What Type of Doctor to See After an Injury

What Type of Doctor to See After an Injury

Personal injury attorneys are here to help you when you have experienced an injury through no fault of your own. Injuries can happen because of various situations such as a car crash, slip and fall, or even a malfunctioning product. While our goal is getting you compensation for your injuries and the pain and suffering you are experiencing, we first and foremost want to see that you heal from your injuries.

Go To a Doctor Who Specializes in Your Type of Injury

Many of my clients ask what type of doctor they should go to for treatment. It really depends on your injury–personal injury is indeed personal. Some clients feel more comfortable starting with their family doctor because of familiarity. However, your family doctor may refer you to an orthopedic specialist. An orthopedic doctor specializes in the health of your bones and joints, whereas the family doctor you are used to visiting for general health issues may not be as qualified to diagnose your injury or further treat your condition.

When to See a Doctor

Sometimes the pain you feel right after a car crash or after a slip and fall could be what is called a soft tissue injury, such as a sprained ankle, twisted knee, or sore wrist. These injuries should be treated immediately using the RICE method – rest, ice, compression, and elevation. If after 48 hours pain persists and swelling is still visible, you should set up an appointment with an orthopedic doctor for a thorough examination of the injury.

Consistent or increasing pain in the joints or bones, specifically the neck, back, elbows, or knees, can mean a serious orthopedic issue. Your joints allow you to move your limbs freely and with ease, so when these motions become difficult, it could be a sign that something is wrong. Decreased range of motion can signify a possible joint injury. If it continues to persist, it likely will not go away on its own. Left untreated, this type of injury can get worse or cause other significant issues. An orthopedic doctor will be able to understand your symptoms and provide an accurate diagnosis so you can be on your way to relief.

Regular activities such as walking short distances, climbing stairs, getting in and out of bed, brushing your teeth – should all be done without any pain. A constant pain experienced while you perform a certain task can mean a more serious injury than you may have thought.

To locate a reputable orthopedic doctor, check with family and friends, your health insurance company, or ask your family doctor for a referral. Once you find an orthopedic doctor and schedule an appointment, you’ll discuss your pain and discomfort with them.  Make sure you explain in detail, how you were injured and all of the body parts that were injured. The doctor will then perform a thorough examination. They will be evaluating your range of motion, strength, and that everything is functioning normally. If more information is needed, the doctor may order several tests to further diagnose your condition or injury, such as an x-ray or MRI.

Determining the Best Treatment Plan for You

After your doctor has learned more about your injury or condition and has evaluated the findings of any tests, they will work with you to determine the best course of action when it comes to a treatment program. This may include nonoperative methods such as rest, medication, injections, or a physical therapy and rehabilitation program. Your doctor will work with you to optimize your strength and flexibility and put together a program that will best treat your injuries sustained.  If your orthopedic doctor does not see improvement with nonoperative methods, they will discuss potential surgical treatment or other methods of pain management. Your doctor’s ultimate goal, shared with your attorney, is to safely get you back to how you were before you were injured as best as possible.