For a referral to a physician in our Orthopedic & Spine Institute, call (800) 382-3522.

The 35-bed all private room Institute is designed to feel like an upscale hotel rather than a hospital. Each private room is equipped with safety enhanced patient beds, the latest orthopedic equipment, vital signs monitoring system and advanced medication delivery system in addition to the electronic health record system.

Using the latest advances in the field of Orthopedics and Spine care, the dedicated team of professionals at St. Lucie Medical Center can attend to your every need. Our team of experts includes Board Certified and eligible Orthopedic Surgeons and Neurosurgeons, orthopedic certified professional nurses, physical therapists, and technicians. Our surgeons use a minimally-invasive or muscle-sparing technique, to ensure a faster recovery time and save precious tissue during surgery.

Our highly trained staff is prepared to manage joint replacements, back and neck surgery including spinal fusion, fracture repairs, sports related injuries, pain management, and rehabilitation services. Our team of experts will provide you with every available option to help you make the right health choices.

The Orthopedic & Spine Institute at St. Lucie Medical Center is certified by the Joint Commission in Hip and Knee.

The Orthopedic Evaluation

While every orthopedic evaluation is different, there are many commonly used tests that an orthopedic surgeon may consider in evaluating a patient’s condition.

In general, the orthopedic evaluation usually consists of:

  • A thorough medical history
  • A physical examination
  • X-rays
  • Additional tests, as needed

Your medical history is taken to assist the orthopedic surgeon in evaluating your overall health and the possible causes of your joint pain. In addition, it will help your orthopedic surgeon determine to what degree your joint pain is interfering with your ability to perform everyday activities.

What the physician sees during the physical examination—which includes examination of standing posture, gait analysis (watching how you walk), sitting down, and lying down—helps to confirm (or to rule out) the possible diagnosis. The physical exam will also enable the orthopedic surgeon to evaluate other important aspects of your hips and knees, including:

  • Size and length
  • Strength
  • Range of motion
  • Swelling
  • Reflexes
  • Skin condition

If you are experiencing pain in your hip joint, your back may be examined because hip pain may actually be the result of problems in the lower spine.

After the physical examination, X-ray evaluation is usually the next step in making the diagnosis. The X-rays help show how much joint damage or deformity exists. An abnormal X-ray may reveal:

  • Narrowing of the joint space
  • Cysts in the bone
  • Spurs on the edge of the bone
  • Areas of bony thickening called sclerosis
  • Deformity or incorrect alignment

Occasionally, additional tests may be needed to confirm the diagnosis. Laboratory testing of your blood, urine, or joint fluid can be helpful in identifying specific types of arthritis and in ruling out certain diseases. Specialized X-rays of the back can help confirm that hip pain isn’t being caused by a back problem. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) or a bone scan may be needed to determine the condition of the bone and soft tissues of the affected joint.

In order to assist the orthopedic surgeon in making a diagnosis, it may be helpful to write down your answers to the following questions before the appointment:

  • Where and when do I have pain?
  • How long have I had this pain?
  • Do I have any redness or swelling around my joints?
  • What daily tasks are hard to do now?
  • Did I ever hurt the joint or overuse it?
  • Does anyone in my family have similar problems, such as spurs on the edge of the bone?