orthopedic Surgeon. So what conditions should you consult with your Orthopedic Surgeon on?
Arthritis is a general term that describes joint cartilage damage, and may occur in the very young and all the way through to the elderly. Signs of arthritis include, but aren’t limited to; pain and stiffness when walking or using the joint to perhaps open jars or tie shoes. There may be stiffness in that joint when standing, or pain when performing otherwise mundane tasks like brushing teeth. Inflammation around the joint itself can also be an indicator of arthritis. Arthritis can be a significantly painful condition and consulting with your Orthopedic Surgeon can provide you with treatment options as well as lifestyle changes that may help with pain management.
With the marvel of modern day medicine it is fascinating to see that we are able to replace almost any joint in the human body. Hip, knee and shoulder replacements rate amongst the more common Orthopedic Surgical procedures performed. Obviously, a procedure of this kind is considered major surgery and is often a last resort for patients that have significant joint issues. Speaking to an Orthopedic Surgeon when you first begin to suffer pain in your joints is the best way to find an effective pain management plan, long before it gets to replacement stage.
Certainly, arthritis and joint replacement only covers a relatively limited overview of the scope that an Orthopedic Surgeon may assist you with. Should you have any bone, muscle, nerve, tendon or ligament complaint or injury then consulting with an Orthopedic Surgeon will help determine what your treatment, management and recovery options are.