Orthopedists are providers who specialize in the musculoskeletal system – the muscles, joints, bones, cartilage, ligaments and tendons essential to movement and everyday life. Our Methodist Physicians family of orthopedic surgeons, sports medicine physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants all have the ultimate goal of determining a care plan (surgical or non-surgical) to reduce or eliminate pain.
Why see an orthopedic doctor?
Many people associate visiting an orthopedic doctor with pain or injuries caused by sports injuries. While that is often the case, it isn’t always. Orthopedic doctors have advanced knowledge and training on all musculoskeletal problems, so you can see them for everything from broken bones to arthritis to back pain.
You might see an orthopedic for pain and swelling on a joint, such as your ankle, knee or elbow. Or for constant pain in your neck and back. Basically, you can see them for any pain or injury that limits your day-to-day activities.
What will an orthopedic doctor do?
They can address patients’ needs with surgical and non-surgical treatments. Non-surgical treatments include things like exercise recommendations, lifestyle changes and medications. They also can recommend physical therapy sessions with appropriate providers.
Surgical treatments can range from minimally invasive surgeries such as arthroscopy to full joint replacements. Soft tissue can be repaired, such as repositioning tendons or ligaments which have been torn or injured. If a condition is severe enough, a joint may need to be fully or partially replaced. Knees and hips, more load-bearing joints than others, are typically replaced with joints made of metals. Smaller joints may be replaced with plastic or ceramic placements.