Orthopaedics is a branch of medicine that deals with the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of injuries and disorders of the musculoskeletal system. This includes bones, joints, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and nerves.
Orthopaedic doctors, also known as orthopaedic surgeons, are trained to treat a wide range of conditions affecting the musculoskeletal system. They use both surgical and non-surgical methods to treat injuries and disorders, and may also work with other healthcare professionals, such as physical therapists, to help patients recover from injuries and regain function.
Common orthopaedic conditions that orthopaedic surgeons treat include:
- Arthritis: A condition that causes inflammation in the joints, leading to pain, stiffness, and difficulty moving.
- Fractures: Broken bones that can occur as a result of trauma, such as a fall or car accident, or due to a medical condition, such as osteoporosis.
- Osteoarthritis: A degenerative condition that affects the cartilage that cushions the joints. This can lead to pain, stiffness, and difficulty moving.
- Degenerative disc disease: A condition that causes the discs in the spine to deteriorate, leading to pain and stiffness.
- Tendinitis: Inflammation of a tendon, which can cause pain and difficulty moving the affected joint.
- Sports injuries: Injuries that occur during sports or physical activity, such as sprains, strains, and torn ligaments.
Some of the surgical procedures that orthopaedic surgeons perform include:
- Joint replacement surgery: This involves replacing a damaged joint with an artificial joint, such as a hip or knee replacement.
- Spinal surgery: This includes procedures to treat conditions such as herniated discs, spinal stenosis, and scoliosis.
- Arthroscopy: A minimally invasive surgical procedure that allows doctors to see inside the joint using a small camera.
- Fracture repair: This involves setting and stabilizing broken bones to promote healing.
In addition to surgical treatments, orthopaedic doctors may also recommend non-surgical treatments, such as physical therapy, to help patients recover from injuries and regain function.
Orthopaedics is a diverse and challenging field that requires a deep understanding of the musculoskeletal system, as well as the ability to diagnose and treat a wide range of conditions. With the help of orthopaedic surgeons, many people are able to recover from injuries and regain function, allowing them to lead active and fulfilling lives.