As an orthopedic surgeon, I get asked all the time, “When is it time to see the doctor?”
For circumstances that appear to be life-threatening, don’t hesitate – call 9-1-1.
- loss of consciousness
- shortness of breath
- chest pain
- significant abdominal pain
- a head, neck or spine injury
- heavy loss of blood
For a musculoskeletal injury, such as bumps, bruises, aches, sprains and strains, and abrasions, immediate medical attention may not be necessary.
However, there are some orthopedic injuries when a trip to the doctor is a ‘must.’
When to see an orthopedic specialist
It’s important to see an orthopedic surgeon, or one specializing in orthopedic trauma care, if you have:
- a suspected fracture or joint dislocation (such as a shoulder dislocation) or if your arm, leg, or finger becomes crooked
- difficulty or inability to bear weight on your foot, ankle, or leg
- heard a ‘popping’ sound, possibly indicating that a ligament has torn in your leg (such as with an ACL tear)
- lost power in, or ability to move, an extremity (arm or leg) and are unable to perform basic functions
Let’s hope you don’t need to see us anytime soon, but if you’re ever unsure, it’s best to get checked out.
Texas Orthopedics offers several convenient locations throughout Central Texas all with onsite X-ray capabilities. We also have an After Hours Clinic for emergencies at our Northwest Austin location where walk-ins are welcome.
To schedule a regular appointment with any one of our board-certified orthopedic surgeons or physical medicine and rehabilitation specialists, please visit us online anytime.