How an Orthopedist Can Help You—Even If You Don’t Need Surgery
Most people have at least some type of recurring injury. Whether it’s a bad back, hip pain, knee pain, or a bad shoulder, there are all types of things that can give us problems. With these types of aches and pains, an orthopedist is an amazing resource—even when you don’t think surgery will be necessary or when you don’t want to go under the knife. If this is the case for you, here are some thoughts about how an orthopedist might be useful even if you aren’t ready for surgery.
Orthopedists are about as good as it gets when it comes to understanding the human body as it relates to bone, tendon, ligament and musculoskeletal pain. They have gone through countless years of medical school and anatomy training and know your insides better than your outsides. Advice from a doctor of that caliber is worth something, even if you start by saying, “I really don’t want to have an operation.” It never hurts to get advice from the expert.
Orthopedists studied more than surgery in school. There are many other treatment methods that can (and should) be tried before you decide to get a major surgery. Depending on what type of pain or injury you have, there are corticosteroids and other drugs that are made to target inflamed joints. If that is not your problem, orthopedists are trained to give rehab stretches and exercises to strengthen and mobilize joints.
If you come to an orthopedist, and they tell you they don’t think they are the right person to treat you, that’s okay too. Doctors love referring patients to other doctors when they know it will make for a better fit for treatment. If your orthopedist doesn’t think their specialty can help you, they will know the best physical therapist or sports chiropractor for your problem. A referral from a trusted orthopedist is worth listening to.
Maybe surgery really is needed
If you’re hesitant to see an orthopedic surgeon because you fear surgery, that is completely understandable. But sometimes surgery really is inevitable and will need to happen in the future regardless. A lot of pain, especially as we age, will not go away unless it gets fixed. Your doctor can tell you if you fall in that category.
A good orthopedist will be honest and candid to you about the pros and cons of your specific situation and the best treatment plan for you. Don’t hesitate to see one just because you feel like your condition is not “bad enough” to get surgery. Orthopedists are experts and will do what is best for your case.