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What is Primary Orthopedic Care?

The term “general orthopedics” is pretty self-explanatory. It is the area of medicine concerned with the bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles, nerves, and connective tissue. Doctors who practice orthopedics diagnose, treat, and help prevent conditions and injuries to these body parts, also called the musculoskeletal system.

But what exactly is primary orthopedic care?

As you probably know, a primary care physician is a doctor who provides both the first contact for a patient with an undiagnosed health problem and continuing care for various conditions.

Primary orthopedic care is similar yet slightly different in that it specializes in orthopedics. It uses a symptom-based approach to common orthopedic disorders seen in a primary-care setting, with an additional emphasis on sports-related injuries.

Comprehensive Approach to Health and Well-Being

In addition to addressing specific orthopedic injuries, a primary orthopedic care physician cares for all illnesses related to the patient. This comprehensive orthopedic care approach is taken to ensure the patient’s overall health and well-being.

For example, consider the role of a primary care sports physician. He or she is an expert in his or her field. Not only are they involved in research and education regarding sports medicine, but they also have a significant amount of hands-on experience. Having received fellowship training and undergone years of clinical practice, they have the skills to provide care for athletes of all ages and levels of competitive ability. However, before a primary care sports physician could specialize in sports medicine, he or she would need training in general orthopedics. Thus, they are qualified to address a wide range of orthopedic conditions and injuries and have the skills to provide comprehensive orthopedic care as it relates to effective treatments.

That’s why you often see orthopedic surgeons as physicians to professional, college, and high school sports team. Not only do they have a broad knowledge of orthopedic conditions, but often they are or were athletes as well with personal experience as to how athletes are affected by specific injuries and illnesses. Their role is not just to treat injuries as they occur, but also to help prevent injuries and to help the team maximize the performance of its players.

It is that focus on total patient health that defines primary orthopedic care. It isn’t just about managing your pain and injury. Primary orthopedic care is also about enabling patients to stay healthy, recover quickly, and lead a more active life. To do that, a primary orthopedic care clinic is staffed with board-certified physical and occupational therapists as well as board-certified orthopedic surgeons, podiatrists, osteopathic medical doctors, and physician’s assistants.

When primary orthopedic care is needed for shoulder and elbow; hand, foot, and ankle; and hip and knee conditions in the Colorado Springs area, you can count on Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence. Our orthopedic surgeons and other specialists diagnose and treat all kinds of joint conditions and sports injuries and will explore noninvasive methods first before resorting to surgery.

For expert and compassionate care in the greater Colorado Springs area, call (719) 623-1050 for an appointment today.