A musculoskeletal injury that causes pain or limits an individual's range of motion may require care by an orthopedist. Learn how this type of doctor makes a diagnosis and treats an injury.
Muscular pain, joint pain, or a soft tissue injury that does not heal on its own could require the care of an orthopedist. An orthopedist is a doctor who specializes in injuries and diseases that affect the musculoskeletal system (bones, joints, muscles, and tissues).
An orthopedist can determine if repetitive movement or an injury has contributed to the chronic pain and loss of movement that a patient is enduring. They can also determine if an underlying condition, such as arthritis, is causing discomfort and limited mobility.
The Preliminary Appointment
The preliminary appointment will include a consultation and physical exam that are each performed by an orthopedist. A patient's age, medical history, and current activity level could have a bearing on the type of diagnosis and treatment plan that an orthopedist will outline.
Assessments And Testing Processes
A range of motion assessment or a coordination assessment can help an orthopedist determine the severity of an injury. An assessment provides a clear picture of how an injury is affecting a patient and disrupting their daily routine.
X-rays, MRI imaging, and other testing processes may be administered during a routine office appointment. If a broken bone or another serious issue has been detected, advanced testing processes are used to confirm an injury and substantiate the severity of the musculoskeletal issue.
The treatment process can vary, based upon the type of injury that has been detected and the patient's status. An orthopedist may use a cast or sling to immobilize an injury.
If a chronic condition has been diagnosed, including rheumatoid arthritis, an orthopedist may prescribe anti-inflammatories and recommend that a patient participate in physical therapy sessions. The treatment process for an orthopedic injury may be brief or prolonged, based on a patient's diagnosis and the likelihood that an injury will heal in its entirety.
Severe injuries may require invasive or non-invasive surgical procedures. If a patient is a candidate for a surgical procedure, their orthopedist will brief them on each medical procedure that can effectively treat the injury that has been detected.
Once an injury has healed, an orthopedist may recommend some preventative measures that will ward off future injuries. These measures will be discussed with a patient once they have completed the care plan that their doctor has prescribed.
Contact a local orthopedics clinic to learn more.