Saturday, February 05, 2022

When to see an orthopedist

The range of pathologies and treatments for diseases and injuries of the bone system that orthopedics deals with is very diverse. Diseases of the bones, joints, ligaments, and spine, as well as the surrounding tissues, can be congenital, infectious, and acquired (as a result of injuries, metabolic disorders, and occupational injuries).

Bone disorders develop slowly, and the first symptoms may appear only with significant pathological changes, therefore it is necessary to consult an orthopedist regularly, starting from childhood.

Areas of orthopedics

What exactly is treated by an orthopedic traumatologist depends on his specialization:

  • Conservative (outpatient) orthopedics - outpatient prevention of bone disease, non-operative treatment of chronic joint and bone disease.
  • Surgical orthopedics (feet, spine, hand, teeth) - radical treatment of diseases of bones, ligaments, and joints. 
  • Endoprosthetics (joints, bones) - surgical prosthetics when joints and bones cannot be preserved by other treatment methods. 
  • Traumatology and orthopedics (including sports orthopedics) - conservative and surgical treatment of injuries to the bone system, including specific injuries to athletes. 
  • Pediatric and adolescent orthopedics - prevention and treatment of bone defects in infants, toddlers, and adolescents.

When it is necessary to see an orthopedist

Several symptoms require an immediate visit to the orthopedist, as these symptoms may indicate the presence of serious diseases. The help of a specialist is needed if the following is observed:

  • Swelling of the joint with pain on movement;
  • Stiffness and crunching in the joints;
  • Pain in the back;
  • Simultaneous numbness in the hands;
  • Impaired posture and rapid fatigue;
  • Pain and stiffness in connection with changes in the weather.

How does the initial appointment with an orthopedist go

At the first appointment, the doctor:

Visually evaluates the correctness of the anatomical structure of the bone system (this is especially important when examining a newborn);

Determines the amplitude of movement of the problem joints;

Prescribes fluoroscopy to clarify the diagnosis; in complicated cases, computer or magnetic resonance imaging may be prescribed.

What conditions require regular follow-up with an orthopedist

With chronic diseases of the musculoskeletal system, there are exacerbations, when it is necessary to see an orthopedist regularly. Doctor observation should be constant if the patient has been diagnosed with:

  • Osteochondrosis;
  • Rheumatoid arthritis;
  • Osteoarthritis of various joints;
  • Fracture of the neck of the femur;
  • Spinal injuries;
  • Dislocations of the knee or shoulder.

Preventive visits to an orthopedist traumatologist are desirable for people involved in sports or those who prefer extreme types of outdoor activities, to eliminate microtraumas in time and prevent possible problems.

When to see an orthopedist with a child

Parents should know when to visit the orthopedist because a timely visit to this specialist makes it possible to correct pathologies, even those of congenital nature.

You should go to the orthopedist with your child:

  • If the hip is incorrectly positioned in the newborn (congenital dislocation);
  • If your baby's head is constantly tilted toward one shoulder (torticollis);
  • If the child puts his or her foot down when walking (clubfoot);
  • If the child quickly tires while walking and their gait looks heavy (flat feet);
  • If the child is noticeably slouching;
  • If the child complains of pain in the legs or arms, back, or neck.

Treatment with an orthopedist

In orthopedics, conservative and surgical methods of treatment are used. In outpatient therapy, the patient has prescribed medications: drugs, injections, ointments, and rubs. They are used to reduce pain syndrome and relieve inflammation. 

Another important method of conservative treatment is physical therapy. It is relevant when recovering from injuries, operations. Classes are conducted under the guidance of a doctor, the complexity of exercises increases gradually, according to the patient's condition.

Physiotherapy for spinal conditions and physiotherapy for back pain is used for rehabilitation after injuries, as an additional measure to medical treatment and physical therapy. Massage is also an important method of conservative treatment and rehabilitation. It helps to stimulate blood circulation and relieve tension in the injured areas.

This article is for educational purposes only and does not constitute scientific material or professional medical advice.

This is a guest blog entry

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