It typically happens slowly. First, a little pain after a day with a lot of steps. A year later, instead of hurting for one day it hurts for three. I’m talking, of course, about hip pain.
Most of my patients struggle with the pain on their own for a while, waiting until it gets really bad and they are just about ready for surgery to make the problem go away. Sometimes, I’d wish they’d have come to see me sooner. I think part of the problem is semantics. I’m an orthopedic surgeon, so some people think they should only see me if they need surgery. I get it, but there are patients I’ve seen for more than a decade without operating on them.
Here are a few reasons why you might want to consider seeing an orthopedic surgeon if you have any type of chronic hip pain:
Establishing a Baseline
Data helps us make informed decisions regarding your care. If I get to know you, your pain levels and how well your joint is functioning, I’m better prepared to react with effective changes in your treatment if things worsen.
Diagnose Your Pain
Patients sometimes just assume their hip pain is caused by arthritis, because that’s the most common root cause of pain. Many don’t realize it could also be tendinitis, bursitis or other less common conditions. If over-the-counter medications aren’t working or are necessary all the time, it’s probably a good idea to let a hip specialist determine what’s causing your pain.
Know Your Options
A lot of what we do in orthopedics is based on your pain level and how it impacts your daily life. It is helpful for you to know what tools there are to help with your pain and the pros/cons for each so that you have a firm understanding of what we’ll try next. We need to be partners in developing an effective plan.
Most people don’t realize that 99 percent of insurance plans do not require a referral for orthopedics. You still may want to see your primary care physician first and we will certainly work closely with any other physicians on your care team. However, if you are sure your problem is orthopedic, you can save time and a co-pay by coming to see an orthopedic specialist directly.
We have physicians in Omaha, Council Bluffs and beyond to help with your hip pain. Find a hip pain doctor.