| By Dr. Charles Ruotolo
Photo credit: lzf

Many of us do not have enough time in the day to make an appointment with a physician and then wait for an appointment to treat a nagging injury. Instead, you may think that pain in your knee will just disappear with time. You may be “walking off” that hip problem you seem to have developed, just letting “time” heal that shoulder pain. However, putting these problems aside and not dealing with them correctly could be causing even more damage to your body.

If you’re feeling pain in one or both of your shoulders, knees or hips, this may be your body’s way of telling you that something is not quite right. However, statistics indicate that 10 percent of Americans have had undiagnosed or untreated chronic pain for over three months. By ignoring this, you could be causing the body to compensate for the pain, causing stress to other parts of the body.

Common injuries you should address
There are a number of orthopedic injuries you may have sustained. These may have appeared over time or could be due to an accident. Identifying and treating these are key to relieving the pain and avoiding making the injury worse.

Below are three common injuries that go untreated:

1. Knee problems
If you develop an injury to your knee, this can stop you from doing a lot of things. There are a number of issues that can progress over time, which may not be dealt with as soon as they should be.

This could be a knee ligament injury, when one of the ligaments becomes torn or strained. This injury needs rest in order to recover, but if you continue to put pressure on your knee, it could make it far worse, and may result in further tearing or straining of the ligament. If the ligament becomes torn, surgery may be required to repair the ligament. This is also the case for a knee cartilage tear injury. Getting an accurate diagnosis and treatment in the early stages can help avoid further injury and possible surgery.

2. Shoulder problems
It’s common for people to damage or injure their shoulders when lifting something heavy or our shoulders can simply deteriorate over time. Common problems include rotator cuff tears, which is what attaches the shoulder blade to the humerus and allows you to rotate and lift your arm.

If you continue to use your shoulder with this injury, it could cause further damage and may lead to complications.

3. Fractures
This is something most of us will sustain at least once, and with the right amount of rest, they’re easily treated. However, repetitive strain on a fracture can cause complete breaks in the bone, which will leave you in a lot more pain and with the potential need for surgery.

Ignoring any signs from your body, whether you know you’ve injured yourself or the pain has appeared on its own, could be detrimental to your health. If your body’s giving you warning signs, don’t put it off any longer and seek professional medical advice as soon as you can.

Dr. Charles Ruotolo

<p>Dr. Charles Ruotolo is a Board-Certified Orthopedic Surgeon and the founder of Total Orthopedics and Sports Medicine with locations in Massapequa, East Meadow and the Bronx, N.Y. Dr. Ruotolo completed his orthopedic residency program at SUNY Stony Brook in 2000. After his residency, he underwent fellowship training in sports medicine and shoulder surgery at the prestigious Sports Clinic of Laguna Hills, Calif. He is also a fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. As an Associate Master Instructor of Arthroscopy for the Arthroscopy Association of North America, Dr. Ruotolo actively teaches other orthopedic surgeons advanced arthroscopic skills in shoulder surgery. As an avid researcher he has also published multiple articles on shoulder injuries and shoulder surgery in the peer review journals of Arthroscopic Surgery and of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery. For more information, visit <a href="http://www.totalorthosportsmed.com" onclick="window.open(this.href, 'wwwtotalorthosportsmedcom', 'resizable=no,status=no,location=no,toolbar=no,menubar=no,fullscreen=no,scrollbars=no,dependent=no'); return false;">www.totalorthosportsmed.com</a>.</p>