What to expect when visiting an orthopedic surgeon

The ability that humans possess to move their muscle and skeletal system is because of the musculoskeletal organ system. The branch of medicine that deals with this organ system is called orthopedics. An orthopedic doctor or an orthopedic surgeon is someone educated and trained to diagnose, prevent, treat, and rehabilitate those suffering from diseases and disorders that affect the musculoskeletal system. While some orthopedic surgeons work in tandem with other healthcare providers and act as consultants, others specialize in specific body parts and areas of orthopedics.

What does it take to be an orthopedic doctor?
To be an orthopedic doctor/orthopedic surgeon requires extensive education and training, spanning up to 14 years. The education and training involve:
College or university education – 4 years
Medical school – 4 years
Concentrated studying and training at an orthopedic residency center – 5 years
Specialization training – 1 year

A certification from a board of medicine is also required after completion of the residency training. There’s also a recertification process that orthopedic surgeons need to undergo to ensure they’re not falling behind, every 10 years.

Why do we need orthopedic surgeons?
From bones and joint disorders to fractures, from tearing of muscles to certain diseases, orthopedic doctors treat patients of every age, right from babies and infants to those at an old age. Some of the conditions that orthopedic surgeons look into are:
– Fractures, strains, and sprains
– Muscle, tendon damage, or ligament damage
– Spine disorders (e.g., sciatica, scoliosis, ruptured disc)
– Cerebral palsy
– Arthritis
– Clubfoot, knock knees, bow legs, bunions, or hammertoes
– Dislocations
– Osteoporosis
– Bone tumors

In addition, certain surgeries are also performed by orthopedic surgeons, such as:
Arthroscopy: Treating joint-related problems using a special camera and equipment.
Fusion: Fusing bones together using internal devices, such as metal rods and internal grafts, to form one single bone.
Internal fixation: A method to hold the bone in position using metal pins, screws, and plates.
Joint replacement: The complete or partial replacement of a damaged joint with an artificial one.
Osteotomy: Cutting and repositioning of a bone to treat any deformity in it.
Soft tissue repair: Mending soft tissue problems like torn ligaments and tendons.

Whenever you suffer an injury to a bone, muscle, or joint a visit to an orthopedic doctor or surgeon is the most prudent thing to do.

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