If you have sudden or ongoing pain in your knee, hip or shoulder, you may wonder when it’s time to seek medical care for your joint problem. You may be able to manage pain on your own for a while, but how do you know if joint pain is a sign of a serious problem that needs care?
If you have joint pain or mobility issues, it’s important to contact an orthopaedic expert who specializes in treating conditions that affect the muscles, bones, joints, and connective tissues.
Joint symptoms can be addressed through a range of treatment options and making an appointment with an orthopaedic surgeon is often the first step in finding relief.
Some of the reasons to see an orthopaedic surgeon include:
“You shouldn’t have to live with joint pain,” says Jeffrey Lange, MD, an orthopaedic surgeon at Mass General Brigham. “If something is wrong, call us to be evaluated. Every evaluation is different, because every patient is unique.”
For patients who have joint pain or mobility issues, it’s important to stay current with your joint health. In some cases, ignoring joint pain for too long may increase pain or mobility problems, or even result in a fall or injury.
“The more proactive you are in preserving your joints, the longer we anticipate they will last,” says Dr. Lange. “Taking care of your joint pain early could delay or prevent the need for surgery. If you do need surgery, having surgery earlier can lead to better outcomes in many cases. The details differ for every person, which is why we always suggest having an evaluation with a clinician to better understand your own unique situation.”
A check-in with your orthopaedic specialist can help you understand all the available options for your unique situation. Together, you and your orthopaedic specialist can:
A consultation with an orthopaedic specialist can be done in-person or virtually. A virtual visit allows you to accomplish many of the same things you would review during an in-person visit. Many patients are realizing the benefits of virtual care for joint problems, including:
“Going to the doctor’s office used to be a half- or even full-day affair for some patients,” says Dr. Lange. “With a virtual visit, patients can meet with me for a short period of time from the comfort of their homes. They feel like they are still connected with their provider without having to put themselves at risk by leaving their home during this difficult time.
“We’re a joint health center,” says Dr. Lange. “We provide a single center where patients can get all of their joint health needs in one place, from rehabilitation specialists to joint replacement surgeons. We take a holistic approach to keeping your joints healthy and in optimal condition for as long as possible.”