Determining when you need to see an orthopedic surgeon for chronic pain can be confusing. One of the most common reasons for this confusion is the misconception that orthopedic surgeons only perform surgery. This is simply not true. Orthopedic surgeons are experts of the musculoskeletal system and can diagnose, treat, and help prevent conditions and injuries affecting it – and they don’t only do this through surgery. In fact, orthopedic surgeons attempt to use a variety of conservative and non-surgical treatments before recommending surgery.
Here are some tips on determining when you should see one.
Pain That Lasts Over Three Months
If your pain does not respond to conservative methods of treatment, and you have been suffering for months, you may need more advanced treatment from an orthopedic surgeon. Chronic pain is usually a signal that something is wrong inside your body that needs to be addressed. If you have pain symptoms that don’t go away, consider seeing an orthopedic surgeon.
Persistent Swelling and Other Symptoms in the Joints
Chronic swelling in joints, stiffness, pain, and a feeling of discomfort are usually signs of arthritis, and this progressive disease often requires a combination of conservative and surgical treatments, particularly if there is significant damage to the joint. An orthopedic surgeon can repair the damage or replace the damaged parts of a joint altogether to restore function.
For repetitive injuries, conservative methods of treatment usually do not work, which is why the injury keeps coming back. Not only are orthopedic surgeons highly-skilled in a variety of non-surgical and surgical techniques to bring you relief, they can also help prevent reinjuries through treatments and guidance on lifestyle changes, assistive devices, and more.
Loss of Strength
If your pain is accompanied by weakness, it may interfere with your ability to perform daily chores and complete workplace responsibilities. If you feel a certain part of your body is weak and cannot do normal day to day tasks such as lifting a pot or pan when cooking, folding laundry, or even getting dressed, you should see an orthopedic surgeon.
Weakness is often a sign that the structures in the affected area of the body are compromised, which is why you cannot perform normal functions. It could be due to an undiagnosed injury or an underlying condition. An orthopedic surgeon can determine the cause and recommend effective treatment.
Hand Surgeon in Delray Beach, Boynton Beach & Boca Raton, FL
Your hand is complex, made up of many bones, 20 joints, and other supporting structures. If you have chronic hand pain, you need an expert. A hand surgeon is knowledgeable on the conditions and injuries that commonly affect the hands, shoulders, and elbows and can bring you relief.
If you are experiencing debilitating hand pain, you may be a good candidate for hand surgery. Dr. Steve Meadows is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon and fellowship-trained in hand and upper extremity surgery. To request an appointment with Dr. Meadows, call (561) 496-6622 or submit a request today.