When injuries occur, no one wants to think the injury is serious and believe with a little rest, the pain will go away. Sometimes, this may work out, but for those who have more serious injuries, waiting to receive medical attention may cause more harm than good.
So, the next time you help a friend move and twist something the wrong way, follow this method below to help to determine when it is time to call our Atlanta orthopedic doctor.
When injuries occur, doctors advise patients to follow the R.I.C.E. method following injury. This means that you must rest, ice, compress and elevate the injury as soon as it occurs. If after two to three days this method does alleviate your symptoms, it may be time to seek medical attention. Pushing through may seem like the right thing to do and something you can handle, however, pushing through does more harm than good in some cases.
Making Your First Appointment
Whenever possible, our orthopedic surgeons try to provide our patients with a more conservative approach before attempting surgery. Some of these methods include medications, physical therapy, cortisone injections or chiropractic care. If these approaches do not alleviate your symptoms, surgery may be needed. Some of the indications that you may need surgery include:
- Persistent swelling of your joints
- Instability of joints
- Decreased range of motion that doesn’t improve with strength training
- A broken bone or obvious deformity
Before meeting with our team of doctors, you most likely visited with your regular doctor or a physical therapist who then referred you to an orthopedic specialist. As our team of doctors may not have been there from the start, it is important to share as much information about your injury as possible so that our team can provide you with the best possible outcome.
If surgery is anticipated, your surgeon will ask you a series of questions related to your overall health. This may include questions about what medication you may take, your current health, any previous surgeries and how you recovered from them, and if you are a smoker. If you are a smoker, you will be advised to quit prior to surgery as that increases the risks of complications.
Expectations When Facing Surgery
An orthopedic surgeon expresses expertise in the area of the musculoskeletal system which consists of the joints, nerves, tendons, ligaments, bones, and muscles. Most commonly, orthopedic surgeons perform surgeries on the hip, knees, and shoulders. The best approach for orthopedic surgeons is a minimally invasive approach as this allows for less cutting of tissues and potential damage to surrounding areas which leads to faster recovery time.
With a minimally invasive surgery, your stay in the hospital will be much shorter and potentially even be an outpatient surgery. Your surgeon will share all of these critical details with you as well as what to expect following surgery. Your surgeons will also discuss with you steps you may need to take prior to surgery such as if you will need to discontinue certain medications, or when you need to stop eating or drinking the day before surgery. It is always best to follow the advice of your surgeon to ensure you have the best outcome following your surgery.
Tips for Avoiding Injuries
Your injury happened and all you can do now is to undergo surgery or follow your doctor’s other recommendations. These tips can help you avoid both repeat and new injuries:
- Always be sure to plan ahead and warm up before beginning a physical activity and allow for a cool down at the end.
- Allow your body time to adjust to a new fitness routine by working on it slowly.
- Adding a total body conditioning regime into your life can help to increase strength, flexibility, and mobility.
- Also, your age plays a factor in your level of physical fitness and the probability of injury, so always be cautious.
Our Atlanta orthopedic surgeons at AICA Orthopedics are highly skilled surgeons ready to assess and diagnose your injury. If you have been on the fence about whether or not you should see an orthopedic specialist, contact our team of doctors today for a consultation and to learn more about your treatment options. Call us today at (404) 855-2141.