Cropped image of handsome medical doctor talking to female patient with damaged hand and showing her an X-ray picture on tablet while working in his office; blog: When to See an Orthopedic Doctor

While your primary physician can broadly address every area of your health, some situations require more specific expertise and treatment. And when it comes to certain injuries or persistent pain, visiting an orthopedic doctor first can save you time and money. But it can be difficult to determine when you need this sort of expertise and treatment. So in this post we will share some of the tell-tale signs that will help you determine whether or not you need to schedule an appointment to see an orthopedic doctor.  

What Is an Orthopedic Medicine?

Orthopedic medicine is the specialized treatment of the musculoskeletal system. In other words, an orthopedic doctor can diagnose and treat any condition related to the joints, bones, muscles, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, and nerves. Injuries or ailments of the musculoskeletal system are the most commonly reported medical conditions, but not all of these injuries necessarily require more than a primary care physician. So when is the right time to see an orthopedic doctor?

After a Soft Tissue Injury

If you think you may have pulled, sprained, or strained a ligament, muscle, or tendon, you should schedule an appointment with an orthopedic doctor. This is especially the case if you experience persisting or worsening pain for more than a few days. Often soft tissue injuries can worsen without proper therapy or treatment, so in order to avoid more serious injury and to regain your regular quality of life, visiting a specialist in orthopedics is the right choice. (Note: if your injury results in immediate and serious injury, especially to the head, neck, or back, always go to the hospital as soon as possible to avoid further trauma).

Limited Movement and Stiffness

Whether related to an injury or not, if you experience limited range of motion of a joint or a persistent stiffness in a joint, ligament, or muscle, it could benefit you to see an orthopedic doctor. Sometimes these limitations can be solved through physical therapy and sometimes they may be linked to a bigger problem that will require an operation. Either way, an orthopedic doctor can assess the situation and offer you the proper treatment. For your daily life requires extensive physical exertion and movement, these problems can be debilitating, so schedule an appointment as soon as possible so you can get back on the job site, back on the field, or back in the gym.  

Chronic Joint Pain

Whereas pain from injury often sets in immediately or shortly after an incident, some pain in the joints and bones sets in slowly, even over the course of years, and can be linked to regular activities or chronic conditions. If you find this sort of pain to be limiting you, it could be time to see an orthopedic doctor. These issues could be related to arthritis, tumors, carpal tunnel syndrome or other damage to the musculoskeletal system. Many chronic issues can be resolved through relatively simple procedures and therapy. Others still can find serious relief through proper care from an Orthopedic specialist.

Schedule a Consultation

If any of these problems apply to you, we are here to help. The team at South Shore Orthopedics is dedicated to helping our patients lead active lives. Our board-certified physicians have experience in a number of orthopedic specialties. If you have concerns about your joint health or an injury, call our office at (781) 337-5555 to make an appointment