The Center FAQs
Please use the links below to access answers to frequently asked questions about our specialists, common conditions and treatments, and your care at The Center. If your question is not answered here, please call us at 541-382-3344.
What is orthopedics?
Orthopedics is the medical specialty that focuses on injuries and diseases of your body’s musculoskeletal system, which includes your bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles, and nerves, and allows you to move, work, and be active. A doctor who specializes in this medical specialty is called an orthopedic surgeon or orthopedist. Many orthopedists specialize in certain areas of the body, such as foot and ankle, hand and wrist, joints, or shoulder and knees. Additionally, orthopedic doctors may focus on a specific field of orthopedics, like sports medicine or trauma.
Please click here to learn more about The Center’s orthopedic surgeons.
What is neurosurgery?
Neurosurgery is a medical specialty that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of conditions, illnesses and injuries involving the nervous system including the brain, spinal cord, skull and the spine. A doctor who specializes in this medical specialty is called a neurosurgeon. Treatments provided by a neurosurgeon can be surgical but is most often non-surgical, determined by the condition or injury.
Please click here to learn more about The Center’s neurosurgeons.
What is sports medicine?
When athletes or active adults are hurt, they look for comprehensive treatment that will help return them to their sports or active lifestyle safely and quickly. Using state-of-the-art diagnostic tools and operative and non-operative treatment technology, our sports medicine physicians have years of experience in sports-related injuries and conditions related to physical activity.
Please click here to learn more about The Center’s sports medicine orthopedic surgeons.
What is a physical medicine & rehabilitation physician?
A physical medicine & rehabilitation (PM&R) physician, or physiatrist, are nerve, muscle and bone experts that restore function through the use of customized treatment plans involving non-surgical strategies and tools, such as medications, therapeutic exercise, movement and activities modification, and orthotics or prosthetics. The variety of tools physiatrists use enables them to tailor treatment plans to address very specific challenges for any patient. They strive to treat the whole patient – not just the specific injury or condition – which improves overall recovery and prevents recurrence. These rehab medicine specialists must complete a high level of training, including four years of medical school and four years of residency training.
Please click here to learn more about The Center’s physical medicine & rehabilitation physicians.
What is a physician assistant?
A physician assistant, commonly referred to as a PA, is a healthcare professional licensed to practice medicine under doctor supervision. Physician assistants can treat patients and write prescriptions. PAs are trained to recognize when patients need the attention of a supervising doctor or specialist. Physician assistants see patients in the clinic as well as assist the doctors in surgery.
What is a nurse practitioner?
Nurse practitioners are often referred to as “nurses,” but that terminology inaccurately reflects their advanced education, professional accreditation and scope of practice. Nurse practitioners assess patients, order and interpret diagnostic tests, make diagnoses, and initiate and manage treatment plans – including prescribing medications.
What is a board certified surgeon?
The American Board of Medical Specialties offers certification for 24 medical specialties, including orthopedics, neurosurgery and physical medicine & rehabilitation. To become board eligible, a doctor must pass a written test after completing a residency at a major medical institution. The doctor may take the oral test after two years in practice, after passing the doctor becomes board certified. The intent of the certification process, as defined by the board members of the American Board of Medical Specialties, is to provide assurance to the public that a certified medical specialist has successfully completed an approved educational program and an evaluation, including an examination process designed to assess the knowledge, experience, and skills requisite to the provision of high-quality patient care in that specialty.
What is a fellowship trained surgeon?
A fellowship trained surgeon is a doctor who has completed a minimum of 13 years of education and has completed an additional year of specialty training in a specific field of orthopedic surgery in an accredited fellowship program. There are fellowships in all areas of orthopedics, including foot and ankle, hand and wrist, sports medicine and joint reconstruction.
What are the costs of treating musculoskeletal disorders?
Bone and joint disorders are the leading cause of disability in the United States, affecting the physical, financial and emotional well-being of millions Americans each year. Researchers from IHS Global Inc. and KNG Health Consulting are working to uncover the costs and savings of common procedures and services, such as total knee replacement or ACL reconstruction surgery. This enables patients and their families to weigh all the factors when determining the best course of treatment. Learn more about the comprehensive costs of orthopedic treatment here.
Common Conditions and Treatments
What is arthritis?
Arthritis is inflammation of one or more of your joints that causes stiffness, pain, and swelling. The most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease that damages the lining surrounding your joints over time while also destroying bones, tissue, and joints. Osteoarthritis is a progressive condition that slowly damages the cartilage surrounding the ends of bones and is common in the hip, knee, and spine. Learn more by clicking here.
What is bursitis?
Bursitis is an irritation or inflammation of a bursa, which is a fluid-filled sac located around joints. Causing a reduction in, or a loss of, motion at the affected joint, bursitis typically occurs in the hip, knee, shoulder, heel, or thumb. Learn more by clicking here.
Do I use ice on my injury? Do I use heat on my injury?
It is difficult to determine exactly when to use ice vs. heat, because the body heals itself at its own rate. This rate can vary from person to person, injury to injury within the same person. The physical and psychological state of the patient, as well as the severity and mechanism of injury all play an important part of the healing process.
Generally, it is safe to use ice for the first 48-72 hours, followed by alternating ice and heat, and then finally strictly heat. The specific duration of treatment for ice is 20 minutes “on” followed by one hour “off.” The duration of treatment for heat is 15-20 minutes “on” followed by a minimum of 60 minutes “off.” Heat is used to increase blood flow, which helps promote pain relief after inflammation and swelling subside.
What does RICE stand for?
RICE is a protocol for treating acute injury that is used to counteract the body’s initial response to injury. RICE is an acronym for rest, ice, compression, and elevation
Rest – Avoid activity that is painful or that caused your injury.
Ice – Use ice for the first 48-72 hours after injury. The duration of treatment for ice is 20 minutes “on” followed by one hour “off.”
Compression – Apply an ace wrap to the injured body part, especially when you are more active.
Elevation – Elevate the injured body part above your heart.
What is arthroscopic surgery?
Arthroscopic surgery is a surgical procedure that is commonly performed to diagnose and treat problems within a joint. Using high-tech cameras, the orthopedic surgeon inserts a small instrument, called an arthroscope, into the joint. The arthroscope contains a fiber optic light source and small television camera that allow the surgeon to view the joint on a television monitor and diagnose the problem, determine the extent of injury, and make any necessary repairs. Learn more by clicking here.
What is electrodiagnostic testing?
Injuries or diseases can slow or halt the movement of the electrical signals from the brain to nerves and muscles. Electrodiagnostic testing may be used to evaluate patients with numbness, tingling, pain, weakness, and atrophy. Measuring the electrical activity can help a physiatrist make a proper diagnosis. Two tests are commonly used: electromyography (EMG) and nerve conduction studies (NCS).
What is an MRI?
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is an advanced technology that uses magnetic fields and radio waves to visualize the inner workings of the body. The pictures produced by MRI help the physician or radiologist clearly and accurately diagnose problems.
What are NSAIDs?
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen and aspirin. They are popular treatments for muscular aches and pains, as well as arthritis, and help in reducing swelling, pain, and joint stiffness. Learn more by clicking here.
How do I get my medication refilled?
Request one through your patient portal account here.
– Or –
Contact your pharmacy and the pharmacy staff will contact the office with a faxed refill request. This faxed refill request tells our office staff many things, including the medication that you are requesting, how it is to be taken, and when your prescription was last dispensed. Please allow 24 hours for refill approval. General medication refills will not be performed on the weekend and holidays.
How do I get my test results?
Test results for routine work-ups are usually received within a couple days of being performed. Results from tests that are done emergently are usually received sooner. It is best to receive the results of your test(s) from your physician or practitioner at the time of your follow-up appointment. Many times, there is much more to be discussed than just the results and this should be done in person. Information needing more urgent attention will be communicated to you directly by your care team.
My employer told me to get a drug test before I could start working. Do I need to schedule an appointment?
No, you don’t need an appointment. You may check in at the Occupational Medicine desk anytime between 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
How do I take care of my cast?
Casts are applied to hold your arm or leg in place as it heals. Although it may feel awkward at first, the way you treat your cast can play a big role in how fast you heal. By following the cast care tips below, you can make this period a little more pleasant.
Keep your cast dry
All casts are made primarily of plaster or fiberglass. A wet cast will become soft and may not hold your limb in place. It can also cause infections and/or rashes. To keep your cast dry:
- Bathe as directed by your physician and keep your cast out of the water. Covering your cast with plastic will help.
- If the cast gets damp, pat it dry with a towel or, in the case of a fiberglass cast, a hairdryer on the cool setting will work.
For the best results, remember the following:
- Always use crutches and slings as directed by your physician.
- Elevate the cast above your heart whenever possible to reduce swelling.
- Never slide anything inside the cast or put lotions or powders around or inside the cast. To relieve itching, try raising the cast or changing positions. Air from a blow dryer on the cool setting also works.
- Never cut the cast or pull it apart.
Cast caution signs
Be sure to call your doctor if you develop any of the following symptoms:
- Pain or swelling, or inability to wiggle your fingers or toes.
- Your fingers or toes change color or tingle.
- The cast is too tight or loose, or has something stuck inside of it.
- Your cast becomes wet, cracked, dented, or has soft spots.
- You get a rash or chafing on the skin around the edge of your cast.
- You get a bad odor or itching that will not go away.
For more information watch this video.