Is Orthopedic Surgery Your Last Resort?

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The normal aging process brings about different health issues. Some of these affect your tendons, joints, and muscles. While tendon, joint or muscle pain can be stopped with OTC drugs, sometimes there is a serious medical issue requiring the doctor's attention. The cause of pain can be anything, including a disease like arthritis, joint overuse injury, sprain or fracture. If the cause of pain is not obvious, you may be best seeing a doctor for a diagnosis. After this, you might become a proper candidate for orthopedic surgery. Sometimes this sort of surgery is the ultimate solution and there is nothing you or your doctor can do to prevent it.

What are the signs that you need surgery?

If you have a musculoskeletal problem, it does not mean that surgery is the only treatment you can try. Your doctor might recommend minimally-invasive or non-invasive procedures first. Surgery might only be considered if the pain or the health problem persists. After examining the area affected by pain, your doctor will determine if you have to see an orthopedic surgeon. If they refer you to a surgeon, it means that the problem is severe and cannot be treated with only exercise, and the use of vitamins, braces or canes. In most cases, you will require orthopedic surgery if:

  • You cannot perform normal everyday functions due to pain

  • You have had a lot of pain in joints, tendons or muscles for numerous days

  • Your joints are deformed

  • Your joint pain gets worse when you are resting

  • Have signs of an infection like redness or inflammation

  • There is swelling or bruising close to the affected area

What to expect

Orthopedic surgeons will first treat you with medicines and physical therapy. If your musculoskeletal issues do not improve, they will suggest surgery. Commonly, orthopedic surgery involves the shoulders, ankles, hips, knees, or back.  The earlier you recognize the problem the sooner it can be diagnosed and cured. Like other serious medical issues, early treatment can prevent a musculoskeletal problem from getting worse.

Before the operation begins, your surgeon will give you general anesthesia or local anesthesia injections. It all depends on what you both discussed. Next, the affected joint will be replaced with an artificial component (prosthesis). If you are having a knee or hip replacement surgery, you might be in the operating room for about 120 minutes and stay in the recovery room for a number of days. Feeling pain after undergoing surgery is normal and could go away after several weeks or months. However, it can be managed via physical therapy as soon as your surgery is done.

Final word

If you are picked for orthopedic surgery, ensure that you don't smoke. In case you have a terminal illness, such as a heart issue or cancer, tell your doctor about it first. Finally, prepare yourself physically and psychologically for surgery prior to going through it.

For more information on orthopedic surgery, reach out to a practice near you like El Camino Center for Sports Medicine‚Äč.

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