A diagnosis that is as precise and comprehensive as possible provides the basis for suitable, individual treatment. The doctor can use various diagnostic procedures, which also help decide whether surgical or initially conservative treatment is needed.
Joints, ligaments, muscles and tendons come under a lot of stress in everyday life and over the years. Accidents and sports injuries such as cruciate ligament or meniscal damage, as well as diseases and chronic conditions – such as osteoarthritis and rheumatism – can mean things do not work smoothly any more. Thanks to orthopaedic diagnosis and treatment derived from this, we can look at the patient individually and provide medical help.
The medical history, physical examinations and clinical tests, such as functional tests, are the first steps in orthopaedic diagnosis. Medical imaging is also often used. The most common types are:
- Computed tomography (CT)
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Ultrasound (sonography)
Orthopaedic conditions and injuries can be treated conservatively or surgically. The most suitable measures depend on various factors, including biological or perceived age, actual age, other injuries, pain intensity or sensitivity, sports activity and finally also the patient’s individual needs.
With conservative treatment, therapy is accompanied by drugs and/or physiotherapy. Conservative treatment methods in orthopaedics include:
- Pain relief medication
- Infiltration and injection techniques (e.g. for back pain)
Surgical treatment involves a surgical procedure. Most operations are currently now performed in a minimally invasive way, i.e. as little damage as possible is caused to the tissue because the procedure uses the smallest skin incision. Patients do not always have to stay in hospital overnight after surgery. Progress in medicine has now meant that many procedures can be done on an outpatient basis, without compromising quality. In particular, hand surgery procedures are often performed on an outpatient basis.
Common orthopaedic procedures include: