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What is Orthopaedics?
Orthopaedics, also often spelled orthopedics, is a branch of medicine that focuses on the musculoskeletal system (bones and joints, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and cartilage). Physicians who specialize in orthopaedics treat broken bones, spine and joint injuries, deformities like scoliosis, joint problems like arthritis, and degenerative conditions like osteoporosis. They also treat sports injuries, infections, congenital conditions, and tumors in the bones.
Training and Education
An orthopaedic surgeon is a medical doctor with about 13 years of education (including eight years of undergraduate and medical school, and another five years of residency) in the diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation, and prevention of injuries and diseases of the musculoskeletal system. Some orthopaedic surgeons practice general orthopedics, while others specialize in areas such as the hip, shoulder, knee, hand/wrist area, and foot/ankle area. Some orthopaedics doctors may also focus on certain populations, such as pediatrics or trauma (accidents at work, home or on the road that damage your muscles and bones).
Why do people see Orthopaedic Doctors?
To give you an idea of the wide range of procedures that orthopaedic surgeons perform, these are some of the more common procedures:
What is Arthroscopic Surgery?
One of the most common procedures performed today is arthroscopic surgery. Orthopaedic surgeons can visualize, diagnose and treat joint problems with the use of tiny surgical instruments and cameras. After making the incision, the surgeon inserts an arthoscope, which is an instrument containing a fiber optic light source and small television camera. By viewing the joint on a television monitor, the surgeon is able to more readily diagnose the problem, determine the extent of injury, and make any necessary repairs. A typical repair using arthroscopic surgery is ACL reconstruction. This is a surgical procedure that repairs a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), one of the four ligaments that help stabilize the knee.
Not all orthopaedics-related injuries require surgery. Some can be treated with hand therapy or physical therapy. Whatever your condition-whether urgent or gradual, an accident or something you are born with-the orthopaedic doctors at Wake Orthopaedics will work as your partners to keep your bones and muscles healthy, strong and in good working condition!