What is Comprehensive Orthopedic Care?
When it comes to orthopedic care, it is vital that your care is comprehensive. This means that the care you receive from your orthopedic doctor is not only focused on the physical injuries and conditions you suffer but also that the care focuses on your mental and emotional well-being, rehabilitation and long-term management. An orthopedic team should work together and collaborate to make sure that the care you are receiving is comprehensive. An injury, big or small, can become a much larger problem, even years later if care is not comprehensive. This is why it is so important to make sure the care you are receiving is all-encompassing and from a team that puts care and thought into every step of the process. Let’s dive into the different components of comprehensive orthopedic care.
Parts of Comprehensive Orthopedic Care
Comprehensive orthopedic care is all about the patient and what they specifically need, so the steps aren’t always the same. Even so, there are some vital steps that all care plans should follow. Here are some of the most important steps taken in comprehensive orthopedic care:
Before jumping right into treatment, an orthopedic doctor should take a lot of care to diagnose your problem without jumping to any conclusions. Diagnostic tests can help them do just that and can really help them narrow down the problem. Even with just a list of symptoms, it can be difficult for an orthopedic doctor to know for certain what is wrong without testing. There are many different types of diagnostic tests that may be used, depending on the injury, but here are a few that are most common for orthopedic care:
- Bone densitometry test
- Skeletal scintigraphy test
- A discogram
- A myelography
Many of these tests use X-rays, MRI, ultrasound and computed tomography technology. With these tests, an orthopedic doctor can narrow down a problem, so they can set you on the right care path. Using tests like these can ensure you are getting the best possible care.
Depending on your orthopedic needs, surgery is common and might be the next step in your comprehensive care. When possible, an orthopedic doctor will start with conservative care to address an orthopedic condition. However, there are times when surgery is the best option to reach the best possible outcome for a patient. Most times, this is after conservative care options have already been tested and it is time to move on to the next step.
Some of the most common orthopedic surgeries, treatments and procedures are:
- Ankle fracture surgery
- Ankle fracture treatment
- Achilles repair surgery
- Loose body removal
- Osteochondritis Dissecans
- Posterior Tibial Tendonitis
- Achilles Tendonitis
- Rotator Cuff Repair
- Biceps Tenodesis
- And more!
Your care does not end after your surgery is completed. At least it shouldn’t. In a comprehensive care plan, rehabilitation comes next. Rehabilitation helps to ensure that your body is supported to improve after your surgery. Oftentimes after surgery, your joints and muscles aren’t used to the type of daily work they once did. With the use of physical therapy, your orthopedic team can make sure your body regains its strength and that you are rehabilitated after a tough surgery. Most orthopedic teams work together to create a comprehensive physical therapy plan. This plan will include a collaborative approach between your doctors, physician assistants, physical therapists and even athletic trainers if you are an athlete.
Before and after surgery, or whether you even decide to have surgery at all, pain management is a huge part of getting comprehensive care. Here are some of the most common ways that pain is managed by your orthopedic doctor:
- RICE: The RICE method is recommended by doctors for all different kinds of injuries, especially after sports-related surgery. It’s also often the first step in recovery after surgery or injury. RICE stands for rest, ice, compression and elevation. Your doctor will expect you to halt your usual physical activity for a period of time, ask you to ice your affected area often, ask that you compress your affected area with the use of athletic wrap or surgical tape, and elevate your affected area in order to reduce swelling or pain. This method can be paired with several of the other methods or used as a first step in the recovery process.
- Lifestyle Changes: Your surgery and care may cause some necessary lifestyle changes to come about. This may be a change in footwear, a change in diet or a change in exercise. Your doctor will help you understand what these changes may be and how you can go about managing them after your surgery. Your doctor and your orthopedic team will be there to help support these lifestyle changes and help you understand why they are necessary.
- Pain Medication: Whether it is in combination with another treatment on this list or on its own, your doctor may prescribe you some medication. This typically is nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen, which will help with inflammation and pain. Pain medication is often recommended after injury and surgery, and your doctor will communicate when and for how long it should be taken.
Ongoing Patient Education
Last but not least, a good orthopedic doctor should do more than just tell you what your injuries are and what your treatment should look like. With ongoing patient education, your doctor should help you learn all about your specific injury and lead you through every step, answering questions along the way. Comprehensive orthopedics is all about patient-centered care and empowering patients to make informed decisions about their care so they can play an active role in their own recovery.
Benefits of Comprehensive Orthopedics
According to this study, “Research has identified good communication skills to be a key factor in ensuring better patient outcomes, and nurturing patient satisfaction.” This is true for many patients, who find it important to understand and to be on the same page as their doctors.
For example, Integrated Orthopedic patient Tzu-Chia Huang from Ballet Arizona reflected this in their testimonial, saying:
“When I found out about my knee problem, Dr. Gruber took really good care of me. He explained everything to me and answered all my questions. I felt like I knew everything I needed to know before my surgery. Dr. Gruber did an excellent job on my surgery and kept checking on my progress during recovery. Now I can keep dancing without any pain!”
Many patients strongly prefer to be in the know, learning about their condition and their care options as they progress in care. This, along with fully comprehensive care can change everything. Comprehensive care is the best care and has many benefits.
The benefits of comprehensive care can make a difference. Here are a few notable benefits of comprehensive orthopedics:
- Improved outcomes and improved recovery after surgery
- Reduced risk of complications
- Higher quality of care
- Higher accuracy of treatment
- Stronger collaboration between health professionals and orthopedic teams
- Increased patient satisfaction
Comprehensive orthopedics is so important, so it is vital that you choose an orthopedic doctor and team that best fits you. If you would like to schedule an appointment with us call 602-734-1834.