Are you experiencing knee or hip pain? Did it start a while ago and has it gradually been getting worse? Or, is it something brand new? Is it one knee, both knees, both hips? Do you have pain anywhere else? Have you fallen or had any kind of an accident? Are you feeling well otherwise? These are some of the questions to be considered when you are experiencing pain in your joints, because pain can be caused by different problems. Your knees and hips are the largest joints in your body, and they are subject to a great deal of wear and tear. Consider how many times you move these joints in any given day. However, they can also be the targets of diseases that may cause injury or inflammation. So, the most important thing to do when you are bothered by pain in your hips or your knees, is to get expert advice. Luckily, there are more ways available to consult an orthopedic surgeon than ever before. In fact, did you know that there are ways to treat your hip or knee pain online?
Should You Google Your Symptoms?
The short answer to this often-asked question is to proceed with caution. If your doctor has a practice website offering patient education material, that is the safest place for you to start. It is there that you will find valuable information that may either answer your questions or guide your discussion once you speak with your doctor. Otherwise, googling unknown websites may result in you taking medications you don’t need, self-treating with remedies that may make things worse, missing something that may be more serious than you think, or creating unnecessary anxiety. In fact, studies show that this type of symptom checking results in an inaccurate self-diagnosis. So again, the best way to use the internet for medical advice when you need it is your doctor’s website. With today’s technology, often times you can even meet directly with your healthcare provider through telemedicine. In other words, if you’re experiencing knee or hip pain, you can actually see your orthopedic surgeon for an evaluation online, from “virtually” anywhere.
How Does Orthopedic Telemedicine Work?
Every office may provide telemedicine a little differently, but the basic premise is that you have the opportunity to have a face-to-face meeting with your orthopedic surgeon by using audio/visual technology from your computer, tablet or smart phone. Virtual orthopedic visits can be done for both new and established patients, and once the connection is made you’ll have the opportunity to explain what you have been experiencing, while your orthopedist asks you all the questions you would expect in a regular office visit. Being able to see your doctor is often much more reassuring than a phone conversation. But don’t forget, using this technology also allows your doctor to see you. This allows you to undergo a virtual exam. You can expect to be directed to perform certain movements so that your doctor can observe you while asking you questions. Once it has been determined what is causing your pain, you should expect recommendations that are tailored to meet your specific needs. This might include things like rest, ice, elevation, over-the-counter medications, prescriptions, therapeutic exercises and/or physical therapy. Remember that both you and your orthopedic surgeon will be able to see each other throughout the entire visit, which will allow demonstrations on how to perform any specific exercises. If physical therapy is recommended, you may also be able to attend telehealth therapy sessions online, using similar technology. If an injection, MRI, or even a procedure is needed, these can all be coordinated by our virtual telemedicine care team. Even xrays if needed can be coordinated either before or after your telemedicine visit, and we can review these images together online with our private and secure connection.
When you are having knee or hip pain, seeing an orthopedic surgeon is the best way to make sure you get the help that you need. While we all want to be able to see our doctors in person, sometimes it’s just not possible. That is why it is so advantageous that we can use online technologies that connects us with our doctors. This eliminates guesswork, and gets us the proper treatment that puts us on the road to recovery.
If you have questions or concerns regarding painful joints, arthritis, or any other orthopedic issues, Dr. Brett Gilbert and his friendly team are here to help. You can also visit our website for information on many of the orthopedic problems that Dr. Gilbert treats.
To seek the expert advice of Dr. Brett Gilbert , contact us today by calling us at (919) 788-8797 or you can request an appointment with Dr. Gilbert using our appointment request form, or you can self-schedule your appointment here.
We can now provide you with expert orthopedic solutions for your hip or knee issues online, offering a live video telemedicine visit all from the comfort of your own home, as well as traditional in-office consultations.