The A-Z of Orthopedics

Orthopedics is the branch of medicine that deals with the rehabilitation of your ailing or wounded musculoskeletal system. This system encompasses your muscles, nerves, ligaments, bones, joints and tendons. That is markedly everything you need for mobility and proper functionality in your day to day life. Orthopedic surgeons treat patients of all ages, though at the very beginning their specialty was children. The scope of patients is from newborns with deformities like club foot to young ones who accidentally sprain or break bones. It is from athletes who strain their joints to the elderly who struggle with conditions such as osteoarthritis.

The Scope of Treatment

Orthopedic surgeons carry out a wide scope of treatment procedures and do not just perform surgery. Your first encounter with an orthopedic surgeon will involve an assessment of your current musculoskeletal health. This will involve tests such as blood tests and x-rays. Once diagnosis of your state is completed the orthopedic surgeon will decide on the best course of action to take. There are various directions this course could take. He or she could decide to take you through rehabilitative exercises augmented with drugs like anti-inflammatory antibiotics. The rehabilitative exercises would be done under a physiotherapist’s care.

The orthopedic surgeon could also deem it fit to treat you with surgery. This could be at times when there are injuries or conditions that are untreatable with just medication. These are the various forms of surgery that an orthopedic surgeon would perform:

Arthroplasty- This surgery is used to replace ailing joints or to resurface them. The surgery is applied to patients who have suffered dilapidating conditions like arthritis. The most common and effective forms of surgery are hip and knee replacements.

Arthroscopy- This is a minimally invasive surgery that is used to analyze and repair damaged joint tissue. It is referred to as the keyhole technique because of its micro invasive procedure using cameras and needle-like equipment.

Fusion Surgery- This type of surgery involves the welding of two parts of bone using bone grafts and metal rods so that it can heal into a solid bone. This surgery is done as a corrective procedure in order to bring about proper body function.

Osteotomy- This surgery involves the correction of a bony misalignment in order to preserve the health of an adjacent joint.

Orthopedic surgeons also tend to all things bone like broken and fractured limbs as well as repairing muscles, tendons and ligaments as mentioned above. These doctors also have specialties in their profession. In their 14 years of study ,they devote one optional year to specialize. There are those who specialize in hip replacement as well as those who will deal with athletic injuries only. There are those who specialize in treating children who are pediatric orthopedists as well as spinal orthopedics who deal with the treatment of spinal related conditions.