If you’re a first-time orthopedic patient, you may be surprised to learn how complex your treatment will be. In addition to the initial exam with an orthopedic specialist, your medical care may include a combination of x-ray imaging, physical therapy, pain management, casting, orthotics, bracing, or surgery.
You may also be surprised to learn your pain originates from a completely different part of the body than where you actually feel the pain. For example, that hip pain? You might visit the hip specialist only to learn you really need to see a spine doctor.
As you can see, orthopedic care could easily become a metaphorical headache, especially if it requires driving to multiple appointments at multiple places.
To streamline a potentially frustrating experience, a full-service orthopedic practice is the answer. With all of the orthopedic sub-specialties under one roof — along with a pain management clinic, physical therapy facility, and outpatient surgical center — you’re more likely to find faster relief from pain.
Let’s explore the specific ways a full-service orthopedic clinic could result in fewer headaches.
We use the term “paperwork” broadly, to include things like insurance filing, billing, medical records, patient portals, and scheduling. While most of the administrative “paperwork” is handled behind the scenes by the office staff, it can still be a headache for you as a patient to receive bills from multiple medical practices, fill out patient forms for each appointment, log into multiple online patient portals, and contact multiple offices for appointment scheduling.
By keeping all of these things centralized, it not only keeps your life simpler, it also benefits your doctors, nurses, and everyone else involved in your orthopedic care.
As we mentioned, it may be difficult to know what kind of treatment you need based on your own self assessment. With doctors representing all of the sub-specialties — spine, knee, hip, shoulder, elbow, wrist, hand, foot, and ankle — you can be referred quickly to the appropriate practitioner for treatment. At Blue Ridge Orthopaedic, same day or next day appointments may even be available.
A comprehensive orthopedic clinic is also convenient for those who end up needing treatment for more than one musculoskeletal ailment in their lifetime.
When you’re in pain, getting treatment quickly is important. By choosing a practice that has in-house x-ray imaging, you can avoid delays by skipping the extra step of going to a separate facility for x-rays. Instead, you can get the x-rays at the same time as your initial appointment with the results immediately available to review with your doctor.
Additionally, your orthopedist can order more targeted imaging from an in-house x-ray team. The in-house radiation technicians (a.k.a. rad techs) can hone in on the specified area with precision, allowing for a more accurate diagnosis.
An experienced in-house x-ray team makes a big difference, too. Here at Blue Ridge Orthopaedics, our rad techs are not only good at producing quality imaging, they also have plenty of practice working with injured patients to minimize pain and discomfort.
Most orthopedic patients do not need surgery, and are often referred to a pain management doctor for treatment. In a comprehensive orthopedic practice, the pain management clinic can work closely with the orthopedic specialist to develop an appropriate treatment plan.
At Blue Ridge Orthopaedics, the pain management team has a wide range of treatments available, including pharmacological, interventional, and alternative methods to reduce or control pain.
Physical therapy and occupational therapy play an important role in the treatment of many orthopedic conditions, including post-surgical rehabilitation. And as an alternative to surgery.
With centralized patient information, physical therapists at a comprehensive orthopedic practice are able to easily access a patient’s medical records, orders, and imaging. And they are able to work closely with the referring physician to plot a successful course to recovery.
And a quicker course to recovery is possible, too, at Blue Ridge Orthopaedic, with same-day physical therapy and walk-in brace fitting appointments often available.
At Blue Ridge Orthopaedics, post-op patients who present with problems at physical therapy have quick and easy access to an exam or x-ray.
Outpatient Surgical Center
If you qualify, an outpatient surgical center (also known as an Ambulatory Surgical Center, or ASC) has several benefits over a hospital setting: better outcomes, a lower cost, and more personalized service.
While a quicker recovery and cost savings are important, most patients value individualized service the most. Unlike the hospital, your surgery at an ASC won’t be delayed due to an emergency. And you won’t need to explain your situation to the physician on call. Instead, the doctors and staff will already know your condition and treatment plan.
You can easily determine which ASCs in your area meet the highest standards of quality with a quick search on the AAAHC website.
Please note, not all patients are candidates for outpatient surgery. For example, those with certain medical conditions are typically better off in a hospital setting that can accommodate specific complications and/or an extended patient stay.
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