Screen Shot 2016-05-02 at 10.47.52 AMAre you suffering from chronic back pain? What about long term muscle pain or sore joints? Are strains, sprains, knee pain, or shoulder pain keeping you from enjoying your daily life? It could be time to schedule a visit with an orthopaedic doctor.

What is an Orthopaedic Doctor?

In the simplest terms, orthopaedics is the study and research of the musculoskeletal system. The musculoskeletal system refers to the bones, joints, muscles, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, and other connective tissues of the body. Together, they provide form, support, stability, and movement to the entire body.

A doctor who specializes in injuries and diseases associated with the musculoskeletal system is an orthopaedic doctor. Common conditions treated by an orthopaedic doctor include infections, broken bones, joint issues such as arthritis, degenerative conditions like osteoporosis, and bone tumors. In addition, orthopaedic doctors are capable of handling everything from a sprained ankle to a hip replacement to a complicated spine surgery.

How Much Training Does an Orthopaedic Doctor Go Through?

As a trained medical doctor, an orthopaedic surgeon completes nearly 14 years of formal education. This includes:

  • Four years of study at a college
  • Four years of study at a medical school
  • Five years of study at and orthopaedic residency at a major medical center
  • One optional year of specialized education which is called fellowship training

After passing both an oral and written examination administered by the American Board of Orthpaedic Surgery, an orthopaedic doctor can establish a licensed practice. The doctor will continue to spend time training to stay up to date on all current orthopaedic knowledge and breakthroughs.

When Should I Schedule a Visit With an Orthopaedic Doctor?

Anyone suffering from pain in their hands, feet, ankles, knees, hips, shoulders or back would benefit from seeing an orthopaedic doctor. In addition, those who have difficulty performing daily functions such as walking or carrying groceries; experience pain in their muscles, tendons, or joints lasting more than a few days; experience swelling or bruising around an injury or show signs of an infection should visit an orthopaedic doctor.

Other conditions an orthopaedic doctor may treat include:

  • frozen shoulders
  • bone pain, sciatica
  • carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Scoliosis and many others.

How Do I Prepare for an Orthopaedic Doctor Visit?

If you choose to see an orthopaedic doctor, a little preparation will ensure you get the most out of your appointment. Before your visit, write down a brief timeline of your injury, symptoms, and treatment. Many patients do not seek help for pain until weeks or even months of enduring symptoms. It’s often difficult to remember details when sitting in a doctor’s office. Take a few minutes before hand to write down some details including:

  • when the pain started
  • what activities make the pain worse
  • any medications you have taken

In addition, if you have visited any other doctors, be sure to bring that information. This includes information from emergency room visits, urgent care facilities, and your primary doctor. Copies of any x-rays or MRIs that have already been performed are essential.

Finally, take some time to write down any questions or concerns you may have. If you’ve been fighting pain for a long period of time, it’s likely you’ll have some concerns about possible diagnosis and treatment of your condition.

For more information or to schedule an appointment with an experienced orthopaedic doctor, contact us today to schedule an appointment. It’s your life to live, don’t let pain hold you back!