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Stratford Workers' Compensation Lawyer > Blog > Workers' Compensation > What’s the Difference Between an Orthopedist and a Physiatrist?

What’s the Difference Between an Orthopedist and a Physiatrist?


If you’ve been injured at work, you’re likely curious about what medical treatments will be covered under your workers’ compensation insurance. This is a valid concern, as medical costs can be very high, and not all treatments are covered. The good news is that many treatments administered by licensed physicians are often covered. Two commonly used medical professionals in treating work-related injuries are Orthopedists and Physiatrists. But, what’s the difference between the two?

Orthopedists and physiatrists are both trained medical professionals who primarily focus on orthopedic and musculoskeletal problems. However, there are differences in the way they approach patient care. Orthopedists are surgeons, while physiatrists are non-surgical specialists. Orthopedists specialize in treating musculoskeletal trauma, sports injuries, fractures, back struggles and anything requiring surgery. Physiatrists, on the other hand, focus on rehabilitation and non-operative treatments such as physical therapy, epidural steroid injections, and other pain management therapies.

When it comes to your workers’ compensation case, the type of treatment covered will depend on the severity of your injury. Whether or not you will need surgery plays a vital role in determining which specialist to visit. We can liken orthopedists to mechanics, and physiatrists to physical therapists, but the expertise that orthopedists have in surgery is very significant.

There are levels of care provided by doctors, but the bottom line is that workers’ compensation insurance will usually cover reasonable and necessary medical care provided by a licensed professional, whether it be an orthopedist, physiatrist, or any other medical professional with an appropriate license and certification.

Injury prevention is another key aspect of working with an orthopedist or physiatrist. They can provide you with advice on how to avoid subsequent injuries, various safety precautions, and rehabilitation exercises. They will work with you to create a personalized treatment plan that will help you to regain strength and return to work as quickly as possible.

In Summary:

The primary difference between an Orthopedist and a Physiatrist revolves around their approach to patient care. Orthopedists are surgical professionals, and Physiatrists are non-surgical specialists with a focus on rehabilitation and non-operative treatments. However, both specialists have their place in the treatment of work-related injuries – and hopefully, you now have a better understanding of when to choose each approach. Remember, if you are injured at work and in need of medical care, it’s crucial to seek treatment with a licensed medical professional. And, rest assured that many standard medical treatments will be covered by workers’ compensation insurance.

Contact A Stratford, CT Board Certified Workers’ Compensation Attorney today.

If you have been hurt at work and have questions about which medical treatments are covered, a Stratford workers’ compensation attorney from the Morizio Law Firm can help answer any questions you may have about your situation. Call our office today at 475-338-3505 for a free consultation.

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