Orthopaedics is a branch of medicine dealing with injuries and diseases related to your body's musculoskeletal system. This is a very complex system that includes your ligaments, bones, muscles, joints, tendons, and nerves, which help us in going through our daily activities like moving, working, and being active! Originally orthopaedics were devoted to taking care of children with limb and spine deformities, they now care for patients of all ages, from infants with clubfeet to older people with arthritis and anyone in between who could have a bone-related injury, which is why Orthopaedics are also called bone specialists sometimes.
Orthopaedic surgeons and surgery
Doctors who specialize in the musculoskeletal system are called Orthopaedic surgeons. It’s an in-demand speciality as the human body has more than 200 bones. Some of the common disorders that fall under orthopaedics are hip or back pain, dislocated joints, and arthritis (acute, chronic, or degenerative). As a result of the vastness in the speciality, most orthopaedic surgeons sub-specialize by focusing on a specific treatment area like joint surgeons only treat hip or knee patients with arthritis or hand and wrist specialists only see hand and wrist cases. This next-level precision lets them diagnose, treat and even prevent orthopaedic problems.
Your Orthopaedic Surgery
Orthopaedic surgeons will take a history of your injury or illness and then do a physical examination which is generally followed by the process below to treat problems related to the musculoskeletal system.
• Discuss diagnosis of your disorder or injury
• Suggest the best treatment plan with exercise, medication, surgery, casting or other options
• Rehabilitation by recommending physical therapy or exercises to restore function, strength and movement
• Prevention of further injury by providing information and treatment plans so that you can live an active and functional life.
Surgical and Nonsurgical Treatment
Some musculoskeletal conditions can be treated without surgery—with the help of exercise, medication and other rehabilitative or alternative therapies.
There is more than one form of treatment for most orthopaedic injuries and diseases. If you do not respond to nonsurgical treatments your orthopaedic surgeon may recommend surgery.
Orthopaedic surgeons perform various types of surgeries. Some of the common procedures include:
• Arthroscopy—a procedure in which special cameras and equipment are used to visualize, diagnose and help treat problems inside a joint.
• Fusion—a process by which bones are fused with internal devices (such as metal rods) and bone grafts to heal into a single solid bone.
• Internal fixation—a method to hold the pieces of broken bones in proper position with metal plates, screws or pins while the bone heals.
• Joint replacement —when a damaged or arthritic joint is removed and replaced with an artificial joint called a prosthesis.
• Osteotomy—cutting and repositioning the bone for correcting the bone deformity.
• Soft Tissue Repair—the mending of soft tissue, such as torn tendons or ligaments.