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Orthopedics | Orthopedic Disorders

Orthopedic disorders can cause pain and disrupt daily activities. Specialists at MaineHealth are committed to diagnosing and treating orthopedic disorders, so that patients can return to doing the things they love.

What are orthopedic disorders?

Orthopedic disorders include a variety of conditions affecting the muscles, bones, joints and ligaments. Diagnosing any orthopedic problem early can decrease the chance of long-term damage and pain. Talk to your provider if you are having pain or are concerned about orthopedic disorders.

Common orthopedic disorders

Aching muscles, bones and joints is a common problem. They can range from sports injuries to age-related problems. Common orthopedic disorders include:

  • Lower back pain
  • Gout
  • Arthritis
  • Tendinitis
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Bursitis
  • Injuries to bones, ligaments, tendons, or cartilage

There are various causes and risk factors that increase the chance of having an orthopedic disorder. Some of these include:

  • Age
  • Occupation
  • Activity level
  • Lifestyle
  • Frequent sports training
  • Wear and tear/overuse
  • Injuries
  • Sitting in the same position for an extended period of time daily
  • Poor posture
  • Lack of stretching

 The following are signs and symptoms of orthopedic disorders.

Orthopedic disorders symptoms

Symptoms of orthopedic disorders can range from mild to severe. Some common symptoms associated with orthopedic disorders include:

  • Pain
  • Fatigue
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Stiff joints
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Dull aches
  • Weakness
  • Tenderness
  • Limited range of motion
  • Difficulty performing daily tasks

Talk to your doctor if you are experiencing symptoms associated with orthopedic disorders.

Orthopedic disorders diagnosis

A doctor may use a variety of methods in order to confirm an orthopedic disorder diagnosis. Some diagnostic methods include:

  • Physical exam
  • X-rays to detect bone fractures or bone loss
  • Computed Tomography (CT) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
  • Bone scanning

After the results of your tests, your provider will recommend a treatment plan.

Orthopedic disorders treatment

Treatment approaches for orthopedic disorders depends on the extent of the condition. Goals of treatment include managing pain and discomfort during daily activities. Occasional pain may be treated with exercises and medicine. Advanced disorders may require more intense therapy. Some treatment methods include:

  • Injections with anesthetic or anti-inflammatory medications
  • Exercise that includes muscle strengthening and stretching
  • Medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Therapeutic massage
  • Surgery

Orthopedic disorders prevention

Prevention is important in avoiding orthopedic disorders altogether and in delaying the progression of present conditions. Some prevention strategies include:

  • Performing regular strengthening exercises

  • Stretching before performing physical activity

  • Maintaining proper posture

  • Practicing correct form when lifting objects

  • Consuming adequate calcium and vitamin D in the diet to support bone health