When Should I See A Sports Medicine Specialist For An Injury?
If you have an injury that just does not seem to be improving and is interfering with your day-to-day activities, medical care should be sought. Which then asks the question of who to make an appointment with, your family practice doctor, or a sports medicine physician?
Usually, people will go to their family practice doctor first in order to have an injury evaluated. This is a doctor that they know; so there is already a relationship of trust. It is good for patients to know that whether they see a family practice doctor or a specialist initially, the treatment approach will invariably be the same, which includes resting, using ice, and possibly other conservative treatments that could resolve the problem.
But, if an injury doesn’t respond or improve within 2 weeks, an MRI may be needed to further evaluate the injury.
Although either a general practitioner or a specialist is able to manage patients with rest and ice, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories, once an MRI is needed, then the time has come to seek out a specialist. As they have the expertise to determine what the next step will be for that particular injury. Is it a partial or a full tear? Is it a torn tendon, cartilage, or ligament? Not all tears require surgery, and it will be the specialist’s job to discern what the most appropriate treatment is based on the specifics of the patient’s diagnosis.
Another advantage of seeing a sports medicine physician is they have sub-specialists in every area of orthopedics. If a patient sees a specialist that does not deal with that particular injury, they will be sent to one that can.
If you would like information on the services that 417 Sports Medicine and Orthopedics: Eric M Gifford, MD has to offer you, and if you live in or around the Springfield, MO region, please do not hesitate to call us at (417) 771-3147 anytime.