If you are experiencing pain in your bones, muscles, or joints, you may be wondering what does an orthopedist do.
Orthopedic surgeons are medical doctors who specialize in diagnosing and treating injuries and diseases of the musculoskeletal system, which includes bones, joints, ligaments, muscles, and tendons. They typically work with patients who have suffered a sports injury, been in an accident, or are experiencing chronic pain.
- Orthopedic Surgeons 101
- Types of Orthopedic Doctors
- The Value of Sub-specialists
- Surgeon or Primary Care Sports Medicine Specialist
- Robust Resources
- Tell Me the Role of an Orthopedic Doctor?
- When should I see an Orthopedic Doctor?
- Education and training
- FAQ. Frequently Asked Questions
Orthopedic surgeons use a variety of treatments, including medication, physical therapy, and surgery. In some cases, they may also recommend lifestyle changes or alternative therapies. If you are considering orthopedic surgery, it is important to consult with an experienced surgeon to discuss your options and ensure that the procedure is the best option for you.
Orthopedic Surgeons 101
Orthopedic surgeons are physicians with special expertise in the muscle, bone, and joint system which includes the body’s bones, joints, cartilage, tendons, and muscles. These body parts play a vital role in movement. There are 206 bones in the human body, and even more ligaments, tendons, joints, and muscles, making it an extremely intriguing specialty.
Types of Orthopedic Doctors
There are several subspecialties of orthopedic doctors. Most of the time, when orthopedic doctors specialize in a specific field of musculoskeletal conditions, they will spend an extra year or longer completing a fellowship program of specialized training in that specific medical field of orthopaedic conditions.
1. Sports Medicine Specialists
Orthopedic doctors who specialize in treating injuries and illnesses associated with sports or athletics are known as sports medicine experts. This covers every injury you might get when exercising or participating in a sport, as well as any conditions you might acquire in a similar setting. Sports medicine and other kinds of orthopedic specialists have some overlap. Sports medicine surgeons perform arthroscopic surgery, meniscus surgery, cartilage repair, ligament repair or reconstruction (such as ACL reconstruction), shoulder surgery, rotator cuff repair, labral repair, hip arthroscopy, and more.
2. Hand Specialists
Hand surgeons provide treatment for wrist and hand issues. They may suggest physical therapy, drugs, injections, or the use of a brace, splint, or cast after assessing your particular issue. They might also carry out therapeutic operations like surgery. Carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis, trigger finger, Dupuytren’s contracture, hand or wrist fractures, ganglion cysts, and sprained or broken fingers are all conditions that hand surgeons can treat.
3. Pediatric Orthopedic Specialists
Pediatric orthopedic surgeons diagnose and treat a variety of pediatric and adolescent disorders. Congenital abnormalities, scoliosis, cerebral palsy, shattered bones, sports injuries, hip dysplasia, and foot and ankle conditions that impede movement are some examples.
4. Joint Preservation Specialists
Focusing on joint preservation is one more specialty of orthopedic specialists. Although there is much overlap with sports injuries and specialists, this is still a distinctive field of study. It comprises numerous treatments to treat arthritis and other degenerative conditions of the bones or ligaments, as well as arthroscopic rebuilding of the ligaments in the hip and knee.
5. Joint Replacement Specialists
Joint replacement surgeons specialize in the surgical replacement of damaged joints. This most commonly includes performing hip and knee replacements.
6. Spine Specialists
A spinal fusion may be carried out by an orthopedic spine surgeon for a variety of back and neck issues, including scoliosis and damage to the vertebrae or intervertebral disks. A surgical procedure called spinal fusion joins adjacent vertebrae of the spine. Through this process, the vertebrae can unite to form a single, sturdy bone mass.
7. Orthopedic Trauma Specialists
An orthopedic trauma specialist is an orthopaedic surgeon who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of traumatic injuries to the musculoskeletal system. This includes fractures, dislocations, and other serious injury that occurs due to trauma.
8. Foot & Ankle Specialists
Foot and ankle specialists treat all conditions of the foot and ankle.
The Value of Sub-specialists
Often an orthopedist subspecialist treating one particular body organ or condition is the best possible treatment option for an injured person. Subspecialists gain extensive experience within their specialty areas. In some situations, it may be necessary to navigate complicated and risky matters as soon as possible.
Subspecialization is crucial when surgical intervention is needed. In some cases orthopedics has moved beyond subspecialization to hyperspecialization, which means they see and treat cases that other medical practitioners are incapable of addressing.
Surgeon or Primary Care Sports Medicine Specialist
An orthopedic surgeon can help diagnose orthopedic problems without surgery, and many medical conditions can be effectively treated without surgery. A primary care doctor can also evaluate and treat a broad range of musculoskeletal conditions including soft tissue injury, range of motion problems, joint pain, muscle pain, motion pain, shoulder trouble, and difficulty with everyday tasks.
A primary care physician or non-operative orthopedic specialist can treat injuries caused by physical activity, rheumatoid arthritis, and more. Many times they are experienced at developing treatment plans that include non surgical treatments for knee pain, tendon tears, injury or pain that makes it difficult to perform everyday tasks, or other non-surgical treatment.
Look for orthopedic specialists who offer quality healthcare. In addition the specialists whose organizations carry out clinical investigations may find more opportunities to improve patient services. They are surrounded by numerous medical tools that cover diagnosis, rehabilitation, pain management, and medicine.
Aside from this, they will often manage your care coordination for you, and will keep tabs on you appointments across different specialties. Visiting an orthopedic doctor can be intimidating at first, but take comfort in known that orthopedic doctors are highly-trained, compassionate physicians who care about restoring mobility, restoring range of motion, enhancing your function and activity level, and trying to eliminate pain, or at least improve it.
Tell Me the Role of an Orthopedic Doctor?
An orthopedic doctor is a physician whose specialty is the care and treatment of bone and joint structures, ligaments, nerves, and muscles. These components in your body can be called your musculoskeletal system or muscles. Orthopedic physicians treat this part of the body:
Do Orthopedic Doctors Have to Perform Surgery?
Many people believe orthopedic surgeons will prescribe surgical treatment only. However, surgery is not recommended unless it is medically indicated. It often isn’t a part of the treatment plan until other non-surgical options have failed. Instead your orthopedics specialist may prescribe non-operative treatments such as:
- Physical therapy or rehabilitation
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Anti-inflammatory diets
- Alternative treatment options such as yoga or acupuncture
- Pain management
Ultimately, the treatment plan will never be dictated to you. It will be arrived at collaboratively as a shared-decision making process.
When should I see an Orthopedic Doctor?
There are a number of different orthopedic doctors who specialize in different areas of the body. When deciding when to see an orthopedic doctor, it is important to consider the specific problem that you are experiencing.
For example, if you are experiencing pain in your joints, you may want to see a doctor who specializes in arthritis. If you have suffered a fracture or other bone injury, you will need to see an orthopedic trauma surgeon. By visiting a specialist, you can ensure that you receive the best possible treatment for your specific condition.
Luckily, your medical doctor will probably recommend an orthopedist if your condition requires it. In the event your injury is assessed at a hospital, the hospital, emergency room, or urgent care provider will refer you to an orthopedist. In most cases, you can also schedule your own appointment.
Education and Training (Including Video)
An orthopedic surgeon is a highly-trained physician who has completed a minimum of 13 years of study after high school (14 years if fellowship-trained). This includes 4 years of college, 4 years of medical school, 5 years of orthopedic surgery residency, and 1 year of fellowship.
After two years of practice, orthopedists have the opportunity to become board certified if they pass a stringent set of requirements.
FAQ. Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between a doctor and an orthopedic doctor?
Physicians with orthopedic expertise are known as orthopaedic surgeons. They also have no surgeries. A medical professional who can diagnose, control, treat and prevent any musculoskeletal condition.
What is the difference between surgeon and orthopedic?
Orthopedic is sometimes used as short hand slang for orthopedic surgeon.
What is an orthopedic person called?
An orthopedic person is someone who is a medical doctor trained in medical or surgical treatment for a skeletal or muscular disorder. Orthopedics is a branch of medicine that deals with the diagnosis and treatment of such disorders.
The word “orthopedic” comes from the Greek words derived from the Greek words ὀρθός (orthos), which means “correct” or “straight”, and παιδίον (paidion), which means “child”. Orthopedic treatment can involve anything from surgery to physiotherapy.
An orthopedic surgeon is a medical doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of orthopedic disorders. An orthopedist is someone who has received training in the diagnosis and treatment of orthopedic disorders.
What are common orthopedic conditions?
cubital tunnel syndrome
carpal tunnel syndrome
medial epicondylitis (golfer’s elbow)
lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow)
Why would you see an orthopedist?
An orthopedist is a medical doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the bones, joints, muscles, and tendons. Orthopedists use a variety of diagnostic tools, including X-rays, MRI scans, and blood tests, to arrive at a correct diagnosis.
Once a diagnosis is made, an orthopedist can provide treatment options that may include surgery, physical therapy, or medication. In many cases, orthopedic surgery is performed to correct problems with the musculoskeletal system.
For example, orthopedic surgeons may perform joint replacement surgery to relieve pain and restore mobility in patients with arthritis. They may also perform procedures to repair fractures or correct deformities.
In addition to surgical procedures, orthopedists may also prescribe physical therapy exercises or medications to help their patients recover from injuries and improve their overall quality of life.
What does an orthopedic doctor focus on?
Orthopedic doctors focus on the musculoskeletal system, which includes the bones, joints, muscles, ligaments, and tendons. They work to diagnose and treat conditions that affect these areas of the body.
Orthopedic doctors often treat injuries, such as fractures and sprains. They may also treat chronic conditions, such as arthritis and scoliosis. In addition to treating patients, orthopedic doctors may also conduct research or teach at a hospital or medical school.
Orthopedic doctors must complete four years of medical school and additional training in orthopedic surgery. They must also be licensed to practice medicine in their state.
What happens at the first visit to orthopedics?
When you first visit an orthopedic specialist, they will take a complete medical history. This will include information about any previous injuries or conditions that may be relevant. They will also ask about your current symptoms and how long you have been experiencing them.
The orthopedic specialist will then conduct a physical examination. This will help them to assess the extent of your injury and to rule out other potential causes. In some cases, additional tests such as X-rays or MRI scans may be required.
Once the orthopedic specialist has a clear understanding of your condition, they will be able to develop an appropriate treatment plan. This may involve medication, physiotherapy, or surgery.
Dr. Jeremy Burnham is fellowship trained and board certified. He is an orthopedic surgeon who completed extra training in sports medicine and joint preservation surgeries.. He treats patients in the Louisiana and Mississippi area including Baton Rouge, Hammond, Brusly, Walker, Denham Springs, Walker, New Roads, St. Francisville, Central, Zachary, Port Allen, Plaquemine, Gonzales, Prairieville, Natchez, Centreville, Woodville.