Orthopedic doctors – also known as orthopedic specialists – are physicians who are specifically trained to treat problems or conditions related to the musculoskeletal system, including bones, ligaments, tendons, joints, and muscles. With so many of these structures located throughout the human body, an orthopedic surgeon has plenty of patients who have injuries that need to be addressed.
So, within the vast field of orthopedics, what precisely do orthopedic doctors treat? You might be surprised at the variety of problems that an orthopedic surgeon treats daily. The practice of orthopedics deals with patients of any age – but treating injuries isn’t all that an orthopedic doctor does. They also focus on educating patients about how to prevent injuries and how to get stronger and more effective at their sport of choice.
Let’s go over the treatments that are regularly provided by an orthopedic surgeon.
Areas Treated by an Orthopedic Doctor
While orthopedics has an unlimited range of therapies and treatments, most orthopedic surgeons have a subspecialty area of focus. A subspecialty can be limited to a specific part of the body, a certain sector within orthopedics, or a certain type of medical service the doctor provides.
If you suffer from knee pain or have an orthopedic injury in any area, it is essential to choose the right type of orthopedist who can provide the necessary treatment options. Some parts of your body that are especially involved in orthopedic care are the:
- Back or spine
In order to get the best orthopedic care, choosing an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in your injured area can mean the difference between a successful outcome and a poor one.
Conditions Treated by Orthopedic Doctors
Your orthopedic doctor will treat your condition with a variety of key goals in mind. They will diagnose your issue and develop a treatment plan for you as an individual. The field of orthopedics focuses on controlling pain, treating injuries (including sports injuries), correcting deformities, and improving your strength and range of motion.
With joint pain or bone pain, you will naturally participate in fewer activities due to the pain. You can therefore become sedentary, which can lead to other chronic health conditions.
You should see an orthopedic doctor if you suspect you have sustained a traumatic injury or have chronic pain in a joint or extremity. Some common conditions treated by orthopedists are:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Tennis elbow
- Golfer’s elbow
- Back pain or Sciatica
- Bone tumors
- Herniated or ruptured discs
- Scoliosis or kyphosis (incorrect curves in the spine)
This is a list of the common injury-related conditions an orthopedic surgeon treats, but some orthopedic conditions can be congenital. Clubfoot, bowlegs, and deformities of any extremity – including the need for leg lengthening – are conditions that are treated mainly in children.
Whether to Choose an Orthopedic Doctor or Primary Care Physician
You may wonder which type of doctor you should see first for a musculoskeletal injury or condition. If you need a referral because of insurance restrictions, you may need to first seek authorization from your primary care physician who can refer you to see an orthopedic doctor.
If you suffer an acute trauma or sports injury, you need to see an orthopedic surgeon immediately. Broken bones, dislocations, or a tendon or ligament tear should be treated by an orthopedic surgeon for optimum results.
Orthopedic surgeons treat pain, injury, and joint problems using the least-invasive method that would work in each patient’s case. Medications like anti-inflammatories, physical therapy, steroid injections, and muscle relaxers are all interventions that an orthopedic doctor may use to address pain before recommending surgery.
Skilled Orthopedic Doctor in Raleigh, North Carolina
Dr. Brett Gilbert is a board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon who studied at Duke University for medical school and his orthopedic surgery training, and then at Rush in Chicago specializing in hip replacement and knee replacement surgeries. He focuses on conditions of the hip and knee, and Dr. Gilbert specializes in minimally invasive surgeries to get you back to your normal functioning as soon as possible.
Dr. Gilbert has three convenient locations in which to serve you in Raleigh, Apex, and Brier Creek. Call us today at (919) 788-8797 to schedule an evaluation of your orthopedic condition, or you can request an appointment with Dr. Gilbert using our appointment request form, or you can self-schedule your appointment here.
Musculoskeletal injuries are the number-one reason for visits to the doctor. Don’t suffer from pain when we can address your condition. Call Dr. Gilbert today – we look forward to being your orthopedic healthcare partner!