Orthopedic injuries can be debilitating and painful. They can prevent you from going about your daily life and spending time with your loved ones. Fortunately, orthopedic injury doctors can help their patients recover from orthopedic injury. These providers use comprehensive methods to diagnose and treat people’s injuries. With their help, patients can recover fully from their conditions and return to their everyday lives.
Let’s talk about what orthopedic injury doctors do and where you can find the best orthopedic injury doctor.
Diagnosis of Orthopedic Injuries
An orthopedic injury doctor is a medical specialist who diagnoses and treats the orthopedic injuries affecting the bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, or muscles. Some also call them sports injury doctors as they often treat athletes.
It’s vital to get an accurate diagnosis to receive the proper treatment. That’s why your provider will use different methods to diagnose your injury. During a physical examination, your doctor will assess the injured area for swelling, tenderness, deformity, and range of motion. They will ask about your symptoms, such as pain level, when the injury occurred, and how it affected your life. Your provider may also recommend imaging tests to aid in your diagnosis, like:
- X-ray – is often the first test ordered to evaluate bone fractures or suspected breaks
- MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) – produces detailed images of bones and soft tissues to help diagnose muscle tears, ligament damage, and joint problems
- CT (computed tomography) scan – produces cross-sectional images of your body and may be used instead of an MRI if you are claustrophobic or have metal in your body
Treat Orthopedic Conditions
After diagnosing a patient’s injury, an orthopedic injury doctor will develop a treatment plan. This plan may include medication, physical therapy, or surgery. In some cases, they may use a combination of these methods. The goal of treatment is to reduce pain and swelling, promote healing, and restore function. Your doctor will tailor your plan to your personal needs to achieve this goal.
Your treatment may be conservative or surgical. Some examples of nonsurgical treatment options are:
- I.C.E. method or resting, icing, compression, and elevation
- Medications like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) help to reduce pain and swelling
- Corticosteroid injections to reduce inflammation
- Physical therapy, like exercises, massages, and electrical stimulation, to help you regain strength and mobility
- Bracing, casting, or splinting to support and stabilize your injured body part
In some cases, surgery may be necessary to treat an orthopedic injury. Your doctor may recommend surgical procedures to repair damaged bones or tissues. Usually, providers suggest surgery if you have severe symptoms or other treatment methods have failed. Orthopedic doctors are trained to perform procedures like:
- Arthroscopy – a minimally invasive surgery used to diagnose and treat problems inside a joint
- Fusion surgery – a procedure that joins two bones together
- Joint replacement surgery – a surgery to replace a damaged joint with an artificial joint
After an orthopedic injury, it is essential to follow your doctor’s instructions and attend your scheduled appointments. With the help of your provider, you can recover fully from your injury and get back to your life. This recovery process may include follow-up appointments and ongoing physical therapy.
Your doctor will recommend physical therapy to help you regain strength and mobility. They will refer you to a physical therapist who can create a custom rehabilitation program for you. This therapy plan may include exercises, stretching, massage, and other modalities.
Your orthopedic injury doctor will also tell you how to care for your injury, like:
- Stretching and icing the affected area
- Taking pain medication
- Avoiding activities that worsen your symptoms
- Pacing yourself as you return to activity
- Cleaning and dressing your wound, if necessary
- Wearing a splint or brace
- Sleeping positions that don’t aggravate your injury
Provide Patient Education
Orthopedic injury doctors also play a vital role in patient education. They will recommend preventative measures to help you avoid future injuries and live a healthy life. Some examples are:
- Wearing proper safety gear when participating in sports or other activities
- Using proper form when lifting weights or completing other exercises
- Stretching before participating in activities that may put stress on the body
- Warming up before and cooling down after participating in activities
- Eating a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy weight
- Getting adequate rest and sleep
When to See an Orthopedic Injury Doctor
Waiting too long to seek medical attention can worsen your injury and delay your recovery. If you have any of the following symptoms, you should see an orthopedic injury doctor:
- Pain that does not go away with rest
- Swelling and bruising
- Loss of range of motion
- Weakness or instability
- Numbness or tingling
Orthopedic Injury Doctor in Plantation, FL
Orthopedic injury doctors are medical specialists who diagnose and treat problems in the musculoskeletal system. They use different diagnostic methods to examine patients and work with other healthcare professionals to develop comprehensive treatment plans. If you are injured, consult with your provider immediately.
If you need an orthopedic injury doctor in Plantation, Our Baylis and Brown Orthopedics providers are here to help. Our team of trusted board-certified orthopedic surgeons can treat various injuries to the musculoskeletal system. You may contact our friendly staff at (954) 476-8800 if you have inquiries about our services. You can also use our secure online appointment request form for consultations.