If you’re experiencing symptoms of a musculoskeletal condition or injury (one that affects your bones, joints, or soft tissues) and your primary care physician deems that you need specialized care, they will refer you to an orthopedist.
Just like meeting with any other type of healthcare professional, it is helpful to know that expect at your first appointment with your orthopedist. The information we’ve provided below can give you a general understanding and help you make the most out of your visit.
What to Expect at Your Appointment
Your first appointment with your orthopedic doctor will likely include a physical exam; a comprehensive assessment of your medical history, the current state of health, and symptoms; and medical imaging tests. These will give your orthopedic doctor a clearer sense of the issue.
Your orthopedic doctor will likely start by asking you about the reason for your visit. Make sure to provide them with specific information, such as:
- When, where, and how pain and other symptoms (stiffness, loss of range of motion, balance, as examples) began and what may worsen them;
- The severity of your pain (on a scale of 0 to 10);
- What procedures you have had (if any);
- Any current medical problems (e.g., diabetes, hypertension, COPD, etc.);
- How your injury or condition impacts your ability to carry out day-to-day activities (dressing, bathing, eating, etc.), your work duties, or participation in sports.
Your orthopedist will then proceed with the physical exam, to assess your symptoms, range of motion, and general capacity to move around (e.g., walk, sit, stand, bend forward and backward, etc.)
Your orthopedic doctor may also order laboratory tests, depending on what they suspect to be the problem during the initial examination.
Additionally, they may require medical imaging tests (e.g., X-ray, MRI, CT scan, etc.). If your symptoms specifically point to a bone problem, your orthopedist will likely order an X-ray. However, if an X-ray or CT scan can’t provide adequate information about your condition/injury, your doctor may also order an MRI.
Based on their findings, your orthopedist will recommend the most suitable treatment option for you. Orthopedists often start with conservative interventions, such as medications and physical therapy. However, if your symptoms are not alleviated after a lengthy course of these interventions, your orthopedist may recommend surgery to address your problem altogether.
Reliable Orthopedist in Watertown and Lowville, NY
At North Country Orthopaedic Group, our dynamic team includes board-certified orthopedists who take pride in their unwavering commitment to advancing the musculoskeletal health of the men, women, and children in Watertown, Lowville, and their neighboring areas through comprehensive, high-quality care. We delight in providing our patients with useful information, which we believe can have an appreciable, positive impact on the way they manage their health.