What is an Orthopedic Surgeon?
You’ve probably seen a LOT of TV shows or Netflix streams that have surgeons as the main characters. Some are in the general medical field, while others have their own practice. We aren’t all the same!
Orthopedics is defined as a branch of medicine concerning the diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic conditions in the musculoskeletal system. It is conducted by specialized doctors with proper training and many years of experience.
The term “orthopedics” is derived from the French word “orthopédie”, labeled by the physician Nicholas Andry de Bois-Regard in the 18th century within a textbook written in 1741. Nicholas derived the term from the Greek words “orthos” (correct or straight) and “paidion” (child). Originally, orthopedics was the diagnosis and treatment for correcting a child’s bone or muscle deformities such as poliosis and scoliosis.
In our modern times, we’ve evolved the word orthopedics to include all ages and the treatment of the entire musculoskeletal system.
WHAT DOES AN ORTHOPEDIC SURGEON DO?
An orthopedic surgeon is a board-certified medical doctor with a minimum of 14 years of conventional education. Orthopedic surgeons work in the field of orthopedics as either generalists or specialists. Generalists work in all practices of orthopedics while specialists work with the treatment of specific conditions ailing the body such as concussions or knee surgery.
DAILY FUNCTIONS OF AN ORTHOPEDIC SURGEON
Orthopedic surgeons diagnose and treat conditions throughout the entire musculoskeletal system. This includes:
- Prevention of injuries or bone/joint diseases by providing safety information to the patient.
- Diagnosis of the patient’s injury, disorder, or discomfort.
- Physical Rehabilitation through exercise or physical therapy to restore movement, build strength, reduce swelling or pain, increase circulation.
- Treatment through surgical or non-surgical procedures for disorders of the bones, joints, and acute or chronic conditions. An orthopedic surgeon may also treat patients with prescriptions after treatment has been assigned.
You’ve heard “musculoskeletal” used multiple times now. What does the musculoskeletal structure include in orthopedics? The musculoskeletal system is made up of Bones, Muscles, Tendons, Ligaments & Nerves.
An orthopedic surgeon will diagnose and treat a patient who may be experiencing discomfort in any of the above parts of the human body.
ORTHOPEDICS AND SPORTS MEDICINE
Orthopedic surgeons may also work in sports medicine, treating athletes of all ages if a sports injury incurs so they can get back to the life they love. Athletes can include active children, teens, adults, and professionals in a given sport. Sports medicine is the practice of treating and preventing illnesses and injuries sustained during physical activities such as P.E., running, crossfit, bodybuilding, and sports programs.
ORTHOPEDICS AND STEM CELL THERAPY
Stem Cell Therapy, also known as regenerative medicine, is another treatment that an orthopedic surgeon may conduct.
Regenerative medicine is used in the form of tissue engineering, using the human body’s current cells for regeneration of other parts of the body experiencing the injury or discomfort. This is a less-intrusive treatment that uses familiar cells the body is more likely to heal from. Regenerative medicine heals the body faster and better than typical surgery for pains, discomforts, disorders, and injuries.
For regenerative medicine to work, stem cells are harvested from the patient’s body in high-cell-growth areas (that will heal quickly), then placed in the appropriate area for rebuilding and regrowing cellular tissue. There is minimal post-procedural recovery time, no risk of bodily rejection, and no use of general anesthesia.
TYPES OF ORTHOPEDIC SURGERIES
As aforementioned, orthopedic surgery doesn’t have to use intrusive tools and metals to heal the injured body part. There are various types of orthopedic surgeries available, depending on the orthopedic surgeon you choose.
Some of the most common types of orthopedic surgeries include the following.
- Knee surgery (ACL, torn ligaments)
- Joint replacement
- Hand surgery, arthritis
- Hip surgery
- Foot and ankle injuries
- Spinal surgery
- Back pain
- Shoulder injuries
- Pediatric injuries
- Fracture trauma and care
- Sports injuries
- Limb deformities
- Degenerative joint diseases (osteoarthritis, gout, bursitis)
- Degenerative bone diseases (osteoporosis, osteogenesis, Paget’s disease)
These are a few of the musculoskeletal problems that orthopedic surgeons may treat.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ORTHOPEDICS AND ORTHOPAEDICS?
None. Both are technically correct terms that have been used for hundreds of years. The difference is that orthopedics is mainly used in the American-English language while orthopaedics is a British-English term.
So, don’t worry when you type in “orthopedic surgeon” or “orthopaedic surgeon” when you’re searching for a doctor that can help you with your discomforts or injuries. Both phrases still work.
FINDING THE PROPER ORTHOPEDIC SURGEON
As previously discussed, not all orthopedic surgeons work in sports medicine, and not all are generalized doctors. In order to find the right orthopedic surgeon to diagnose and treat your injuries, you should do your research for local surgeons in your area.
Many orthopedic surgeons have websites nowadays, with lists of conditions they focus on treating and styles of surgical practices like regenerative medicine.
If you’re looking for a trustworthy and capable orthopedic surgeon who has years of experience in sports medicine and treating various musculoskeletal ailments, contact Dr. Parker! Dr. Parker is a board-certified doctor in Amarillo, Texas who is looking to help you with your needs. He is skilled in the treatment of knee and shoulder scopes, total hip and knee replacements and offers regenerative medicine options. Contact us today to see if we can help you get back to your healthy life.