BONE DOCTORS: AN INTRODUCTION TO ORTHOPEDIC SURGEONS

Dr. Mazhar Iqbal

2 min read

BONE DOCTORS: AN INTRODUCTION TO ORTHOPEDIC SURGEONS

Ortho is a Greek root word that means ‘straight;’’ Orthopedics is 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, prevention, correction and operative treatments of various musculoskeletal (body muscles and skeleton) disorders and diseases, and post-surgery rehabilitation; this includes the surgical and non-surgical treatment of deformities of the muscles, ligaments, tendons, bones, joints, nerves and skin. Orthopedics are also well versed in alleviating pain from muscles, joints and tissues. They 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?

Orthopedists treat a diverse range of conditions and diseases, including dislocations and fractures, sprains and strains, torn ligaments, tendon injuries, pulled muscles, ruptured bursitis disks, low back pain, sciatica, muscular dystrophy, bow legs, scoliosis, cerebral palsy, bunions, hammer toes, club foot and unequal length abnormalities relating to legs, fingers and toes, along with other growth abnormalities. Of the vast musculoskeletal diseases treated by orthopedic surgeons, some common ones are listed below:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Sciatica
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Bone tumors
  • Other treatable conditions and congenital (from birth) or acquired abnormalities include:
  • Sports or work-related injuries
  • Torn 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 examination through special cameras and equipment. It is a minimally invasive procedure, and sometimes an arthroscope is employed, which is an endoscope that is inserted into the joint through an incision
  • Arthroplasty: This is the elective process by which the articular surface of a musculoskeletal joint is replaced, remodeled, or realigned by osteotomy or some other procedure. It is practiced to alleviate pain and restore functioning in the joints following damage caused by arthritis (rheumasurgery) or some other kind of trauma. Apart from the standard total knee replacement surgery, there is the alternative of unicompartmental knee replacement, which involves the replacement of only one weight-bearing surface of an arthritic knee.
  • Fusion: ‘Welding’ of fractured bones through bone grafts and metal rods or other internal devices to heal into a single solid bone. Spinal fusing, for instance, is a surgical procedure administered to correct problems with the small bones in the spine known as vertebrae
  • 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 re-positioning 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 Sub-specialties Within Orthopedic Surgeons?

Orthopedic surgeons might specialize in particular areas of the body, such as foot and ankle, hands and other extremities, spine, shoulder and elbow, hip. Other specialties include Pediatrics (for children), Trauma (for accident-related injuries), Sports Medicine (For athletes),r Rehabilitation (post-surgery treatment), Orthopaedic oncology and Total Joint Reconstruction. 

When to Book an Appointment with an Orthopedic Surgeon?

Consult an Orthopedic 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 pain in your bones extends for over twelve weeks, it is highly recommended you visit an Orthopedic doctor on an urgent basis. If you need orthopedic support, you can easily book an appointment with a top Orthopedic Surgeon in Karachi, Multan and Islamabad through oladoc.com. Or call our helpline at 042-3890-0939 for assistance to find the RIGHT Doctor for your musculoskeletal issues.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are intended to raise awareness about common health issues and should not be viewed as sound medical advice for your specific condition. You should always consult with a licensed medical practitioner prior to following any suggestions outlined in this article or adopting any treatment protocol based on the contents of this article.

Dr. Mazhar Iqbal Dr. Mazhar Iqbal is an orthopedic surgeon, practicing in Lahore. He is Specialist in Musculoskeletal Infections, Joint Replacement Surgery, Complex Fractures, and Pediatric Orthopedic Problems. You can book appointment with him through oladoc.

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