Are you delaying treatment because you have self-diagnosed your pain? Or maybe you’re avoiding treatment because you “know” what will work and not work. Especially for chronic pain that grows and changes over time, delaying treatment because of misconceptions may cause more pain and a longer recovery timeline. Pain in one body part often causes a change in others to compensate. Instead of experiencing right knee pain, now the lower back hurts, too. Frustration runs high and quality of life suffers.
We go over a few common myths about orthopedic treatment.
Myth: I have arthritis. There is nothing more I can do until it’s time for a joint replacement.
Self-diagnosis and prognosis can be huge barriers to care. Managing symptoms is the name of the game. An orthopedic issue doesn’t always have to be cured. Rather, it can be managed. Our goal is to provide pain relief and optimize function. We can oftentimes do that with conservative treatment. Patients’ prognosis of joint replacement or nothing has led many to live with unnecessary pain.
Myth: Over-the-counter medications don’t work.
The right medication, at the right dose and frequency, and for an appropriate duration can do wonders. Over-the-counter doses taken intermittently are often not effective in adequately treating an acute or even chronic problem. Medical guidance on what to take, how much, and for how long is necessary to optimize the management of symptoms. Many patients don’t realize they’re under dosing themselves (or sometimes overdosing) and thus believe the OTC medicine “doesn’t work.”
Myth: Injections won’t help my joint pain.
Injections are a safe and effective conservative therapy when used appropriately. The diagnosis, location of injection, and frequency of injections all factor into the safety and effectiveness of corticosteroid injections. Additionally, regenerative medicine injections are alternative safe treatments showing promising results. Injections performed in the right location, at the right time, and for the right reason can be a wonderful adjunct to oral medications and/or physical therapy.
Myth: It hurts to move so physical therapy won’t be possible.
Physical therapists customize a program to address areas of tightness, weakness, and correct faulty movement patterns. In addition, they do manual techniques (hands-on approach) that patients are not able to do on their own. Our bodies are finely-tuned instruments, so when they are out of tune, they will not work correctly. Even the slightest adjustments can make a big improvement for reducing pain and improving function.
An additional misconception is that physical therapy is a bunch of random exercises and is a waste of time and money. In reality, physical therapists create patient-specific rehabilitation plans that fit within the ordering physician’s protocol, targeting problem areas leading to pain and dysfunction.
Myth: Surgery is too invasive and risky.
Orthopedics is ripe with innovation. With the introduction of less invasive techniques, like needle arthroscopy and endoscopic surgery, patients enjoy less post-operative pain, reduced need for pain medication, and shorter hospital stays. With smaller incisions and less anesthesia, patients enjoy faster healing and recovery, and shorter return-to-work (and life) timelines. Did you know that more and more knee and shoulder joint replacement patients go home the day of surgery?
Biceps tenodesis is usually performed arthroscopically. The surgeon removes the painful part of the biceps, which usually resolves symptoms and restores normal function. After the surgery, the small wound is closed using stitches. Now, using needle arthroscopy, Dr. Matt Daggett uses local anesthesia, no general anesthesia, which means patients are awake during their surgery. WATCH VIDEO
More Myths about Orthopedic Treatments
Myth: back pain is part of getting older. Back pain is one of the most common complaints in patients of all ages. Back pain can be due to many different things, such as acute injuries and structural problems, or secondary to poor posture or an altered gait. Luckily, many of these conditions can be treated conservatively with lifestyle changes, physical therapy, injections, and medications. Many adults will put off being seen by a specialist for back pain until their pain becomes debilitating. Seeing an orthopedic specialist soon after the onset of back pain can save patients from a lot of pain and suffering!
Myth: I tore my ACL, so I’ll never be able to return to playing my sport. ACL ruptures are one of the most dreaded injuries amongst athletes. Due to advancements in technique, graft selection, and the possibility of ACL repair over reconstruction, ACL surgeries have become less invasive and have come with less downtime. Studies show almost 85% of athletes return to play within 6-12 months of injury. With great communication and teamwork between the patient, orthopedic surgeon, and physical therapist, patients are able to return to their most beloved activities without pain or instability.
Truth about Orthopedic Treatment
Self-diagnosis and prognosis can be a barrier to orthopedic care and treatment. Unfortunately, many patients with chronic pain delay evaluation because of their preconceived notions. This often results in more pain and disability than those who come in with an acute orthopedic injury.
As managers of musculoskeletal health, we have seen and heard it all. Instead of delaying treatment, talk to a specialist. We have a toolbox full of treatment options that are tailored to your individual needs.
I work awfully close with some of Dr. Witte’s patients after their surgery. He is very talented and his office is kind and great to work with. Highly recommended as his customer service does not stop with just his patients but his office staff is fantastic! Thank you for all you do!!
Dr Palmer is a very knowledgeable and has the best bedside manner. He is very caring! I would, will recommend him to anyone who needs this service! His team is also wonderful as well!
I received excellent medical care by Dr. Daggett and Sano Orthopedics. Dr. Dagget gave me informed expert advice on my condition and the prognosis as well as the options. He and his staff were friendly and open to my questions and possible suggestions concerning my care. Do yourself a favor and go to Sano Orthopedics!
Dr. Dempewolf is an amazing person and caring doctor. Always listens to my concerns and offers solutions. Takes time to really hear you out and answer your questions.