You have been experiencing pain in your joints or muscles for several months. You’re not sure if it’s serious enough to see a doctor, and you definitely don’t want to have surgery.

This is a reality many people face when they are injured or begin experiencing pain in their joints or muscles. Nobody wants to live with pain, but when your doctor, friend, family member or coworker suggests you see an orthopedic surgeon, it can be intimidating.

Surgery is just one of many possible treatment options when you visit OSMS. The orthopedic surgeons at OSMS specialize in musculoskeletal conditions that often can be managed without surgery.

OSMS orthopedic surgeon Dr. Walker Flannery says that it’s helpful to see patients over time to better know the patient and their symptoms. This allows us to personalize the treatment plan and determine when and what exactly the best course of action will be.

What orthopedic services does OSMS offer?

The orthopedic team at OSMS treats a wide variety of operative and non-operative conditions, including wrist and hand conditions, shoulder and elbow pain, knee and leg injuries, foot and ankle problems and arthritis of joints.

“Treatments can range from medications, home exercise programs with regular low-impact exercise or physical therapy, bracing, injections, diet modifications, and surgery, with plans specific to each patient’s lifestyle and orthopedic issue,” Dr. Flannery says.

When should I see an orthopedic surgeon?

Dr. Flannery recommends that anytime pain or dysfunction of joints or muscles goes beyond a mild sprain or doesn’t improve with initial rest and over-the-counter pain medication, you should visit OSMS.

“Most mild strains and aches should improve within one to two weeks with general rest, ice and symptom management,” Dr. Flannery says. “If the problem persists beyond initial rest or if it is causing limping or functional limitations, then certainly come in.”

Things that are concerning and should always prompt a visit with an orthopedic specialist include falls, significant swelling, warmth, catching or locking at the injury site and inability to perform daily living activities such as dressing, doing hair or placing socks or shoes.

Do I need a referral to see an OSMS orthopedic surgeon?

At OSMS, it is very likely you do not need a referral to be seen by our doctors, especially for acute injuries. We offer an Acute Injury Clinic at our Green Bay clinic that allows patients to see a surgeon without an appointment and save up to 94% over an emergency room. The AIC specializes in same-day, walk-in care for urgent orthopedic needs such as fractures, sprains, lacerations and joint pain. Most insurance plans are accepted, and same-day X-ray, MRI and surgery is available if needed.

I’m not sure if I need to see an orthopedic surgeon.

If you are experiencing pain but you are not sure if you should see an orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Flannery encourages you to not hesitate particularly if the symptoms mentioned above fit your situation.

“We’re happy to help patients,” Dr. Flannery says. “Reassurance often goes a long way to ease the mind, and it never hurts to have more information when it comes to your health.”

Dr. Flannery is seeing patients in the Green Bay, Appleton and Marinette offices. Click here to request an appointment.