Your orthopedic surgeon is an expert on how your musculoskeletal system functions. This doctor also knows how to treat persistent pain from an acute or chronic condition and how your symptoms impact your daily tasks. If you are seeing an orthopedic surgeon for the first time, you might wonder what will happen at your first appointment. Relax. Your orthopedic surgeon appointment will be systematic, informative, and very helpful. Here’s what to know.
While much of today’s medical documentation is completed online, you may be asked to fill out a medical history form when you come to the orthopedic facility. You’ll complete questions about your injury or condition, as well as health problems, current medications, and past surgeries.
Also, be sure to bring your photo ID and health insurance card. Be prepared for a copay if your insurance requires one.
If you already have had imaging pertinent to your injury or condition, bring those results with you as well. That means any documents, as well as X-rays, MRIs, or CT, scans on CD from other providers.
As you talk with your orthopedic surgeon, you will discuss the reasons for your visit. Perhaps you were injured in a fall, or maybe your primary care physician believes your arthritis pain is not responding well to your current treatment plan.
So, tell your symptoms to your orthopedic doctor, including the following:
- Intensity (on a scale of one to ten)
- Character–crushing, stabbing, aching
- How your symptoms impact your ambulation, activities of daily living, and sports/exercise regimen
- Treatments you use or have tried in the past
Come to your orthopedic appointment prepared with questions to ask the orthopedic surgeon about non-operative treatments, pain management, surgery, and how your condition is likely to progress.
Physical Examination and Digital Imaging
Your orthopedic surgeon will do a head-to-toe bone and joint assessment. He or she will visually inspect your area of concern–knee, shoulder, and so on. Expect to be asked to walk, move your affected body part, bend at the waist, and do other tests of strength, endurance, range of motion, balance, and coordination as needed.
Also, your orthopedic doctor may order blood tests and digital imaging to fine-tune your diagnosis and treatment plan. You may undergo digital X-rays or an MRI to give the doctor a clear view of what is happening to your bones, joints, muscles, or connective tissue.
Customized Treatment Plan
You are an individual with needs and goals specific to your body and health condition. Your orthopedic doctor will formulate a care plan that addresses your condition and your desired goals. Fortunately, surgery is not always the first and best option. So, be confident in the therapeutic steps your doctor outlines to treat your injury or condition.
Personalized Orthopedic Care with Dr. Mark Jenkins in Kingsport, TN
At Watauga Orthopaedics, our board-certified orthopedic surgeons deliver precise care plans that get people moving and back to their daily lives and sports. Specifically, Dr. Timothy Jenkins is a sports medicine specialist and board-certified in orthopedics.
We offer convenient walk-in clinic hours at our Kingsport, Johnson City, and Bristol, Tennessee, facilities.