Dealing with health issues can be frustrating, and while a primary care physician can provide treatment for many ailments, there are situations where one may need the care of a specialist. An orthopedic doctor is a type of physician who specializes in treating issues related to the bones, ligaments, muscles, joints, and nerves. Since an orthopedic doctor has the education and training necessary to treat many parts of the body, there are a variety of reasons why you may be referred to one by your primary care physician. Some of the top reasons people see an orthopedic doctor include:
While human bones are very strong and durable, they can break due to trauma, a fall, or other types of accidents. In order for a broken bone to heal properly, it needs to be x-rayed to determine the severity of the break and them immobilized in a cast until it is completely healed. If you have a broken bone or suspect that a bone is broken, you will need to be treated by an orthopedic doctor. In some situations, a severely broken bone may need to be repaired and reinforced through surgery.
The knee is a very dynamic joint that makes walking and other regular movements possible. However, the knee joint can wear down over time, or ligaments and tendons can be damaged while playing sports or participating in physical activities. If your knee is severely damaged and you suffer moderate to extreme pain that prevents you from walking, your orthopedic doctor may recommend a knee replacement. If you tear a ligament or tendon, it will need to be repaired surgically by an orthopedic surgeon.
Like the knee, the hip is also a joint that gets a lot of use. Since the top of your leg connects to the hip, it also plays a large role in ensuring that a person has proper range of motion in his o her lower body. Unfortunately, older people can develop a lot of hip problems, but even younger people can damage their hips in an accident or due to other type of trauma. If you are experiencing hip pain on one or both sides, making an appointment to see an orthopedic doctor is your best option. An orthopedic doctor will run a variety of tests to properly diagnose what is wrong with your hip. In some cases, a hip replacement surgery may be recommended to fix the issue.