Orthopedic Doctors: Who are They and Do You Need One?

Doctor discussing patient's medical situationOrthopedic doctors are masters of orthopedics, the specialty concerning the musculoskeletal system. This system consists mainly of the bones and joints, as well as other parts that function in close relation to them, such as cartilage, tendons and ligaments.

Orthopedic specialists like Shaun E Chandran, MD are specialists in everything concerning the system, yet few people know when to see an orthopedic doctor in Torrance. Individuals with musculoskeletal aches and pains will either ignore the need to visit an orthopedic specialist or wait for a referral from a general practitioner. This shouldn’t be the case. Some signs may be pointing you straight to an orthopedic surgeon’s clinic. Here are some examples.

You’re Suffering from Chronic Pain

By definition, chronic pain is any pain that goes on for more than 12 weeks. If your pain began after a trauma to the area or is in one (or more) of your joints, the likelihood of you needing an orthopedic doctor is much higher.

An Injury that isn’t Improving

You should see improvement of soft tissue injuries like a twisted knee or sprained ankle within the first two days. Following the RICE technique should be enough to improve swelling and pain. If your condition doesn’t improve in the first 48 hours, you should schedule an appointment with an orthopedic doctor immediately.

An Increasingly Limited Range of Motion

Limitations in range of motion are likely due to impairment of the joint. It may be because of swelling, dislocation, or fracture. Inflammation of the joint and tendons can also limit your range of motion. If the limitation comes with pain and swelling of the joint, you would need an orthopedic consult STAT.

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You may not have the medical background you need to diagnose yourself and prescribe the right treatment, but paying close attention to your signs and symptoms can help you identify a general source of the problem and guide you down the right path. Knowing this information can help you skip tedious waits in several waiting areas.