When an injury first occurs, many people assume that a few days of rest and taking pain relievers is all they require to get better. That could be the case in some situations, but many issues that initially seem minor can produce long-term problems without medical intervention by a Louisiana orthopedic surgeon.
Doctors typically advise patients to follow the R.I.C.E. method immediately after an injury occurs. This stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. While you might think you can push through the pain, if these treatments fail to relieve your pain and swelling after two to three days, it’s time to see a Louisiana orthopedic surgeon.
Your First Appointment with an Orthopedic Surgeon
Meeting with an orthopedic specialist doesn’t necessarily mean that you will need surgery. We prefer to try more conservative methods first whenever possible, such as physical therapy, cortisone injections, or prescription medication.
But your condition may fail to respond to any one of these and it may be severe enough to warrant surgery. 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.
When most people initially meet with a Louisiana orthopedic surgeon, it’s typically because your regular doctor or physical therapist has referred them for a consultation. If so, it’s important to provide as much detail about your injury as possible.
Your Louisiana orthopedic surgeon will ask you several questions to evaluate your overall health, including medications you take, current health conditions, past surgeries, and any other concerns that affect your well-being. If you smoke, you need to stop in the days leading up to your surgery and while you recover. This may just be the motivation you need to quit altogether.
An orthopedic surgeon deals with the musculoskeletal system, which includes the joints, nerves, tendons, ligaments, bones, and muscles. Hip, knee, and shoulder surgery are among the most common, although they are far from the only procedures they perform.
Some musculoskeletal injuries require minimally-invasive surgery in an outpatient setting. Whether you receive outpatient surgery or a more complex procedure that requires a hospital stay, your Louisiana orthopedic surgeon will advise exactly what you can expect. It’s important to follow his or her instructions regarding how to prepare for the surgery as well as recovering from it.
Besides quitting smoking, you may need to stop taking some of your medications and avoid eating or drinking for a certain time before surgery. Not following your doctor’s advice following surgery can prolong your recovery or result in an infection.
Tips for Avoiding Injury in the Future
Your injury happened and all you can do now is follow your doctor’s recommendations. Be sure to stretch and warm up before planned physical activity and cool down afterward. If starting a new fitness routine, begin slowly to give your body the chance to get acclimated to it.
Consider total body conditioning to increase strength, flexibility, and mobility.
Keep in mind that your age and level of physical fitness affect the probability of injury, so plan accordingly.
We always encourage our patients to listen to their bodies. If yours is telling you that something just isn’t right, contact your Louisiana orthopedic surgeon today to schedule a consultation. We’re always here to help keep you happy and healthy!