What does an Orthopedist Do? When to see An Orthopedic?

One in three Americans are confronted with complaints about muscles or joints. If you have pain when moving or move less smoothly, your doctor can refer you to the Orthopedics department.

What does an orthopedist do?

Orthopedics is aimed at disorders of the ‘locomotor system‘. This consists of all bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons and joints of the human body. Orthopedics is therefore a very broad field and you can end up with an orthopedist with all kinds of complaints. For example with a shoulder from the bowl, but also with a broken hip or complaints about your Achilles tendon.

An orthopedic surgeon focuses on reducing your pain and helps you to move more easily. In this case the orthopedist works in some cases with other practitioners; a physiotherapist or a rheumatologist. A treatment plan is then drawn up. Treatment can consist of advice, physiotherapy, medication and / or surgery.

With which complaints do you go to an orthopedist?

If you have pain in your muscles, bones or tendons, you should first go to the doctor or physical therapist. If your doctor or physical therapist cannot treat your symptoms, you can be referred to an orthopedic surgeon. The orthopedist can help you with:

  1. Complaints to joints: Wear and tear (osteoarthritis) or pain of your meniscus.
  2. Complaints to your joint prosthesis: for example pain, stiffness or instability.
  3. Pain in muscles and tendons: A muscle tear or sports injury.
  4. Bone complaints: A fracture, osteoporosis or club feet in babies.
  5. Back pain: In some cases radiation to the arms or legs.

Which treatments does an orthopedic surgeon perform?

An orthopedist treats congenital disorders and complaints that have arisen due to an accident, illness, or excessive exercise. To determine which disorder you have, discuss your complaints with the orthopedist at Sheba Medical Center and examine the physician physically. Based on this, he determines whether you need additional research. The orthopedic surgeon can use various additional examinations such as: an X-ray, an ultrasound, an MRI or a CT scan. These tools help the orthopedist to make a diagnosis. After this, the orthopedist will determine which treatment suits you. Depending on your complaint, the orthopedic surgeon will decide whether you need, for example, pain relief, physiotherapy or surgery. Two types of treatments are possible:

1. A conservative treatment (without surgery):

  • Prescribe physical therapy or pain relief in the event of an injury or overload.
  • The construction of a splint to give a joint (temporary) rest.

2. Surgical treatment:

Placing or replacing a worn joint, for example a hip prosthesis.

  1. Recovering a shattered ankle.
  2. A viewing operation to make a precise diagnosis or to treat a meniscus tear.
  3. What is the result of an orthopedic treatment?

The treatment plan of an orthopedist focuses on two things:

  1. Pain reduction: Whoever has less pain moves more and better.
  2. Improving or restoring mobility.

By doing exercise exercises, you also learn to move in the right way. The orthopedist therefore cooperates with other specialists and practitioners during and after treatment. This way a sports doctor can guide you to prevent further injuries. And a physiotherapist will help you recover more quickly after hip surgery.

Unfortunately it can happen that your symptoms do not disappear completely. A worn knee (osteoarthritis) can fully recover after surgery with an artificial knee. But with the treatment of certain types of back pain, such as with spinal wear, there is a chance that your pain will only decrease. In this case the orthopedist will examine with you which other treatments are possible. He can refer you to another specialist at Sheba Medical Center for a non-orthopedic treatment program.


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