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Learning more about bone, joint and muscle health

ProMedica is a leading provider of expert orthopaedic care, whether you are a young athlete or an active senior. Our physicians and other health professionals create teams around your specific health need and work together to ensure you and your support network are informed. The more you know about orthopaedic health (and illness), the more you can help yourself. Staying active in your illness and care is often the first step in getting the treatment you need and the pursuit of life-long health.

In this section, we’ve packaged important information to help you become more knowledgeable about orthopaedic care in general, and the specific services and programs available through the ProMedica Orthopaedic Institute. These sections contain information about:

So, what is orthopaedics?

Orthopaedics is a medical specialty focused on injuries and diseases of your body’s musculoskeletal system. The musculoskeletal system includes your bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, cartilage, muscles and nerves. When healthy and functioning normally, this integrated system literally keeps you moving, not to mention active in pursuit of your daily activities.

Because the musculoskeletal system encompasses so many conditions and parts, orthopaedic professionals often specialize, whether in a particular area (hip or knee, for example) or a particular type of care (pediatrics or sports medicine, for example).

Under the care of orthopaedic specialists, the health problems you are experiencing will be diagnosed (a specific injury or disorder identified) and treated (either through medication, exercise, surgery or some combination). Rehabilitation (exercises or physical therapy) can play an important role in determining how quickly your ability to move and function returns. Lastly, orthopaedic specialists will discuss prevention strategies with you (how to keep a condition or disease away or at least slow its return).

The office visit: Awareness Starts There?

One simple way to increase your orthopaedic awareness is getting the most out of your visit to a ProMedica health care facility, be it a rehabilitation facility or a physician’s office. Research shows that patients who are more involved with their care get better results. These lists help checklist helps you become more active in your care and get the most out of each office visit.

Before you leave:

  • Learn the basics. Make sure you know where the facility is located, where to park, how soon to arrive before your appointment and what (and whom) you need to bring.
  • Collect your medical records. Ask ahead what documents are needed and work with the office staff to locate and have delivered those records in other doctors’ offices.
  • Write out a couple of questions. This helps you think about your condition and what concerns you most about the pain, the timeline for your recovery and the treatment process ahead.

Once at the office:

  • Arrive early. Give yourself time to park, find the office and fill out any required paperwork or forms.
  • Share information. Tell the doctor all you know about your condition, from when it started and what home remedies (medicines, therapies) you have tried to any current medications you may be on.
  • Gather information. It’s okay to take notes during the first and all meetings with your physician, particularly when presented with medical terms with which you are unfamiliar. Also ask about material, printed or online, that can help improve your awareness.
  • Seek information. Remember to ask about what to expect from your treatment. These questions could include how the treatment impacts daily activities and what steps you should take immediately to begin the process. You can seek this information either with the doctor directly or by communicating your needs to other members of the health care team (physician assistants, nurses or therapists).

When you return home:

  • Review, follow and share. Review the materials your physician shared and establish a system that makes it easier to follow the instructions given to you. As you do, be sure to keep your doctor and other members of your health care team informed of any changes in your health.

Bones, Joints and Muscles Toolkit

Use the tools below to learn more about how to take care of your bones, joints and muscles.

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