27 July 2020,

when to see an orthopedic doctor

Orthopedic conditions and injuries affect parts of the musculoskeletal system, including the elbow, knee and shoulder joints. Depending on the specific case, orthopedic issues may be managed at home, or they may require treatment by an orthopedic specialist to be resolved. Patients experiencing symptoms of an orthopedic injury or condition often wonder: How do I know when to see an orthopedic doctor? Let’s discuss a few signs which may indicate that it’s time to visit an orthopedic physician.

When to See an Orthopedic Doctor: 4 Signs That It’s Time

  • – The issue is interfering with your everyday life – Occasional joint discomfort is a normal part of aging and typically no cause for alarm. However, if symptoms get to the point that you are consistently struggling to perform your everyday activities, seeing an orthopedic specialist is a wise course of action.
  • – You are experiencing limited range of motion – Reduced joint flexibility may be a sign of a condition such as arthritis. To prevent a joint disease and its symptoms from worsening, it is crucial to seek treatment for the condition as early as possible.
  • – Your pain becomes chronic – Many minor orthopedic injuries resolve within a few days or weeks through the use of an at-home regimen called the RICE (rest, ice, compression and elevation) method. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. If pain and other symptoms persist for more than 12 weeks, it becomes a chronic condition. When a musculoskeletal issue gets to this point, it is advisable to seek care from an orthopedic expert.
  • – You have sustained a soft tissue injury & are not improving after 48 hours – In some cases, acute orthopedic injuries may need to be promptly addressed by a professional. Using the RICE method can help to ease pain and swelling caused by a soft tissue injury such as a twisted ankle or knee. However, if you have not seen significant improvement after 48 hours of treating an injury at home, you should make an appointment with an orthopedic physician as soon as possible.


Wondering when to see an orthopedic doctor? If one or more of the above is true for you, it is in your best interest to be examined by an orthopedic specialist.

Dr. Stephen Soffer Provides Expert Orthopedic Care in Wyomissing, PA

Patients in Wyomissing, PA and the surrounding area trust Dr. Stephen Soffer for world-class orthopedic care with personalized attention. Recognized for his expertise in performing arthroscopic surgery of the shoulder, knee and elbow, Dr. Soffer is one of the top orthopedic doctors in the country. He prioritizes minimally invasive treatments whenever possible to speed patient recovery time and optimize treatment outcomes.

Patients of Dr. Soffer can attest to the skillful, compassionate care he provides. Take a look at this review from Jim F.:

“As a real estate agent, my knees had gotten to the point where they affected my job. Dr. Soffer replaced my left knee and now I often forget it is a replacement. In fact, my right knee hardly ever bothers me. Thanks, Doc for improving my life.”

If you are living with persistent symptoms which point to an orthopedic problem, Dr. Soffer is here to help you get back to a pain-free lifestyle. Call our office at 610-375-4949 to set up an in-person or telemedicine appointment.

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