Did you know that approximately 126.6 million Americans suffer from a musculoskeletal condition? If you are one of these people, chances are you will require orthopedic treatment sooner rather than later. Orthopedic specialists have advanced training in treating bone and joint disorders. They are specially trained to treat sports injuries, cancer of the bones, and patients who have chronic diseases that may affect the bones and joints.
Besides fractures, you should seek immediate orthopedic treatment if you have any of the following conditions:
Osteomyelitis is a common infection of the bone that can be very serious if left untreated. It occurs when bacteria or fungi gain access to the bone through a puncture in the skin or by traveling through the bloodstream after another type of infection. The two leading causes of osteomyelitis are fractures that expose the bone to exterior elements and surgery that breaks the skin barrier of the body, causing bacteria or fungi to enter through a wound.
Symptoms of osteomyelitis include fever, swelling, pain, and redness over the affected area. Since this condition can easily lead to disability, it's advisable to seek urgent orthopedic treatment if you notice any of the symptoms. An Orthopedic specialist can treat this common infection with antibiotics or by surgically removing the infected tissue.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disease that causes stiffness, pain, and swelling in the joints. It can also affect other body parts, such as skin, eyes, lungs, and blood vessels. This chronic condition is autoimmune, which means it occurs when your body's immune system attacks your own tissues by mistake.
Symptoms of this joint condition include pain and stiffness in the hip, knee, or ankle joints, fatigue, fever, and weight loss. If you seek orthopedic treatment today, the doctor will treat this condition with medications that decrease inflammation, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). The orthopedic specialist may also inject steroids into the affected joints for added pain relief.
Weakening of bones is a severe condition that can cause fractures and even deformity in the joints. It most commonly occurs in the hip, knees, and shoulders, but can also happen to bones in the hands or feet. This condition may be caused by trauma, cancer treatment using radiation therapy, corticosteroids, or alcohol abuse.
Symptoms of osteonecrosis include joint pain and stiffness that gets worse over time, loose joints that cause deformity in the affected body part, and spontaneous fractures. Orthopedic treatment for this condition varies depending on its causes. Surgery replaces deteriorating parts of the bones with metal implants, while medications like bisphosphonates can help treat the disease by slowing or stopping bone loss.
Orthopedic treatment is not something people usually think of when it comes to their health. However, even the smallest issues with your joints and bones can lead to bigger concerns down the line if left untreated. If you have any of these conditions, then an orthopedic specialist may be able to help you.