Sports, intense exercise, and an active lifestyle are good in itself, but in these highly mobile and physically taxing activities injuries are also likely to happen. So when the inevitable occurs, know that there is focused care available through an orthopaedic clinic in Singapore.
If nursing an injury at home is no longer cutting it, medical help is a rational next step. Here’s a quick look at what you can expect.
What to Expect During Your Initial ConsultationIt is helpful to know what to expect during the orthopaedic evaluation when you meet an orthopaedic surgeon for the first time. To make the most out of your visit, it helps to know what to expect. In that way, you can raise the right questions and also allay anxiety in the process. You can expect your visits to include the following:
- a comprehensive medical history evaluation
- diagnostic imaging (X-rays and/or MRI)
- and physical examination
Medical History Evaluation
When you seek orthopaedic care, you can expect that your doctor will ask about your general health and any existing conditions that you may have (e.g. diabetes, hypertension, arthritis). This information is crucial because such issues may influence your surgeon’s treatment.
You will also be expected to describe all the pain that has been troubling you. That includes any discomfort that may not seem connected to the orthopaedic concern you are there for (e.g. a coexisting minor knee pain together with your nagging hip pain). Adding to that, you should also describe the extent or degree in which the pain is interfering with your usual activities (i.e. sleeping, walking, bending).
A medical history will also include any previous injuries that may have had which played a role in your current chief complaint. If you have been keeping a record of your pain, make sure to discuss those in detail, such as the time of day it occurs, how frequent it flares up, and the intensity in which it occurs. Remember that your surgeon will rely largely on your account of things.
Imaging for Orthopaedic Assessment
Imaging studies play an essential role in assisting doctors in making a diagnosis. They also help orthopaedic surgeons decide on appropriate treatments for patients. Since most injuries and the extent of damage inflicted are not easily visible to plain physical examination, there is a range of evaluation procedures that your doctor may prescribe.
The different types of medical imaging can provide accurate diagnostic and prognostic information regarding the management and treatment of athletic injuries. Any improper diagnoses could cause a delayed return to play or progress into a more serious injury. Besides the usual x-ray, it is possible that your doctor will prescribe any of the tests below:
Orthopaedic Physical ExaminationPhysical examinations are important for the surgeon to assess your range of motion, swelling, reflexes, and skin condition. The goal is to determine the possible causes of your symptoms and the extent to which they interfere with your usual activities. For example, severe knee pain may hinder you from doing simple activities such as standing up or walking. Furtmermore, your doctor will also observe your general capacity to move around in certain positions such as walking, sitting, standing, climbing stairs, bending forward and backward, etc. Further, the doctor will evaluate your strength, reflexes, range of motion, and skin condition. These tests are used to exclude or confirm likely diagnoses.
Expect Follow-Up Treatments
After evaluating your situation, further tests may be ordered by your doctor to arrive at a diagnosis. Your physician’s next step will be based on that diagnosis and will also establish a treatment plan that may include surgery, minimally-invasive options, or various forms of therapy. It’s possible that your doctor may recommend physical therapy which includes specific exercises rather than surgery. Home treatment may be another way to rehabilitate in a comfortable setting.
A follow-up treatment plan will contain further instructions to avoid incidents and health issues. Your physician will consider your current routine and athletic involvement when delivering these directions as well.
What Treatment Plan Questions Should I Ask My Sports Medicine Doctor?
Once your appointment is about to end, your physician will either schedule a follow-up appointment or inform you of the next steps in the process. Surgery may be a necessary course of action, but other treatment plans are available or it may be recommended based on your injury.
Here are some guide questions that you may want to ask your sports physician if they don’t provide the answers on their own:
- Is surgery necessary?
- What are the effects of the surgery?
- What does the surgical process look like?
- Are there alternative options to treat this injury?
- What is the cost of the treatment or surgery?
- When can I return to my regular exercise routine and active lifestyle?
Are you dealing with body pain that is already hurting your performance? Even if it’s just a minor nuisance, this can already be a signal that something needs to be done.
Some injuries may be manageable at home but don’t be stubborn. If you have a major injury, or if a nagging pain and discomfort don’t clear up — get help. Primary care physicians can handle many exercise-induced problems, but more difficult issues require orthopaedists, physical therapists, and sports physicians.
Don’t wait too long before doing something about what’s holding you back. The earlier you seek help, the sooner you prevent injuries from progressing and wreaking havoc to the affected site.
For more information, a thorough evaluation, and proper treatment, you may schedule a consultation with Dr Andrew Dutton today.