Orthopedic Frequently Asked Questions
Since orthopedics cover the diagnosis and treatment of the skeletal system, it includes a large area of the body and many conditions and injuries. It’s only natural to have questions before your appointment with an orthopedic specialist. There are a lot of unknowns to think about. It is our goal, however, to provide you with as much information as possible so you don’t have to worry or wonder.
At Hunt Regional Medical Center, our skilled orthopedic doctors use the latest procedures and technology to diagnose and treat diseases of the skeletal system, with an emphasis on your comfort. Read the below orthopedic frequently asked questions and answers if there’s something you’re unsure about. We’re here to help.
Q: What types of orthopedic conditions and injuries are the most common?
A: Most people see an orthopedic specialist because of knee injuries (more than 18 million physician visits in 2010), back pain (more than 13 million), or shoulder injuries (more than 11 million).
Q: How do I know if I have a sprain or a broken bone?
A: Your physician will be able to conduct tests such as X-Rays or bone scans to determine for certain if you have a sprain or a fracture. Keep in mind that a sprain is an injury to the ligaments (tissues that connect your bones), whereas a fracture is an injury to your bone. Sprains heal with time and rest, but a fracture will require some type of treatment (splint, cast, crutches, wheelchair and/or surgery).
Q: How do I know if I have arthritis?
A: Arthritis symptoms may vary depending on which type you have. However, the most common arthritis symptoms include pain, stiffness, swelling, redness and decreased range of motion. Your doctor can perform laboratory tests to determine if you do in fact have arthritis. Learn more about our arthritis services.
Q: Where can I go to receive orthopedic testing or treatment?
A: Hunt Regional Medical Center provides orthopedic services in the northeast Texas area. For more urgent injuries that require immediate attention, we provide emergency care at our Greenville, Commerce and Quinlan locations.
Q: Do the diagnostic tests hurt?
A: Generally, no. This depends on which type of diagnostic procedure you are undergoing, but most orthopedic injuries or conditions require the use of imaging and radiology tests like X-rays, bone scans or other exams, which are painless. When diagnosing arthritis, a doctor may perform minimally invasive laboratory tests that require a sample of joint fluid, however this should not be a severely painful procedure. They may also use computerized tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or ultrasound, which are not invasive or painful.
Q: Is diagnostic testing for an orthopedic injury safe for pregnant women?
A: Depending on the type of diagnostic imaging procedure, these exams are generally safe for pregnant women. According to the American College of Radiology, no single diagnostic X-ray results in radiation exposure enough to threaten the health of the developing embryo or fetus. However, your doctor can work with you to determine the safest diagnostic imaging method.
Q: How should I prepare for my orthopedic appointment?
A: If you have an appointment scheduled with an orthopedic specialist, be sure to come prepared with your insurance card, a photo ID, list of current medications, co-payment (if applicable) and any questions you may have to ask your specialist. Sometimes it’s helpful to bring a written list of questions you have so you don’t forget any during the appointment. Additionally, check with the location to see if there is paperwork you can fill out in advance of your appointment to speed up the process. If for any reason you cannot keep your orthopedic appointment, please notify your doctor.
Q: Will I need physical therapy?
A: Your doctor will be able to fully answer this question after your diagnosis and treatment. However, Hunt Regional Medical Center does provide physical therapy and pain management services so patients can get back on the road towards mobility. Learn more about our therapy services.