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When Should I Visit an Orthopedic Surgeon?

In the United States, more than 28 million people experience musculoskeletal difficulties every year. One of the most common problem is lower back pain, which up to 80% of all adults will experience at some point during their lifetime. However, musculoskeletal problems also include overuse injuries, knee injuries, and shoulder injuries.

Orthopedic doctors specialize in treatment of these types of injuries, as well as diseases that correlate to the musculoskeletal system. Using both surgery and nonsurgical procedures, orthopedic doctors help stop pain or discomfort from musculoskeletal problems.


When should I visit an orthopedic surgeon?

You should consider seeing an orthopedic doctor if you begin to experience pain in your knees, hips, back, or shoulders that aren’t, after consulting your primary care physician, the result of another health problem. Common symptoms of musculoskeletal issues that could benefit from an orthopedic surgeon include:

  • Swelling or bruising around the joint area
  • Joint pain that increases during resting periods
  • Pain in the joint area that lasts more than three days
  • Difficulty performing daily activities


What are the most common orthopedic surgeries?

An orthopedic doctor will typically use nonsurgical methods prior to considering orthopedic surgery. However, some of the most common surgeries performed by an orthopedic surgeon to alleviate joint and musculoskeletal pain include:

ACL reconstruction: Most common among athletes, ACL reconstruction involves removing the torn anterior cruciate ligament and making a new ACL using the patient’s own tissue. The tissue is attached to the bone, and as the injury heals, new tissue begins to fill in the area to secure the new ligament.

Spinal fusion: A type of spinal surgery, spinal fusion surgery fuses specific vertebrae together to help prevent the nerves in the spine from stretching and causing inflammation and pain.

Knee joint replacement: Patients undergoing joint replacement are typically seeking increased mobility after being treated for severe arthritis. During surgery, the joint is replaced with a joint that is a replication of your own joint. The result is a less invasive surgery, less risk of infection and quicker recovery.

For more information on how orthopedics can help you with your joint pain, contact Wood County Hospital today.