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What does an orthopedic doctor check for?
An orthopedic doctor can treat a variety of conditions related to the muscular and skeletal systems.
- Muscle sprains, tears, and tendonitis
- Broken bones
- Joint pain and back pain
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Bone cancer
- Clubfoot and bowlegs
An orthopedic doctor can diagnose and provide nonsurgical treatments for these ailments. Orthopedic doctors may recommend lifestyle changes, stretches, exercises, immobilization, and pain management.
Sub-specialties of orthopedics include:
- Pediatric orthopedics
- Sports medicine
- Hand surgery
- Orthopedic trauma
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
Should I see an orthopedist or a podiatrist?
While podiatrists are similar to orthopedists, they specialize in musculoskeletal care of the lower leg - particularly the feet.
They diagnose and treat issues related to the bones, joints, tendons, and ligaments, with a focus from the hips to the toes. It is recommended that you see a podiatrist for ailments such as plantar fasciitis, bunions, bone spurs, fallen arches, and ingrown toenails.
Connect with a real, quality podiatrist licensed to treat patients in El Cajon, CA for an affordable, upfront price on Sesame. We work directly with podiatrists and orthopedists - not insurance companies - to get you the care you need without breaking the bank. Save 60% on your next podiatry or orthopedic consult when you book with Sesame.
What happens at an orthopedic appointment?
What is an orthopedic surgeon?
Like an orthopedic doctor, orthopedic surgeons are well versed in conditions of the musculoskeletal system, such as bone fractures, joint problems, and sports injuries. Another similarity between the two is that they each undergo around 14 years of training including a bachelor's degree, medical school, a residency, and pass a certifying exam.
However, unlike orthopedic doctors, orthopedic surgeons are qualified to conduct orthopedic surgery.
Orthopedic surgeons can often treat musculoskeletal problems with treatment such as:
- Bone grafts
- Soft tissue repair
- Arthroscopic surgery
- Internal fixation
- Partial and total joint replacement
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Can I go straight to an orthopedist?
Yep! Telehealth platforms like Sesame make it easier than ever to see an orthopedist in El Cajon, CA - without a referral. Appointments are available today!
Sesame works directly with orthopedists - not insurance companies - to get you the care you need for affordable, upfront prices. Connect on Sesame today with an orthopedist in El Cajon, CA who can assess your condition, treat your symptoms, and craft a treatment plan that's right for you.
Can I see an orthopedic doctor online?
On Sesame, orthopedists and podiatrists offer telehealth appointments for patients looking for efficient, flexible care. With telehealth, you can speak with a doctor about your symptoms and work to develop a treatment plan that's right for you - without the hassle of having to drive to different doctors' offices. If you've already seen a doctor and need a second opinion or more clarity on your condition, you can schedule a quick and easy telehealth appointment to get your questions answered on your own time.
On Sesame, you can connect with a licensed orthopedic specialist for an affordable cash price - without any hidden fees, copays, or insurance.
What is a stress fracture?
A stress fracture is a small crack in the bone, often due to overuse.
Stress fractures are common among distance runners, as sustained, driving forces like running can weaken bones can create small cracks.
Basketball players, dancers, and military recruits are also at high risk of developing stress fractures, as the repeated, strenuous application of force to the leg bones can eventually lead to overuse and stress fractures.
Stress fractures can also be indicators of chronic conditions like osteoporosis.
What are the common causes of a stress fracture?
Commonly found on the lower body, stress fractures are more likely to be in weight-bearing bones such as the fibula and femur. Stress fractures of the foot are also quite common.
There are some risk factors to consider if you're worried you may have a stress fracture. These include:
Physical activity: Some sports like track and field, dancing, tennis, gymnastics, and basketball.
Flat feet and high arches: Foot architecture issues can increase your risk of developing a stress fracture.
Osteoporosis: A disease in which you lose bone density.
Nutritional insufficiency: Not having enough of certain nutrients like calcium or vitamin D.
Previous stress fractures: Stress fractures can cause more stress fractures later on.
The "female athlete triad:" This is when a woman has combined disorders that include osteoporosis, amenorrhea, and an eating disorder. This disorder is often not diagnosed and can lead to loss of bone density that may never return.
What are the symptoms of a stress fracture?
Because stress fractures are tiny cracks, you may not notice any pain when the fracture first develops. Over time, however, you may start to feel swelling or tenderness in a specific spot. This pain usually hurts less during periods of rest and more during periods of activity.
It is important to see an orthopedist to treat your fracture before it worsens. Connect with real, quality orthopedists on Sesame for affordable, upfront prices.
How do you detect a stress fracture?
If you're seeing a doctor in-person to assess a potential stress factor, your doctor may first begin with a physical examination of the area in question. Though some doctors may able to diagnose a stress fracture from a physical exam alone, many doctors may also order one or more of the following forms of diagnostic imaging, which allow the doctor to see the bone structure and most accurately diagnose your condition.
X-rays: X-rays are used to diagnose stress fractures that you have had for a few weeks or more. Fine cracks in the bone structure may not appear on an x-ray, making this option less appropriate for early-stage stress fractures.
Bone scan: During a bone scan, your doctor will intravenously administer a small dose of radioactive substance. This radioactive substance is clearly visible on an image scan, which your doctor will use to determine if there are any areas on your bone structure that your body is currently repairing. Though bone scans may not explicitly show stress stress fractures, they key doctors into where bone injuries or weaknesses may exist.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): MRIs are considered the best way to detect a stress fracture. An MRI is an imaging process that involves a magnetic field and radio waves that work together to create a detailed picture of your soft tissues and bones. Doctors often use MRIs to diagnose stress fractures and assess their severity.
What are the treatments for a stress fracture?
Depending on your condition, it generally takes on 6 to 8 weeks for stress fractures to heal.
Rest and ice play a major role in your recovery. Your doctor may suggest eliminating any repetitive activities and high-impact sports that could have caused the stress fracture - like running, basketball, or dancing. If you engage in physical activity your doctor may advise you to only perform low-impact activities such as bicycling or swimming to reduce the stress load on the healing bone. You may also consider replacing any old running shoes with new ones because running shoes lose their support over time.
For pain management, your doctor may recommend taking an anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen or naproxen, as well as supplements to help heal the bone including calcium and vitamin D. Prevention may include getting the proper nutrition to promote bone health. Moderate strength training and low-impact cross-training help the body bolster weak areas and avoid stressful repetition. Wearing proper fitting running shoes while exercising will go a long way in preventing a stress fracture.In some cases, your doctor may recommend you work with a physical therapist to increase strength and mobility in your lower body.
Lastly, if you're starting a new exercise regime it is a good idea to make changes slowly. If you want to increase your exercise a good rule of thumb is to stick to an increase of 10% a week.
Who can treat a stress fracture?
There are a number of health care professionals that can treat stress fractures. These include:
Sports medicine doctors: Doctors who specialize in the treatment of sports injuries, including stress fractures and tendonitis.
Orthopedic doctors: Musculoskeletal doctors that can treat overuse injuries related to the bones, ligaments, tendons, and muscles.
Physical therapists: Physical therapists can play a role in the rehabilitation of the bone by doing strengthening and stretching exercises with a physical therapist.
Podiatrists: Podiatrists focus on the musculoskeletal system as it relates to the lower extremity. They are able to treat stress fractures of the foot, among many other lower body issues.
Can you walk with a stress fracture?
While it is often possible to walk with a stress fracture, doctors may recommend limiting the time you spend on your feet. Walking on hard surfaces and over long distances could aggravate the injury and reinjure the healing bone.
If you get a stress fracture in one of the bones of the foot your doctor may also prescribe you a walking boot and/or cast or crutch to help reduce the weight allowed on the injured bone. Depending on the location of the injury, they may also recommend you refrain from walking when possible.
Will I need surgery if I have a stress fracture?
In some rare cases, your doctor may recommend surgery.
For example, a stress fracture of the fifth metatarsal - which is notoriously difficult to heal - may require surgery. Surgery for stress fractures is rare, though, and most do not require such intervention.
What is a broken toe?
Is your toe throbbing? Perhaps you have trouble putting any weight on your toe. Did you hear a crack or pop at the time of your injury? These can be signs that you may have a broken toe. You have a fractured toe if the toe bone breaks in one or more pieces.
While milder breaks may be treated by taping it to a nearby healthy toe, some breaks may need surgery. More severe fractures can potentially cause damage to a nerve, muscle, or organ, and/or may break the skin. Leaving a broken bone untreated may cause issues with walking and running and can be quite painful, so it is best to speak with a doctor if you have concerns about your injured toe.
Broken toes can occur in different regions of the foot including in the phalanges and metatarsals (some refer to this as a broken foot.) Phalanges make up the toe bones, while the metatarsal bones are the long bones in the midfoot area.
Should I go to the doctor for a broken toe?
Getting an evaluation of your injury is recommended by doctors because poor treatment, or no treatment at all for a broken toe can cause deformity in the bone and may result in issues with foot movement, cause medical conditions such as osteoarthritis, or lead to chronic pain. Whether the injury occurred by dropping a heavy object on your foot, overuse, or stubbing your toe, having your foot pain assessed by a healthcare professional will ensure proper treatment.
In some rare cases, surgery will be suggested by your doctor. One of the hardest fractures to heal on the body is a stress fracture of the fifth metatarsal and may require surgical treatment. Big toe fractures may also need surgery and/or the use of a cast in more severe cases.
What are the symptoms of a broken toe?
There are two types of fractures that your toe can suffer from. These include acute fracture (traumatic fracture) or stress fracture. These will have different signs and symptoms depending on which fracture has occurred.
In the case of stress fractures, you may feel pain in the fractured area during or just after normal activity. You may also feel pain when you touch the area, or experience swelling without bruising. It is good to remember that just because you can walk on it does not mean it's not broken. It's best to get your foot checked by a qualified healthcare worker to ensure a healthy recovery.
The symptoms often associated with an acute fracture may have swelling accompanied with bruising, may look out of place, or feel painful when pressing on the area in question. You may even hear the break at the time of the injury. Depending on where the break occurred, your toenail may have discoloration or even fall out.
In any case, you may experience severe pain in the injured area. Speak with a primary care provider to receive medical advice about which treatment options are best for your foot.
What is the treatment for a broken toe?
Before your visit with a doctor, you may consider some self-care wellness options like numbing the affected area with an ice pack, elevating the foot, and resting. You may also consider taking an over-the-counter medication like ibuprofen such as Motrin or Advil, naproxen sodium like Aleve, or acetaminophen such as Tylenol. Pain medicine may be a part of your treatment plan with a doctor.
While at home remedies may help relieve some pain, it is recommended that you consult a doctor as soon as possible. Connect with real, quality doctors on Sesame who can assess your condition, address your symptoms, and craft a treatment plans that's right for you.
When you visit the doctor's office in person, they will often begin by using an x-ray, bone scan, MRI, or other diagnostic imaging tool to take a look at the affected area and make a diagnosis.
With this information, your doctor may recommend a splint or buddy taping - when the injured toe is taped to a neighboring, healthy toe. If you've injured your big toe injuries or fractured your fifth metatarsal, your doctor may recommend surgery.
Consider seeing a specialist like a podiatrist or orthopedic (orthopaedic) doctor to receive medical care pertaining to your foot pain. These doctors specialize in ailments involving the bone, tendon, ligament, and muscle specific to the lower extremities and can help get you the care you need.
What are the types of toe injuries?
Common injury of the toe often involves stubbing the toe or dropping a heavy object on the forefoot. Even overuse can cause a toe injury to occur. Toe fractures can exist as stress fractures, compound fractures (fracture involving an open wound from the bone breaking through the skin), and acute fractures.
It is sometimes hard to distinguish between a sprain and a fracture so you may consider getting medical advice about your particular injury in order to learn about your best treatment options moving forward.
What happens if you leave a broken toe untreated?
A number of potential issues can arise from leaving a broken toe untreated. These include injury to the nail, arthritis, infection, deformity.
Getting an evaluation of your injury is helpful to prevent your broken toe from turning into a bigger issue. Whether the injury occurred by dropping a heavy object on your foot, overuse, or stubbing your toe, having your foot pain assessed by a healthcare professional will you get the proper treatment.
Connect on Sesame with a real, quality doctor in El Cajon, CA to get your questions answered and symptoms addressed for one affordable, upfront price. Sesame works directly with doctors - not insurance companies - to get you quality care minus the copays and surprise bills. Save 60% when you book with Sesame.