Medically Reviewed by Patrick K. Denton, MD
Hip Joint? Bad Knee? Leg Cramps? Torn Muscle? Hairline Fracture? Inflamed Tendon? “In medical terms, those questions are the beginning of a differential diagnosis,” says McLeod Orthopedic Specialist Dr. Pat Denton of McLeod Orthopaedics Florence. “For most people, the term leg pain can be the key to a multitude of medical issues – some minor, some serious. Many – but not all – are handled by Orthopedic Specialists.” Let’s try to sort things out a bit. Orthopedic Specialists primarily deal with problems related to your bones, joints, muscles, ligaments, tendons and nerves. Below are some common leg pain issues treated by Orthopedic Specialists:
Other problems might be best treated by other specialists, such as:
Leg cramps can have numerous causes from simple dehydration to a disorder of the adrenal or thyroid glands. Your personal physician is a good place to start when trying to determine a cause and treatment options. If the problem is related to hormonal glands, you may end up seeing an Endocrinologist.
Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) – issues with blood flow – can also cause pain. You may need to be treated by a Vascular Specialist – rather than an Orthopedic Specialist – for this potentially serious problem.
As you can see, a simple aching leg may not be simple at all. Don’t ignore leg pain. See a physician for a diagnosis and treatment options.
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Sources include: McLeod Health, National Institutes of Health, National Health Service (UK), American Association of Family Physicians