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When to See an Orthopedic Doctor

Future of Knee PainWhen should you see an orthopedic doctor?

If you’re experiencing pain in your muscles, joints, or bones or you have problems with your joints, you may wonder whether to see a doctor. If you have any of the following symptoms, we recommend you make an appointment with your physician to be evaluated.

  • You have pain, stiffness, or discomfort that are making it difficult to perform everyday activities
  • You are experiencing chronic pain (pain lasting longer than 12 weeks)
  • You’re noticing decreases in your range of motion
  • You feel unstable while walking or standing
  • You have had a soft tissue injury, and it’s not improving after 48 hours

Which type of doctor should you see?

Once you’ve decided that you need to see a doctor, you may wonder which type of specialist will best be able to diagnose and treat you.

There are a number of medical specialties that treat musculoskeletal conditions, such as arthritis, chronic pain, and injury. Orthopedic doctors and surgeons, rheumatologists, neurologists, rehabilitation medicine doctors, and physical therapists all treat some conditions that relate to the muscles, bones, and joints. At Beaumont, we’ll help you find the right doctor for your condition, and if you need to see specialists in more than one department, we will help coordinate your care. 

Consider some basic guidelines on when to see different types of doctors. 

You may want to see an orthopedic specialist if you have:

  • Muscle, joint, or bone pain that began after an injury or accident
  • A torn or ruptured tendon
  • Instability or dislocation
  • Pain in your hip or knee that is worse during weight bearing activities
  • A diagnosis of osteoarthritis
  • Neck or back pain
  • Radiating arm or leg pain (“pinched nerve”)
 

You may need to see a rheumatologist if you have:

  • Joint pain in many joints across your body
  • New joint pain that is not related to an injury or accident
  • Fever, fatigue, rash, chest pain, or joint stiffness that is associated with joint, muscle, or bone pain
  • Joint pain after a tick bite (you may have Lyme disease)
  • A diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis
 

You may want to see a neurologist if you have:

  • Chronic pain that is associated with tingling, numbness, or weakness
  • Problems moving or lack of coordination
  • Back and neck pain and headaches

You may want to see a sports medicine doctor if you:

  • Injured yourself during athletic activity
  • Your injury or condition is getting in the way of sports participation

Sports and Orthopedic Injury Clinic

In Canton, Michigan, Beaumont offers specialized treatment on a walk-in basis and you'll be able to get everything from same-day exams and imaging to surgical referrals and expedited access to specialists.

When to visit the clinic, as opposed to a Beaumont emergency center


Connect with our orthopedic specialists

Whether you’re seeking help with an existing condition, you would like a diagnosis, or you are looking for help with recovery and rehabilitation after an injury, Beaumont has orthopedic specialists who offer the types of treatment and services you need. 

If you have an injury to your bones or joints that needs to be cared for right away, contact your nearest Beaumont Emergency Center. We also have an Orthopedic Rehabilitation Clinic and a Physical Therapy Department to help you recover from orthopedic injuries.

Call us at 800-633-7377 to make an appointment, or request an appointment online.