Disorders involving the musculoskeletal system are no joke. Without you realizing it, they can seriously affect your quality of life. Despite this, a lot of people are used to living with them.
It’s important to distinguish when you should rest at home and when you should call the doctor. Let’s learn more about the musculoskeletal experts known as orthopedic surgeons and when you should visit them.
The Need For An Orthopedic Surgeon
In a nutshell, an orthopedic surgeon is a medical doctor with specialized training in caring for the musculoskeletal system through a variety of non-surgical and surgical means. This covers your bones, tendons, ligaments, muscles, and other connective tissues in your body.
From time to time, you may experience pain in different parts of your body, like your neck, back, or heels. You may also suffer from ankle sprains or arthritis. An orthopedic surgeon can help you with all these conditions.
Will Treatment Always Involve Surgery?
You may think that a visit to an orthopedic surgeon will automatically involve surgery. However, that is not always the case.
In addition to performing surgery, orthopedic surgeons assess and treat orthopedic ailments via non-invasive approaches. This includes administering medicine and pain injections, guiding lifestyle changes, and recommending physical therapy.
Your orthopedic surgeon will always recommend the most conservative approach possible. If such treatments do not bring you relief, they will recommend exploring surgical procedures.
Telltale Signs It’s Time To See An Orthopedic Surgeon
Here are five indications that it’s time to visit an orthopedic surgeon:
1. Your Pain Developed After An Accident
Have you recently been in an accident? Perhaps you were involved in a car crash or a fall. Your head may have been hit with a severe impact, leading to whiplash. Have you been dealing with pain since then? If yes, a visit to an orthopedic surgeon may be helpful.
Your orthopedic surgeon will review your medical history to help diagnose your condition. They will ask many questions to understand your situation better. These may include:
- When exactly did your symptoms start?
- What medications and vitamins have you been taking regularly?
- Are there any particular movements or positions that improve or worsen the pain?
- Does the pain feel dull, sharp, or shooting?
- What home remedies have you tried to ease the pain?
2. Your Pain Does Not Respond To Home Treatment And Over-The-Counter Medications
There are a few things you can do at home to help alleviate pain. This includes:
- Lifestyle modifications (improving your diet, switching to ergonomic furniture, etc.)
- Daily exercise (yoga, stretching, etc.)
- Using heat packs or ice packs
- Taking over-the-counter medicines (aspirin, ibuprofen, etc.)
However, you may want to seek medical help if you’ve been doing any of these for some time now and still feel pain. This may mean that your body needs thorough treatment, which your orthopedic surgeon can provide.
Visiting your provider can be highly beneficial, because you’ll be cared for by someone with surgical and non-surgical expertise. This means you’ll have the opportunity to explore many treatment options and select the right one for yourself.
3. Your Pain Does Not Improve After One Week of Home Care
With home care and over-the-counter pain relievers, monitoring your progress as the days pass is crucial. Typically, the pain will subside within a few days.
If it’s been one week or longer and you still experience pain or mobility issues, you may have an underlying condition that needs medical attention. In cases like this, a visit to an orthopedic surgeon may help.
Your provider can assess your condition and order specialized tests such as an X-ray or MRI. This will help provide a clearer explanation of your condition.
4. Your Pain Comes With Fever, Chills, Or Sudden Weight Loss
You shouldn’t ignore fever, chills, or weight loss that accompany pain. These may indicate a serious underlying medical condition. It’s best to schedule a visit with an orthopedic surgeon as soon as possible to get a confirmed diagnosis of the underlying issue.
5. Your Pain Constantly Interrupts Your Sleep And Daily Activities
Lastly, don’t hesitate to see an orthopedic surgeon if your sleep and daily activities are compromised due to mobility restrictions or pain.
Chronic pain brought about by musculoskeletal conditions can affect your daily routine in a variety of ways, such as preventing you from spending quality time with your family or fulfilling your job responsibilities. Don’t postpone your visit to an orthopedic surgeon any further and get back to your regular activities.
Orthopedic Surgeon Near You In Dover, NJ
Here at Orthopedic Associates of West Jersey, you’ll have access to our board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons. You’ll benefit from individualized care to help you reach your goals in the safest way possible.
We look forward to serving you!