When Should I Follow Up With The Orthopedic Doctor?

May 4, 2016

When Should I Follow Up With The Orthopedic Doctor?

If you’ve been in a car accident and have received medical attention, you may be hoping that your visit to the doctor is one and done. For example, you may have visited an orthopedic care clinic to treat fractures, sprains, strains, and pain. However, these car accident injuries require ongoing observation. Sometimes pain from your car accident injuries can arise unexpectedly or flare up months after your initial treatment.

Here are some situations when it’s especially important to follow-up with your Atlanta orthopedic doctor after a car accident. Of course, if you ever feel as though you are in an emergency situation, you definitely need to reach out to us right away or dial 9-1-1 to get the medical attention you need, you can also review our checklist to what to do after a car accident.

When You Experience Pain

If injuries are preventing you from getting back to normal after your accident, this is a sure sign that follow-up care is needed. Many times, your injuries will leave you unable to move your body like you did before the car accident. Patients who experience limited movement need physical therapy to regain full function, which is an ongoing process. Your Atlanta orthopedic doctors should work with physical therapists to monitor healing and ensure that treatments are not overambitious for the extent of your injuries.

Don’t assume that pain is a normal part of recovery from your car accident. This pain could be a sign of infection or a new development that needs attention. Pain from the injured area demands follow-up with your orthopedist. Even if your pain is minor, but nagging, you need to pay attention and get it checked out. If you do have some type of an infection brewing, the sooner you get it treated, the less damage it has the potential to do and the easier it is to treat in most instances.

Any new pain should be checked out. Bring with you any information you can track about the pain, too. Write down when it began, what you were doing when it started, if any activities make it worse, a description of the pain (throbbing, stabbing, radiating, etc.) anything you have found that brings you relief, and how painful the area is on a pain scale. This can help our professionals know how much pain you are in and where to start looking to properly diagnose the problem.

After Surgery

Follow-up is always required after orthopedic surgery due to your accident. It is very important to follow your medical team’s instructions as you recover from a car accident. Post-surgical visits to your Atlanta orthopedic surgeon will include marking milestones on your recovery path and making sure that you are recovering at a normal rate for a specific procedure. Your orthopedist may use diagnostic imaging, such as an MRI, to see how bone and soft tissue are healing and responding to rehab. If something comes up and you cannot attend a scheduled follow-up visit, call to reschedule it as close to your original appointment time as possible.

Also, inform the orthopedic care staff of any pre-existing or co-occurring conditions you may have. These can have an impact on your recovery. As your orthopedist factors these conditions into your treatment, they can prescribe further follow-up care that is safe and appropriate for your situation. For example, diabetes can slow recovery and change factors that we have to look for after any type of surgery. If you happen to have any type of medial issue that could impact how you heal, we need to know about it.

Tingling or Numbness

Another symptom you need to watch for is any type of tingling or numbness. This is your body’s way of telling you that one (or more) of your nerves are experiencing pressure. If your car accident was recent, this could be due to the swelling that came as a result of the accident itself. If your car accident was a little while ago, this could point to new swelling or something being out of alignment in your body.

The sooner these symptoms are addressed, the more likely they are to be treatable. The reason you need to make sure you carefully pay attention to tingling or numbness is this is an easy symptom to overlook. However, it can point to a new problem or even the worsening of a problem we were already aware of. If you notice these issues, even if they come and go, contact our office and schedule an appointment to get seen.

Available Whenever You Need Help?

Delaying treatment in any of these situations may prevent you from enhancing your quality of life after a car accident, or could even lead to long-term problems. Keep communication lines open with your orthopedist. Don’t hesitate to schedule another orthopedic appointment if pain continues, even after your treatment plan has been completed. AICA Orthopedics specializes in orthopedic treatment after car accidents. Our team of specialists provides you with an individualized treatment plan that takes you the whole way to a full recovery. Contact us today at (404) 855-2141 to schedule an appointment.


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