If you are one of the millions of Americans that suffer through the pain of joint, tendon, muscle or back problems and think that the only way to deal with it is with medication, then you may want to rethink. Consulting with a specialist who deals only in the diseases, injuries or issues of the musculoskeletal system can prove very beneficial for the pain sufferer.
Orthopedic Surgeons specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of illness and injury to the human body. They focus on all the components that make up the musculoskeletal system. This is an elaborate system that incorporates every joint, bone, tendon, ligament, nerve and muscle in the body. Patients that would consult with an Orthopedic Surgeon include those with arthritis or tendon damage all the way through to patients with spinal injuries. In fact, the term Orthopedics encompasses a large number of disciplines that fall within that term. It includes the Surgeons, Rheumatologists, Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists and Sports Medicine.
Some of the more common orthopedic surgeries that are performed every day include hip, shoulder, ankle and knee replacement, back surgery as well as various arthroscopic procedures. Interestingly, arthroscopic procedures have become the standard treatment for many common joint problems although not all surgery can be performed in this manner. Your Orthopedic Surgeon will consult with you on the best treatment options for your complaint. It is worth noting that surgery can often be recommended as the initial treatment but many times is the only option left after other treatments fail to relieve the pain and symptoms.
You should seek a consultation with your Orthopedic Surgeon if you have pain in any part of the musculoskeletal system listed above. It is especially important to pursue their advice if you are unsure of the cause of the pain, or if you are not aware of the precise treatment options for the issue. An Orthopedic Surgeon will direct the treatment options at the specific cause of the problem. So, what signs should you see an Orthopedic Surgeon for?
• Difficulty carrying objects or using that particular hand, or arm
• Any deformity of joints
• Joint pain that is more intense when resting or at night
• Pain in joints or muscles and tendons that last more than a few days
• Inability to straighten the back, stiffness when standing
• Swelling or bruising around the joint or injury
• Any kind of infection observed by inflammation, heat, redness and/or fever
• Generally unusual symptoms to the area of pain
Of course this is only a short list of the many different symptoms that can occur in various parts of the body. As a general rule however, it is best to consult with your Orthopedic Surgeon the moment that you notice any significant change in the ease of use to any part of your musculoskeletal system. The earlier you are able to get advice on the complaint, the sooner you may be able to treat the problem before it becomes more severe. Consultations will generally include isolating where the problem is, the probable or exact cause of the problem and then the treatment options available to you. You may also expect advice on pain management that might include medication and/or injections, rehabilitation such as physical therapy as well as ongoing orthopedic care.