Injuries and conditions affecting the musculoskeletal system are very common. They can cause pain and disability and can impact many areas of life. The good news is that an orthopedic doctor can effectively diagnose and treat a wide range of musculoskeletal conditions, no matter how complex, to allow you to lead a happier and more productive life.
The body’s musculoskeletal system is comprised of bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons,plus other connective and soft tissues.All parts of the musculoskeletal system work together to support your body weight, maintain your posture, and carry out a wide range of movements, from walking, jumping, and riding a bike to writing, throwing, and catching, plus much more.
However, the musculoskeletal system can be vulnerable to injury and disorders, which can cause pain, joint instability, and limited function and prevent you from carrying out your normal day-to-day activities. If left untreated, certain orthopedic problems can get steadily worse over time, leading to severe disability and chronic pain. An orthopedic doctor has the specialised training and experience to treat a comprehensive range of injuries and conditions to allow you to get back to doing the activities you enjoy, pain-free.
The Role of an Orthopedic Doctor
Musculoskeletal conditions can affect any person at any age, from newborns to the elderly. Orthopedic doctors are highly trained medical doctors who work with patients of all ages and specialize in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disorders affecting the musculoskeletal system. This can include a wide range of injuries and conditions, such as sports injuries, age-related conditions, orthopedic trauma, fractures, congenital defects, deformities, and diseases like arthritis and osteoporosis.
Some orthopedic doctors cover general orthopedics, which includes a wide range of different conditions affecting all areas of the musculoskeletal system, while other orthopedic doctors are specialty trained in specific areas of the body or orthopedics, such as:
- Foot and ankle
- Hip and knee
- Hand, wrist, and elbow
- Shoulder and knee
- Sports medicine
- Minimally invasive techniques and/or robotic surgery
- Joint replacement surgery
When to See an Orthopedic Doctor
An orthopedic doctor can help if you are experiencing pain, stiffness, swelling, a reduced range or motion, or difficulty moving. If you have a chronic condition, such as back pain, arthritis, or osteoporosis, your orthopedic doctor can help you manage your condition more effectively.
In some circumstances, your healthcare provider may refer you to an orthopedic doctor, such as if you have a musculoskeletal injury or condition that is causing you ongoing pain or limiting your ability to work or carry out activities, or if you develop a sudden musculoskeletal problem, which in some cases, could be a sign of a serious condition.
What to Expect at Your First Visit
When you first meet with your orthopedic doctor, they will usually start with a thorough evaluation of your medical history and symptoms and a physical examination to assess your musculoskeletal problem and overall health. Further diagnostic and imaging tests, such as an X-ray, MRI, ultrasound, and CT, may be recommended to accurately diagnose your condition.Once your orthopedic doctor has carried out a full evaluation of your symptoms and diagnosed your condition, they will develop a personalized treatment plan.
Treatments for Orthopedic Conditions
The type of treatment you need will depend on your condition, age, overall health, and other factors such as your lifestyle and personal preferences. A personalized treatment plan may involve a combination of treatments, lifestyle changes, and dietary recommendations.
Orthopedic doctors utilize the most innovative and effective nonsurgical and surgical treatments to treat a condition. Common nonsurgical treatments for orthopedic conditions and injuries may include:
- Immobilization, such as casting, bracing, boots, splints, and traction
- Medications, such as antibiotics and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation
- Steroid injections and ultrasound-guided injections
Orthopedic doctors are also fully up-to-date with cutting-edge treatments, such as stem cell injections andplatelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy, which usegrowth factors and other components from the patient’s bodyto reduce pain and promote the natural healing process.
An orthopedic doctor will only recommend surgery when conservative treatments have been fully explored or no longer work effectively. Orthopedic doctors use the latest surgical and minimally invasive surgical procedures to allow patients to return to their normal activities as quickly as possible. They are highly trained and skilled to perform a wide range of routine and complex surgical procedures. Common procedures include arthroscopic surgery, cartilage repair or resurfacing procedures, joint fusion surgery, joint replacements, fracture care, tendon or ligament reconstruction surgery, spine surgery, and much more. If surgery is required, you will receive follow-up care with your orthopedic doctor to monitor your healing progress and ensure you have the best rehabilitation possible.
Orthopedic Doctors in Hartford County, CT
If you have bone, muscle, or joint painand are looking for expert orthopedic care, contact Advanced Orthopedics New England. Our board-certified physicians provide diagnosis and a comprehensive range of nonsurgical and surgical specialties and services for a variety of musculoskeletal injuries and disorders. Our expert providers can help restore your function and mobility and provide you with effective pain relief caused by your condition.