Orthopedic doctors – An Comprehensive overview

Orthopedic doctors
Close-up image of doctor showing model of joint to patient

Bones are Important too!

Doctors who treat issues with our Bones.

A sports injury or children’s mischief can lead to any mishap which may lead to any twisting of the bones, tendons, or nerves and leads us to find a doctor to treat it. At this time, we cannot run up to a family physician. We must look up to someone who treats these issues with his specialization. Let’s talk about the doctors who tend to bones, the orthopedics.

What can orthopedic doctors diagnose?

Orthopedics is a branch of medicine that deals with disorders and injuries to bones, joints, muscles, tendons, or nerves. It includes treatment for problems like arthritis, sports injury, fractures, joint replacement surgery, etc. The doctor who treats these conditions is called an “orthopaedist.” An orthopaedist has special training in treating the musculoskeletal systems as well as nervous, vascular systems.

Why approach orthopedic doctors?

Orthopedic doctors treat injuries or diseases of the bones, joints, muscles, ligaments, tendons, nerves, and blood vessels. They may be general practitioners (family physicians), or they may work in hospitals.

What are the types of orthopedic doctors?

There are two main categories of Orthopedists:

1) General Orthopedists: These doctors treat patients suffering from all kinds of bone-related issues, including back pain, knee pain, hip pain, ankle pain, shoulder pain, neck pain, foot pain, leg pain, hand pain, wrist pain, elbow pain, rib cage pain, jaw pain, eye pain, ear pain, sinusitis, toothache, headache, migraine, stress-related illnesses such as anxiety, depression, insomnia, etc., and other health ailments.

2) Sports Medicine Specialists: They specialize in spine care and spinal surgeries. Their job involves providing medical services to athletes and people engaged in various forms of physical activity.

3) Hand Surgeons: This type of specialist works on hands, fingers, wrists, elbows, shoulders, knees, hips, feet, ankles, toes, legs, arms, and forearms. In addition to this, they also work on the skin around the body.

What can orthopedic doctors do?

They perform many different procedures depending upon their specialization. Some common ones include:

• Arthroscopic Surgery

A minimally invasive procedure where small instruments are inserted into the affected area through tiny incisions made inside the patient’s arm, thigh, abdomen, or elsewhere. Using high magnification surgical equipment, surgeons remove damaged cartilage and repair any torn ligaments or meniscuses within the joint.

• Bone Grafting

During this operation, healthy tissue is taken out of one part of your body and placed at another site to help heal broken bones.

• Joint Replacement Surgery

If you have worn down or injured parts of your joints, it may be necessary to replace them with artificial material. Most commonly performed by general orthopedists, but some specialists perform more complex operations.

• Knee Surgery

One of the most common orthopedic procedures, especially among older adults, is total knee arthroplasty, which replaces both sides of the knee joint with prosthetic components. TKAs offer better function than conventional knee replacements because there is no need to sacrifice normal motion while improving stability.

• Spinal Fusion

F fusion surgery restores proper alignment and support when vertebrae become unstable due to degeneration, trauma, tumor growth, infection, deformity, or congenital disabilities. Commonly used when conservative treatments fail.

Orthopedic Doctors
Physical therapist raising right hand and demonstrating how to pull resistance band to lying elderly patient on couch

Is there any difference between an orthopaedist and an orthopedic surgeon?

An orthopaedist specializes in the diagnosis and management of diseases affecting the musculoskeletal system. Orthopedic surgeons are physicians trained to provide comprehensive care for orthopedic disease processes, ranging from acute traumatic events to chronic degenerative changes.

What is the specific work of an orthopaedist and orthopedic?

Orthopaedists and orthopedic surgeons diagnose and manage orthopedic pathology, perform an operative intervention, prescribe medication, and recommend rehabilitative therapies. However, only orthopedic surgeons are qualified to conduct certain specific orthopedic procedures. For example, only orthopaedists can order diagnostic imaging studies; perform open reduction internal fixation of long bone fracture; implant metal plates and screws across fractured skeleton segments, insert
intervertebral discs after laminectomy, and perform revision total hip arthroplasties.

Only orthopedic surgeons can perform primary total hip arthroplasty, whereas only orthopaedists perform osteotomies.

Are they both considered as medical professionals, or is one more specialized than another?

Yes, Orthopaedics is a subspecialty of Medicine. Both orthopaedists and Orthopedic Surgeons are medical doctors specializing in treating patients with disorders related to muscles, nerves, tendons, ligaments, bones, joints, etc. They differ primarily in their training and practice patterns. Orthopaedists are typically board-certified and fellowship-trained in the field of Orthopedics. In contrast, Orthopedic Surgeons do not require such certification and usually complete residency programs before becoming board-certified specialists.

On the contrary, Orthopedic Surgeons concentrate mainly on surgical techniques and devices that address all aspects of the musculoskeletal system. In addition, orthopaedists focus on nonoperative treatment modalities, including physical therapy, exercise, braces, splints, injections, medications, and other non-surgical interventions.

Conclusion: What do the Doctors recommend?

Doctors are now recommending that people start exercising their hips and knees early in life Orthopedic doctors are now suggesting that people start exercising their hip and knee joints earlier in life. They say that if you wait until later in life to exercise these joints, it could lead to arthritis. They also recommend that people who have had surgery on their hips or knees continue to exercise those joints even after recovering.


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