Every day, millions of people suffer from joint and muscle pains thinking that medications alone will do to remedy their suffering. What they don’t realize is that these medications are most likely just alleviating the pain manifestations of what could be a serious, underlying disease. While pains do occasionally happen as a result of stress, strain, or dull impact, some could already signify the presence of an orthopedic condition that should be brought to the care of a medical professional.
Orthopedic surgeons are medical specialists whose focus is on the care, management, and treatment of disease conditions or injuries involving the musculoskeletal system. Generally, these specialists are referred to by general practitioners when the patient’s case goes beyond basic medical management. Orthopedists render both surgical and nonsurgical treatment, depending on what is the best course for the patient’s condition.
There are a number of surgical orthopedic treatments performed by orthopedists nowadays. There’s the shoulder, hip, knee, and ankle replacement surgery; as well as back surgery and arthroscopic procedures which are an advanced way of doing orthopedic surgeries. Just as in most aspects of medical care and management, surgery is usually the last option for treating orthopedic diseases. Specialists, specifically the more conservative ones, would advise noninvasive management first, and only if all else would fail will they give a go for surgery.
If you have been persistently experiencing pain in any of your joints, muscles, bones, or tendons, it’s best to consult with a medical professional. As early mentioned, taking pain medication may not be enough and might only even prove worse as such drugs tend to mask the manifestations of the disease. The following symptoms should also serve as a red flag and should prompt you to see your doctor immediately:
- Joint deformity
- Pain in the joint that aggravates even when the area is at rest
- Inability to carry objects due to pain on a particular arm
- Back takes immense effort to straighten up
- Presence of inflammation or contusions around injured joints
- Bizzare symptoms observed where the pain is felt
There are a lot more other signs and symptoms that would serve as an alarming call for you to take the issue to the doctor. Basically, a hindrance to normal day-to-day function is already indicative of a serious condition. It may not necessarily be fatal, but chances are it could get worse if left untreated.
In searching for a good orthopedic surgeon, a lot of research and good advice are needed. You could start by asking your general physician for referrals, as well as friends or relatives who might have had personal encounters with orthopedists sometime in the past. Pay attention to the word of mouth as it could help you get a backtrack of a certain surgeon’s work quality from previous patients. Once you have all the necessary information, you can then screen your choices until you find the one who makes the cut.