Ortho or ‘straight’ is a Greek root word, with Orthopedics being a branch of medicine that deals with the care and maintenance of the skeletal system, including correction or ‘straightening’ of misaligned bones.
Who Is An Orthopedic Surgeon?
Certified as ‘Medical Doctors’ or ‘Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine’, Orthopedic Surgeons train in the diagnosis and operative treatments of various musculoskeletal (body muscles and skeleton) disorders and diseases, and are experts in disease prevention and post-surgery rehabilitation. Orthopedics are also well versed in non-surgical treatments and alleviating pain from muscles, joints and tissues. They also provide consultations to prevent further damage or slow down disease progression.
Modern day orthopedic surgeons now treat all surgical and non-surgical bone and muscle related ailments in people of all ages.as opposed to only treating spine and limb deformities in children in the past.
What Conditions Are Treated by An Orthopedic Surgeon?
Of the vast musculoskeletal diseases treated by orthopedic surgeons, some common ones are listed below:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Muscular Dystrophy
- Cerebral Palsy
- Bone tumors
Other treatable conditions and congenital (from birth) or acquired abnormalities include:
- Finger, toe and growth abnormalities
- Back pain and ruptured disks
- Club foot, bow legs, knock knees and unequal leg length
- Fractures and Dislocations
- Sports or work-related injuries
- Tendon injuries, pulled muscles, sprains and strains
- Torn ligaments and cartilage
What Surgeries Are Performed by Orthopedic Surgeons?
An orthopedic surgeon usually proceeds with the conservative treatment protocol of medication and physiotherapy or exercise for most conditions. Surgical procedures are usually reserved for severe deformities or bone breakage -with rehabilitation methods employed after surgery-and are usually a last resort for other ailments if the above treatments prove ineffective:
- Arthroscopy: For diagnosis and treatment of problems inside the joint via special cameras and equipment.
- Fusion: ‘Welding’ of fractured bones through bone grafts and metal rods or other internal devices to heal into a single solid bone.
- Internal Fixation: Using metal plates, pins or screws to hold broken pieces of bone in proper position while it heals.
- Partial, Total and Revisional Joint replacement: Replacement or removal of a damaged or arthritic joint with a ‘prosthetic’ or artificial joint.
- Osteotomy: Bone cutting and repositioning to correct bone deformity.
- Soft Tissue Repair: Mending torn tendons, ligaments or other soft tissue.
- Spine surgery: For various spinal cord disorders.
Are There Further Subspecialties Within Orthopedic Surgeons?
Orthopedic surgeons might specialize in particular areas of the body, such as foot and ankle, spine, shoulder or hip, or Pediatrics (for children), Trauma (for accident-related injuries), Sports Medicine (For athletes) or Rehabilitation (post-surgery treatment).
When to Book an Appointment with an Orthopedic Surgeon?
Consult an Orthopaedic Surgeon if you experience the following symptoms for 3 consecutive days or several times a month:
- Difficulty using a specific body part to perform daily tasks
- Persistent and increasingly intense pain in muscles, joints and tendons
- Any joint deformity
- Inflammation, fever, or redness after an injury
- Swelling or bruising around the joint or injury
- Being unable to straighten your back or stiffness when standing
If you need orthopedic support, you can easily Book an Appointment with a top Orthopedic Surgeon in Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad through oladoc.com. Or call our helpline at 042-3890-0939 for assistance to find the RIGHT Doctor for your musculoskeletal issues.
About the Writer:
Yashfa Marrium is a freelance writer and health enthusiast. You can reach her at [email protected].