Orthopaedics is a medical field that deals with the conditions, diseases and injuries of the musculoskeletal system, which includes joints, the muscles, skeleton, tendons, nerves and ligaments. Those who study orthopaedics become orthopaedic surgeons, physical therapists, rheumatologists or bone specialist. Depending on the severity of your orthopaedic condition, you can see one of these medical professionals or even a general physician. Orthopaedic surgeons and rheumatologists are more specialized doctors.
Orthopaedic surgeons come into the picture when they need to diagnose a condition or disorder dealing with the musculoskeletal system, ligaments, joints or tendons, when a condition or injury needs to be treated and can help rehabilitate a problem, such as a torn ACL. Orthopaedic surgeons can also use therapy to try to prevent further damage from the surrounding areas of the injury and give advice on how to go about the rest of your life dealing with a specific condition or injury that can happen again.
Orthopaedic surgeons are considered specialists in themselves, but some of them limit their practice to certain parts of the body, like the feet, knees, back, neck or choose to work in sports medicine. Plenty of orthopaedic surgeons also partner with medical professionals of other practices and endorse each other, in a way, in case of situations where a patient needs more than one medical specialist at once. A patient that is suffering joint pains, a traumatic knee injury, such as a torn ACL or dislocated knee, may be referred to an orthopaedic clinic for rehabilitation or for surgery, if it is necessary.
In order to become an orthopaedic surgeon or rheumatologist, several years of education are required. After four years of college, four years of medical school and five years of clinical rotations or residency, one studying to be an orthopaedic surgeon can expect about 14 years of an education studying orthopaedics before beginning to practice on their own. In order to become certified, they must take both an oral and written test administered by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery. However, once all of the proper credentials and licenses to open up a practice are obtained, the education still isn’t over. Orthopaedic surgeons dedicate some of each year to more education to ensure their practices, methods and theories are up-to-date with any medical advances made.
Medical professionals who study orthopaedics are ready to help patients with mechanical issues their body may have or help those who are recovering from injuries and trauma get back on their feet and give their body a chance to fully function again.
Have a look in this video about the pediatric orthopaedics division at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital provides a full range of orthopaedic services for children