If you’re unfamiliar with the term “orthopedic surgeon,” don’t worry, you’re not alone. Medical jargon can be confusing, and it’s sometimes difficult to know exactly what kind of specialist you need to see.
Today, we will be talking about orthopedic surgeons and what they do. In simple terms, they are medical doctors who specialize in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of conditions and injuries that affect the musculoskeletal system, which enables us to move and perform our everyday activities.
In this post, we will share all the basics about what orthopedic surgeons do, the common orthopedic conditions they treat, when to see one, and the treatment options available to you.
What is an orthopedic surgeon?
If you’re unfamiliar with the term “orthopedic surgeon,” don’t worry, you’re not alone. Medical jargon can be confusing, and sometimes it’s hard to know exactly what kind of specialist you need to see.
Today we are goint to talk about orthopedic surgeons and what they do. Put simply, they are medical doctors who specialize in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of conditions and injuries that affect the musculoskeletal system, which allow us to move and perform our everyday activities.
In this post, we will be sharing all the basics about what orthopedic surgeons do, the common orthopedic conditions they take care of, when is it time to see one and treatment options available for you.
What is an orthopedic surgeon?
Orthopedic surgeons are specialists who focus on diagnosing and treating conditions related to the musculoskeletal system, which includes bones, joints, muscles, ligaments, and tendons.
Orthopedic doctors, according to The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, treat a wide range of patients, from newborns with clubfeet to athletes needing arthroscopic surgery to those suffering from arthritis in their older years. Basically, they can treat anybody who can break a bone at any age.
Orthopedic surgeons may specialize in one or more areas. These specializations are focused on body parts such as the spine, shoulder and elbow or hand and wrist. Some others are:
- Hip replacement and reconstruction
- Knee replacement and reconstruction
- Orthopaedic oncology (bone tumors)
- Orthopedic trauma
- Pediatric orthopaedic surgery
- Sports medicine
On the other hand, becoming an orthopedic surgeon requires extensive education and training. After completing an undergraduate degree, aspiring orthopedic surgeons must attend medical school and earn a Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree.
Then, they must complete a residency program in orthopedic surgery, which typically lasts five years and provides hands-on training in various aspects of musculoskeletal care, from trauma and sports medicine to joint replacements and spinal surgery. In total, as The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons states orthopedic surgeons complete up to 14 years of formal education.
What do Orthopedic Surgeons do?
Orthopedic surgeons play a crucial role in restoring the function and mobility of patients. They employ a wide range of treatments, from orthopedic physical therapy, medications, and assistive devices to surgical orthopedic procedures like joint replacements, spinal surgeries, and corrective surgeries.
Orthopedic surgeons provide patients with a personalized approach based on their individual needs and goals, with the ultimate goal of reducing pain, improving mobility, and improving their overall quality of life.
How do they do that? The AAOS describes orthopedic surgeons’s practice step by step:
- Diagnosis of the injury or disorder
- Treatment with the proper medication injections, casting, bracing, surgery, or others)
- Rehabilitation by recommending exercises or physical therapy
- Prevention by providing information and treatment plans
Orhtopedic surgeons: When should you see them?
If you’re experiencing chronic pain, difficulty moving, or a decreased quality of life due to a musculoskeletal condition, you should consider seeing an orthopedic surgeon.
A good first stop is going to your primary care doctor if you are experiencing symptoms and do not know the cause. But in many instances, it is reasonable to start with an orthopaedic specialist. You should go see an orthopedic surgeon if you’re having:
- Constant or occasional pain
- You can hardly move around or stand up
- Injuries that are not responding to simple measures, such as ice or over-the-counter pain relievers.
Some injuries are considered emergencies and require immediate medical attention. For example:
- A broken bone or an open fracture
- Intense pain combined with other concerning symptoms, like a fever, inability move your limb, severe bleeding, or loss of consciousness.
There’s a wide range of treatments available to help address conditions that affect the musculoskeletal system, and choosing the right treatment depends on factors such as the patient’s age, overall health, and the specific condition being treated.
Some of the most common types of orthopedic treatments include:
- Non-Surgical Treatments: Many orthopedic conditions can be treated without surgery. These non-surgical treatments may include physical therapy, pain management, medication, braces or supports, and lifestyle modifications.
Learn more about Non-Surgical Treatments
- Surgical Treatments: surgery may be necessary to address some orthopedic conditions. Common musculoskeletal surgery include joint replacements, ligament repairs, and bone fracture repairs. Many of these are now minimally invasive due to technological advances, resulting in faster recovery times and less pain.
- Regenerative Medicine: this is an emerging field that uses the body’s own natural healing mechanisms to treat orthopedic conditions. Examples of these are stem cell therapy or platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections.
- Alternative Therapies: To complement their traditional orthopedic treatments some patients choose therapies like acupuncture, chiropractic care, or herbal remedies.
Read a full list of alternative therapies here
So, are you looking for an orthopedic specialist? Look no further than DaVinci Health Clinic.
Whether you have been injured at work, seeking for pain relief treatments or need an expert in orthopedic sports medicine, we are here to help.
Our clinic offers a wide range of Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine services to meet your needs. However, we understand every patient is unique, that’s why we work closely with you to develop a personalized treatment plan.
Check our Consultant’s timetable, find a doctor and book your appointment. Our team of doctors and nurses are trained in the latest diagnostic techniques and they’ll be more than ready to have you and serve you with the best care.