Dr. Cristin Mathew is no longer with NASA Bone & Joint Specialists. To schedule at his new practice, please call 281.335.1111

Joint Pains: Signs That You Need To See An Orthopedic Doctor


Long term muscle, tendon or joint pains are red flag signs that you need to see an orthopedic doctor as soon as possible. Orthopedic doctors specialize in matters that affect the musculoskeletal system. This includes strains, shoulder, knee or joint pain, sprains and even overuse injuries. While most people usually head over to their general medical practitioner during such occurrences, it is important that you get specialized care from the start. Remember, early diagnosis is critical in preventing the problem from getting worse.

When should I see an orthopedic doctor?

Any form of pain in your knees, ankles, hips, wrists or even shoulders should not be taken lightly. Qualified orthopedic surgeons are capable of properly diagnosing, treating, preventing and even rehabilitating problems that affect the musculoskeletal system. They are well trained in issues that affect the bones and the surrounding areas, so they are able to quickly narrow down the cause of your discomfort for proper treatment.

Here are the symptoms that you should look out for:

– Persistent pain in your joints, muscles or tendons.

– Joint pain that intensifies when you rest.

– Inability to move properly. An example is a stiff knee that gets painful when you stretch.

– Any form of pain that interferes with the way your body normally functions. For instance, you may have difficulty lifting an arm or climbing the stairs.

– When you experience any form of injury that leads to swelling or bruising.

– A deformed joint.

– Signs of infection in an injured area, including redness, fever or an inflammation.

Recurring pain even after seeing an orthopedic doctor should quickly send you back to a specialist so that further tests can be done to get to the root of the problem.

We usually recommend noninvasive forms of treatment such as physical therapy and medication, resorting to surgery only when necessary. Some of the common surgeries that are performed by orthopedic surgeons include knee, ankle, shoulder, wrist or hip replacements, but as mentioned earlier, surgery is usually an option after all non-surgical remedies have been tested. If surgery is necessary, a qualified orthopedic surgeon should be able to alleviate your problem and bring relief. In some cases, the surgeon may go for an arthroscopic procedure, which allows them to diagnose and treat joint problems with a minimally invasive technique.

What to expect.

When you visit your orthopedic doctor for a consultation, they will carefully isolate the cause of the problem then discuss treatment options for you. They can also offer advice on pain management and care to prevent future problems.

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