Frequently Asked Questions
How can I make an appointment?
To make an appointment, please call (713) 986-6016 or toll free (800) 545-ORTH (6784).
What are your office hours?
Our office hours are Monday - Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Do you accept my insurance?
The Department of Orthopedic Surgery at Baylor College of Medicine accepts most major insurance plans. We also accept patients who have out-of-network benefits. We have an insurance verifications department that would be happy to discuss your benefits and your out-of-network responsibilities. Please call (713) 986-6000 to speak with a verification specialist.
Where do I park?
Covered parking is located underground of the Baylor College of Medicine Medical Center building. The entrance is located just before you pull to the front of the building. Turn off Cambridge onto Butler then an immediate left, merge right once you pass the parking lot on the right.
What if I need an x-ray or MRI?
We offer convenient on-site diagnostics at Baylor Clinic with minimal waiting, a highly trained staff, and exceptional service. Hours are Monday - Friday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
What should I do if I have an emergency?
Call our main number at (713) 986-6000. If it is after regular hours, the answering service will contact the on-call physician. If your situation warrants, go to the nearest hospital emergency room immediately for treatment. The hospital can contact the appropriate doctor for you.
What hospitals do your physicians use?
Our physicians are affiliated with multiple hospitals in the Texas Medical Center and Houston area, including Houston Methodist Hospital, Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center, Texas Children's Hospital, Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, Ben Taub Hospital, The Institute for Rehabilitation and Research, Hermann Hospital, and Shriners Hospital for Children.
For information on an individual physician's hospital affiliations, contact their office or review their online bio.
Is airport assistance available?
Out-of-town patients visiting the Texas Medical Center campus can take advantage of services offered by both Bush Intercontinental Airport and William P. Hobby Airport. This service is sponsored by the City of Houston's Department of Aviation and various Texas Medical Center institutions.
Multilingual receptionists are available to greet arriving patients and help them at either airport with baggage collection, transportation, and hotel accommodations. International patients can also receive assistance with immigration procedures and currency exchange.
For more information, contact the patient relations office of your hospital:
- Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center: (832) 355-1000
- Houston Methodist Hospital: (713) 790-3311
- Methodist Diagnostic Hospital: (713) 790-0790
- Shriners Hospital for Children: (713) 797-1616
- Texas Children's Hospital: (832) 824-1000
- TIRR Memorial Hermann (The Institute for Rehabilitation and Research): (713) 799-5000
What hotels are in the area?
There are many hotels near the Texas Medical Center campus. For locations and phone numbers, please see Hotels and Temporary Housing.
What is orthopedic surgery?
Orthopedic surgery or orthopedics (also spelled orthopaedics) is a medical specialty that focuses on injuries and conditions involving your musculoskeletal system – the parts of your body that allow you to move and be active, including your bones, joints, muscles, ligaments, tendons and nerves.
The word "orthopaedics" comes from the Greek roots "ortho" meaning straight and "pais" meaning child, because much of the early work involved treating children with spine or limb deformities. Today orthopedic surgeons treat patients of all ages, from children to the elderly.
What kinds of injuries or disorders do orthopedic surgeons treat?
Orthopedic surgery is a very broad specialty, providing treatment for a wide variety of diseases and conditions, including:
- Fractures and dislocations
- Torn ligaments, sprains, and strains
- Tendon injuries, pulled muscles, and bursitis
- Ruptured disks, sciatica, low back pain, and scoliosis
- Arthritis and osteoporosis
- Knock knees, bow legs, bunions, and hammer toes
- Bone tumors, muscular dystrophy and cerebral palsy
- Club foot and unequal leg length
- Abnormalities of the fingers and toes and growth abnormalities
Do orthopedic surgeons only treat patients with surgery?
No, orthopedic surgeons are skilled at using both surgical and non-surgical treatment. Many musculoskeletal conditions are treated without surgery by using medication, exercise and other rehabilitative or alternative therapies
What kind of training does an orthopedic surgeon have?
Orthopedic surgeons are medical doctors with extensive training in the proper diagnosis and treatment of injuries and diseases of the musculoskeletal system. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS), orthopedic surgeons complete up to 14 years of formal education as follows:
- Four years of study in a college or university
- Four years of study in medical school
- Five years of study in orthopedic residency at a major medical center
- One optional year of specialized education
After establishing a licensed practice, orthopedic surgeons can earn board certification by meeting educational, evaluation, and examination requirements of the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery.
What is a joint?
A joint is the junction of two or more bones (an articulating hinge), whether movable or not. Examples include the knee joints, the shoulder or elbow joints, and the hip joints.
Is there more than one kind of joint?
Yes, there are three types of joints found in your body.
Fibrous joints allow minimal movement. The best example of this type of joint is the bones of the skull.
Cartilaginous joints, also known as disc joints, are found between the vertebrae of the spine.
Synovial joints comprise what we normally think of as joints. They are found in the upper and lower extremities. The joining ends of bone are covered by cartilage, which is contained in a tissue capsule. The inner lining of the capsule has a synovial membrane made up of cells that produce a fluid that lubricates the joint.
What are the types of synovial joint motion?
There are six kinds of synovial joint motion (ball and socket, hinge, saddle, ellipsoidal, gliding and pivot).
What do joints do?
Joints allow bones to move relative to each other, and keep the ends of the bones properly aligned. This allows us to bend our knees, wrists, and digits.
Why do bones wear out?
Bones change as you age, becoming less elastic and more brittle. The joints between bones may become rough as the cartilage wears out.
How do bones grow?
Long bones, like those in your legs and arms, increase in length from growth plates at the end. Bone growth stops when you become an adult.
What is arthritis?
Arthritis is exhibited by joint swelling, pain, and loss of motion.
Is there more than one kind of arthritis?
There are more than 100 kinds of disease that can cause arthritis. The most common forms of arthritis are:
- Osteoarthritis (OA)
- Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
Less common forms are referred to as psoriatic and septic arthritis.
What is osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is also known as degenerative joint disease. It is caused by injury or years of use. It results when the smooth cartilage between the bone joints wear out or is damaged by injury or disease.
What is rheumatoid arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis is caused by inflammation of the lining of the joints. It tends to be present for many years. Rheumatoid arthritis usually affects many joints and can lead to damage of cartilage, tendons, ligaments, and bone. This may cause deformity of the joints. We do not yet understand the cause of rheumatoid arthritis as it varies from person to person.
Do only old people get arthritis?
No. Rheumatoid arthritis may affect young and old people. Osteoarthritis can be found in young adults; however it usually becomes more of a problem with age.
How does arthritis progress over time?
Arthritis can become worse over time as cartilage wears away and bones grind against each other during joint movements.