Although it is common for people with joint pain to see a rheumatologist or an osteopathic physician, there are times when you need to visit an orthopedic surgeon. Orthopedic doctors have a specialty in joint pain that may require surgery. The following are three situations when you should consider making an appointment with one.
You had a sports injury
Any time you are engaged in a sporting activity and have sustained an injury, you are likely to have pain. But if this injury has caused pain in one of your joints and this pain will not go away, you should see a orthopedic doctor. Obviously, if your injury causes you serious pain, you will see a physician, but often an injury can cause temporary pain, then subside quickly. However, if there is a residual pain in one of your joints and it will not go away, an orthopedic doctor should take a look at it. Although you may not have broken anything, there are many problems in the joint area that can cause persistent pain that may require surgery.
Your have degenerative joint problems
Over time, your joints can degenerate and cause you pain. This is especially true in the knees and hips. Over time, your joint problems can cause you pain that becomes increasingly intense and last for longer periods of time. In some cases, you may be a candidate for hip or knee replacement surgery. Whether this is something that is right for you will be determined by a number of factors, but it is an orthopedic doctor who can determine this. The procedure, side effects and recovery period are some of the things the doctor can discuss with you.
You have trouble putting weight on a joint
Regardless of the specific joint, if you have trouble placing weight on it, then you need to see an orthopedic doctor. This may be something that happened recently after a fall or other injury, or perhaps you noticed it recently but aren't sure how it happened. In other situations it may be something that developed over a short period of time such as days or weeks. Sometimes it will be a hip or knee joint that causes the pain because of the weight from walking, but it can also be an elbow that you will notice joint pain when pushing down on a flat surface as you get up from a sitting position. This type of pain should be looked at as soon as possible.
Keep in mind that just because you see an orthopedic surgeon, such as from Orthopaedic Associates Of Rochester, does not mean you will need surgery. In the field of orthopedics, surgery is a last resort, but they will be able to give you a diagnosis and inform you of your options.