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Our bodies are marvelous machines designed in such a way to enhance movement and activity. But sometimes things are not so smooth, leading to pains and aches in the bones, joints, and muscles, which can hinder the basic activities of daily life. That’s where the role of orthopedics comes in! There are an increasing number of orthopedic-related issues due to a sedentary lifestyle, a rising obesity rate, and a longer life expectancy. Even with such excruciating pain, many people choose to ignore it and delay getting medical attention. In this blog, we will go through some common orthopedic problems and several treatment options available to keep your daily life free of any pain or discomfort related to orthopedic pain.
Orthopedics is the branch of medicine that focuses on dealing with the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of diseases and disorders affecting the skeletal system, including muscles, bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, and nerves. There are several treatments available for orthopedic disorders, depending on the symptom and type of disorder one is suffering from. It ranges from the surgical process to non-surgeonal methods such as medicines, physical therapies, exercises, or alternative therapies.
There are various conditions affecting the musculoskeletal system that require a specialist’s care. Some such common conditions are listed below.
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis. It is a chronic disease of joints, mainly weight-bearing joints of the knee, hip, and spine. It damages the coating on the cartilage and narrows joint space. It can also cause bone spurs, bone overgrowth, and decreased function. It is usually seen in most people as they age. It may also be seen in young people due to injury or overuse. It is caused by the wear and tear of joints over time. Another reason can be overuse of the joint. In osteoarthritis, bones' connective tissue is affected,which hinders routine activities, causing decreased mobility, stiffness, swelling, pain, and redness of joints.
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Paget disease is a chronic disease of bones that hampers the body's natural recycling process, where, with time, new bone tissue replaces old bone tissue. It causes bones to become fragile, misshapen, and enlarged. Bone may become dense, but it is fragile due to excessive breakdown and deformation of bone. The most commonly affected are the pelvis, skull, spine, and legs. Genetic predisposition is one of the causes of Paget; another theory suggests a slow viral infection of Bon to be the cause.
Symptoms of Paget
It is a painful condition affecting small fluid-filled sacs called bursae, which cushion the bones, muscles, and tendons near the joints. It occurs when the bursae become inflamed. The most commonly affected sites for bursitis are the shoulder, hip, and elbow joints. Some other affected areas can be the knee, heel, and base of the toe. The most commonly affected areas are near the joints that perform repetitive motion. It is a transitory state of pain. However, septic bursitis is a rare form of joint swelling that, if neglected, can lead to a bursa that is permanently expanded, as well as continuous pain and inflammation. Another side effect of bursitis is untreated muscle atrophy, which can hamper daily activities and ultimately lead to the associated muscle disappearing.
Treatment generally involves resting the affected joint and protecting it from further trauma. In the majority of cases, bursitis pain goes away within a few weeks when appropriate treatment is given, but repetitive flare-ups are common.
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A fracture can be defined as a partial or complete break in the bone that causes unbearable pain. A fracture can be classified as open or closed.
Fractures are caused when excessive force is applied to the bone—more than the bone can take. Bones are weakest when they are twisted. The most common causes of fractures are falls, trauma, or any direct blow or kick to the body. In athletes, overuse or repetitive motions put more pressure on muscles, resulting in stress fractures. Some underlying diseases, such as osteoporosis or cancer, cause bone weakening, leading to fractures.
Treatment of orthopedic conditions depends on the nature of the disease, as some cannot be healed permanently, but with the help of medications, it reduces discomfort and improves quality of life. Even in the case of a progressive illness with no known cure, getting an exact diagnosis and specific therapy can help with fewer complications in the future. Your nature of the disease, symptoms, and definitive diagnosis will determine the appropriate treatment plan.
● Surgery for fractures
Orthopedic specialists suggest surgery for fractures that are quite serious and complex. When a fracture leads to several bone pieces or misplaced bone fragments, surgery is required to treat the shattered bone pieces. Orthopedic surgeons will have to use pins or screws to fix bone pieces and fragments in place in such situations.
A discectomy is a type of surgery done to fix a disc in the lower back. It reduces strain on the spine caused by specific types of back issues.In this surgery, a damaged part of the disk in the spine is removed, which has its soft center pushing out through the outer lining. It provides relief for pain traveling down the arms or legs from a compressed nerve. A disc herniation or bony spurs may be the reason for the patient’s back pain and pressure. To relieve pressure and pain, these bone spurs and ruptured discs can be removed surgically by a discectomy.
Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure used for both diagnosing and treating joint problems. This procedure allows the orthopedic surgeon to see inside your joint without making a large incision. Arthroscopy is more commonly done on the knee, shoulder, elbow, ankle, hip, or wrist. An arthroscope is inserted into your joint through small cuts to see the extent of damage in the joint. They can also repair many injuries during arthroscopy.
Finding the right orthopedic doctor is crucial for your musculoskeletal health. Whether it is diagnosis, managing, or recovering from chronic pain, injury, or thinking of surgery, making an informed choice will considerably affect your well-being. Finding an orthopedic surgeon is crucial and the first step towards your orthopedic journey. An experienced orthopedic surgeon has the expertise to diagnose and treat a vast range of musculoskeletal conditions. Choosing the right orthopedic surgeon will lead to better outcomes and an improved quality of life. Below are some of the factors to be considered before choosing an orthopedic surgeon.
Experience and expertise
The first step in choosing an orthopedic doctor is to look out for the experience and expertise of a surgeon. Look for a surgeon who is board-certified and has experience in the specialty that you are looking for, whether it is sports medicine or replacement surgery. Also look at their academic qualifications, professional experience, affiliations, and years of practice. Search for a surgeon with a successful track record with respect to operations and patient outcomes.
Research Online Reviews
In today’s world, where everything is available online, patient reviews and testimonials are readily available. Check what patients are saying about the orthopedic surgeon you are considering for your treatment. Additionally, check the review of the hospital or clinic with which the orthopedic doctor is associated.
Know about clinics or hospitals where an orthopedic surgeon practices. A hospital with qualified staff and that is furnished with advanced technology will have an excellent reputation for orthopedic care and noteworthy treatment outcomes.
Referrals and recommendations
Explore and check for recommendations for trustworthy orthopedic surgeons from your primary care doctor. Recommendations from friends, family, or known people who have received orthopedic treatment provide you with keen insight into a surgeon's treatment outcomes, his expertise, and patient satisfaction.
Communication and bedside manners
Effective communication plays a key role in forming a connection and rapport between patient and doctor. Generally, there is anxiety and stress before an operation. A smooth and relaxing talk with your orthopedic surgeon helps a lot in easing the anxiety. Choose a surgeon who is attentive to your queries and worries, calmly addresses your inquiries, and clearly states all possible treatment options. The surgeon's calm and composed personality will help you make your treatment journey more smooth.
Availability and accessibility
An orthopedic surgeon’s accessibility and availability are also important factors to consider. Choose a surgeon who is available in crisis, has convenient office hours, and is willing to answer all your queries.
Timely diagnosis and treatment are crucial for managing orthopedic issues and intercepting them before they worsen. Visit an orthopedic specialist if you face any pain or discomfort in your bones, joints, or muscles. Do not neglect any uneasiness or pain, or it may even lead to hindrance in daily activities when ignored for the long term. While choosing the right orthopedic doctor, keep in mind that your muscle and skeletal health deserve nothing but the best.
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