What Is an Orthopedic Surgeon? (And What Can One Do for You?)
The name of our practice—Premier Podiatry & Orthopedics—testifies to our specialties. We help patients with a wide variety of foot and ankle conditions, but are not limited to just that area of the body.
The “orthopedic” part of our name extends throughout the body, with a focus on the entire musculoskeletal system. Dr. Scott Fujii is our on-staff orthopedic specialist, otherwise known as an orthopedic surgeon.
We admit the term can be a bit misleading. An orthopedic surgeon does not treat every problem that comes to them as something that can only be treated with a surgical procedure. Far from it!
Let’s shine a little more light on Dr. Fujii’s role with us here, and how an orthopedic surgeon may be an ideal person to see for certain conditions.
What Makes Someone an Orthopedic Surgeon?
An orthopedic surgeon is someone who has chosen to extensively study, train in, and become certified for treating problems with the musculoskeletal system. In other words, they work in diagnosing and addressing anything that negatively affects your muscles, bones, and everything that connects them into a moving system.
It takes many years of education and training to become an orthopedic surgeon. Dr. Fujii earned his medical degree from the Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia, then completed his orthopedic surgery residency at the Drexel University MCP Hahnemann program.
But that’s not all!
Many orthopedic surgeons choose to increase their specialization in certain areas of the body or in certain areas of treatment. Dr. Fujii received further training in the field of sports medicine, training under the team physician for the San Francisco Giants and the former team physician for the San Francisco 49ers.
Once you are certified, it does not mean your education is finished. Just like the rest of our doctors, Dr. Fuji is always studying new techniques and tools, as well as taking assessments to remain certified.
For What Kinds of Problems Should an Orthopedic Surgeon Be Seen?
You can be assured that Dr. Fujii has seen some intense sports injuries in his time, but that does not mean you must be an athlete to see him.
We can help with a variety of musculoskeletal injuries, illnesses, and difficulties. In general, it is worth seeing us for an evaluation if:
- Pain or discomfort is making everyday activities difficult to perform. This can range from work activities to walking up and down stairs.
- You are having problems using your full range of motion in any joint. This includes any factor that may be preventing your joints from moving fully, including pain (such as from arthritis) or simply being physically unable to fully extend or contract.
- You are not confident in your stability while standing or walking. This is most frequently felt in the ankles, as if they could roll or give out at any moment—and sometimes they do.
- You have been in pain for more than 12 weeks. And especially if you have attempted treatments that have not had a significant effect on your condition.
- A soft tissue injury you have sustained is not improving after 48 hours of standard treatment. Any type of injury to a muscle, tendon, or ligament (e.g. from strains, sprains, and other sports injuries) should improve following a couple days of rest, icing, compression, and elevation therapy. If not, it’s a sign that the injury might be more severe than expected.
- You have suffered a fracture. Fujii is an expert in caring for broken bones.
But if you have any questions or uncertainties that don’t really fall into any of the categories above, please don’t hesitate to contact us about them! If we are unable to help your specific situation, we can likely refer you to someone who can.
How Does an Orthopedic Surgeon Treat Problems?
While surgery may be a possibility for certain situations, it is not the immediate go-to treatment in a great many cases. If we can provide effective treatment without surgery, that is always the preferred option.
Non-surgical treatments might include physical therapy, medication, and even more advanced, condition-specific methods. We would customize a treatment plan for your individual needs, and with you fully included and engaged as a part of it.
That said, if these treatments do not provide the relief we are looking for, or it is clear from the start that they would not, then surgery becomes a true consideration.
Dr. Fujii is well versed in a number of surgical procedures, and has a particular specialty in arthroscopy.
Arthroscopy is a procedure in which special, small instruments are inserted through a tiny incision. Using these tools, a surgeon can see the condition of bones, joints, or muscles first-hand, and can even operate on them through the initial incision (and perhaps other small incisions, if needed).
Arthroscopy can produce effective results with less scaring and faster recovery times, since there is minimal cutting into the body. This can be an effective procedure for injuries of the rotator cuff, ACL, meniscus, and assorted tendons, ligaments, and cartilage.
If joint replacement is under consideration, Dr. Fujii is also adept in computer- and robot-assisted techniques, using the latest in technology.
Let Us Help You Keep Moving
Whatever form of pain, discomfort, or difficulty you are facing with your mobility, an orthopedic surgeon may be able to help you find the comfort and restoration you need.
Our offices in Carmichael and Roseville are happy to help, and would love to hear from you! Give us a call at (916) 961-3434 to schedule an appointment with us. If you prefer to contact us electronically, you can fill out our online contact form any time and a member of our staff will respond to you during our standard business hours.
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