Your Family Doctor (GP)
Your Family Doctor will be able to diagnose and help treat your problem. He or she will be able to
- tell you about your problem
- advise you of the best treatment methods
- prescribe you medications
- and if necessary, refer you to Specialists (Consultants) for further treatment
You're likely to start by first seeing your family doctor (GP). However, in some cases when you call to set up an appointment, you may be referred immediately to an orthopedist, an orthopaedic surgeon or a sports medicine specialist.
Because appointments can be brief, and because there's often a lot of ground to cover, it's a good idea to be well prepared for your appointment. Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment, and what to expect from your doctor.
Bring along information about yourself
It can be a great help for your doctor if you bring along the following information about yourself
- A list of your medications, including the name and dosage.
- Information about your medical problems and past treatment
- Previous investigation results, such as xrays and blood tests.
Prepare a list of questions for your doctor
- Write down any symptoms you're experiencing, including what you were doing when you first started experiencing the symptoms.
- Ask a family member or friend to join you, if possible. Sometimes it can be difficult to soak up all the information and treatment options provided to you during an appointment. Someone who accompanies you may remember something that you missed or forgot.
- Write down questions to ask your doctor.
Your time with your doctor is limited, so preparing a list of questions ahead of time will help you make the most of your appointment. List your questions from most important to least important in case time runs out. For an ACL injury, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- What's the most likely cause of my problems?
- Are there other possible causes for my symptoms?
- Do I need any special tests or investigations? Will these tests definitively diagnose my condition?
- What treatment options are available?
- Which do you recommend for my situation?
- If I choose not to have surgery, how long might recovery take?
- If I don't have surgery, what signs and symptoms would indicate a need for surgery?
- If I have surgery, what's the average recovery time?
- What activity restrictions do I need to follow?
- Are there any fact sheets or printed information that I can take home with me to read?Are there any reliable websites that I can visit?
In addition to the questions that you've prepared to ask your doctor, don't hesitate to ask questions during your appointment at any time that you don't understand something.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. Being ready to answer them may reserve time to go over any points you want to spend more time on. Your doctor may ask:
- When did you first begin experiencing symptoms?
- What were you doing at the time?
- Did you experience immediate swelling?
- Have your symptoms been continuous, or occasional?
- How severe are your symptoms?
- Does anything seem to improve your symptoms?
- What, if anything, appears to worsen your symptoms?
- Does your knee ever "lock" or feel blocked when you're trying to move it?
- Do you ever feel that your knee is unstable or unable to support your weight?
What you can do in the meantime
If you've injured your knee, don't move the joint. Use a splint to keep your knee protected in a comfortable position until a doctor examines it. Avoid returning to a sport or activity until you've had the injury evaluated.