Orthopedic surgeon or orthopedician- Conditions They Treat and When to Visit One

Orthopedics: An Overview

Orthopedics is a medical domain that focuses on the prevention, diagnosis, correction, and treatment of patients suffering from musculoskeletal deformities like the disorder of bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, nerves, muscles and skin. These elements together constitute the musculoskeletal system. Your body’s musculoskeletal system allows you to move, work, and be active. Orthopedics is a specialty providing medical treatment for patients of all ages, from newborns with clubfeet and young athletes requiring arthroscopic surgery to older people suffering from arthritis. The doctors who specialize in this field are known as orthopedic surgeons or orthopedician.

Who is an orthopedic surgeon?

Orthopedic surgeon is a doctor devoted to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of a disorder of the bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, and muscles. Most orthopedic surgeons treat all musculoskeletal diseases, while many specialize in certain areas of the body such as:

  • Hand
  • Shoulder and Elbow
  • Spine
  • Hip and Knee
  • Foot and Ankle

Role of an orthopedic surgeon

Orthopedic surgeons use medical, physical, and rehabilitative methods along with surgical methods; they are involved in all aspects of health care pertaining to the musculoskeletal system. These doctors are specialized to treat an immense variety of diseases and conditions like fractures, dislocations, torn ligaments, sprains, pulled muscles, bursitis rupture disks, sciatica, lower back pain, hammer-toes, arthritis, osteoporosis, bone tumors, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, club foot, scoliosis knock knees, bow legs, bunions, unequal leg length abnormalities of the fingers and toes, and other growth abnormalities.

Usually, orthopedic surgeon/orthopedician services include:-

  • Diagnosis of your musculoskeletal injury or disorder.
  • Orthopedic treatment using medication, physical therapy, exercise, and surgery.
  • Rehabilitation by recommending physical therapy and other exercises to restore movement, strength, and function.
  • Prevention by providing information and orthopedic treatment plans to prevent injury and slow progression of diseases.

When to See an orthopedic surgeon/orthopedician?

You should visit an orthopedician if you are:-

  • Having difficulty performing everyday activities like climbing stairs or walking your dog.
  • Suffering from chronic musculoskeletal pain that lasts for longer than 12 weeks.
  • Experiencing joint or bone instability while walking or standing.
  • Suffering from a soft tissue injury that has not improved in the last 48 hours.
  • Suffering from a limited range of motion, i.e. if your joints are feeling tighter or you have a joint disease such as arthritis.
  • Experiencing back pain
  • Suffering from bone fracture

What are the Diseases treated by orthopedician?

  • Bone Fractures
  • Joint or Bone Dislocation
  • Bone Cancers
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Ankle Sprain
  • Osteoporosis
  • Ligament Injury
  • Malunion of Fractures
  • Clubfoot
  • Foot Drop
  • Scoliosis
  • Nerve Entrapment
  • Flat Foot
  • Stress Fractures
  • Osteomyelitis
  • Low Back Pain

How an Orthopedic Treatment decided?

Your doctor’s visit:

Your orthopedic surgeon/orthopedician will take a history of your illness or injury and then perform a physical examination. This is followed by various diagnostic studies like X-rays and blood tests. The doctor will then discuss your diagnosis and help you select the best orthopedic treatment plan so that you can live an active and fully functional life. The courses of orthopedic treatment can be non-surgical if he/she thinks your injury can be treated with the help of medication, exercise, and other rehabilitative or alternative therapies. Or, it can be surgical if you do not respond to the non-surgical treatments, or if you need surgery right away like in cases of severe foot and ankle dislocation, sports injury, bone tumors, and any other severe orthopedic trauma.

What are the Common Procedures done By Orthopedic surgeon/Orthopedician?

  • Total Hip Replacement
  • Total Knee Joint Replacement
  • Arthroscopic Meniscectomy
  • Carpal Tunnel Release
  • Closed Reduction Of Fractures
  • Nerve Repair
  • Patellectomy
  • Rotator Cuff Repair
  • Tendon Repair
  • Bone Biopsy
  • Dynamic Hip Screw
  • Illizarov Corticotomy -Femur

How to Become a 'Bone Healing' Orthopedic surgeon/Orthopedician?

In order to become an orthopedic surgeon/orthopedician, aspirants need to spend five & a half years for their M.B.B.S. graduation from a medical college, followed by another three years in post-graduation in orthopedics. For further specialization, they can pursue fellowship courses in joint replacement, arthroscopy, pediatric orthopedics, sports injuries, spine surgery, or hand surgery.



Dr. Rishab Sharma

Dr. Rishab Sharma MBBS, MD (Internal Medicine) He is associated with Fortis Escorts Hospital, Jaipur. Dr. Rishab has wide experience in managing a variety of diseases, as well as managing critical care units in large government and corporate hospitals.

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