When Is It Appropriate To Seek The Advice Of Orthopedic Doctors?


By now you know the common symptoms of aging. Your knees ache when you walk or even just stand still. Your hips do not feel nearly as strong as they once did. Your back is sore every morning as you crawl out of bed. What, if anything, can you do to remedy these issues? Is surgery overseen by highly trained orthopedic doctors your best option? Is it the only option? Of course answers to these questions vary greatly depending on your individual case. With this in mind, let us take a look at some different scenarios to try to distinguish when surgery is actually needed.

Before you climb into a hospital bed and under a surgeon's knife it is important to exhaust all of your other less intrusive alternatives. Usually at the top of this list are over the counter pain medications. It is possible that your aching back, knees, or shoulders simply need some drugs to take the edge off. Along with typical ibuprofen, glucosamine and chondroitin are two very popular medicines with minimal side effects that have been known to greatly improve individuals' quality of life.

Along with over the counter drug therapy, most orthopedic doctors would recommend trying some sort of physical therapy before succumbing to surgery. Physical therapy can be hard work, and it can be very painful, but chances are great that if you have surgery a rigorous PT schedule will be in your future anyway. You might as well see if therapy alone can help with your ailments.

If these non-invasive techniques do not increase functionality or decrease pain, the next step is probably to try steroid injections into the infected joints. Orthopedic doctors warn that this type of treatment does not offer long lasting results, but it does relieve pain and may actually help your body begin to naturally heal itself by providing anti-inflammatory assistance. Similar to the invasiveness of steroid injections are hyaluronic acid based gel injections. These treatments relieve joint pain and are especially effective in knee joints. The gel substance used in the treatment, which actually occurs naturally in the body, is used to lubricate and soothe healthy joints. A majority of patients that experienced this procedure reported less pain and more mobility. The injections usually offer anywhere from six to twelve months of pain relief.

As mentioned earlier, if you are considering surgery, the chances are great that you will need extensive rehabilitation following surgery. If you happen to have a surgery performed, but you do not take the rehab to follow seriously, you could actually end up in worse shape than you were in before you went under the knife. Orthopedic doctors stress that unless you are completely dedicated to post surgery rehabilitation, there is really no reason to undergo surgery. Having your body in good physical condition with strong muscles is one of the best ways to ensure proper joint activity. Physical therapy is the primary way to get those strong muscles. Therapy will most likely hurt, but its benefits are well worth it.

In summary, if you have exhausted all of your noninvasive and minimally invasive treatments and you are ready to go through rigorous rehabilitation, then surgery may be right for you. Good luck!