If you suffer from a fracture, sprain, ligament pain, osteoarthritis or scoliosis, you will probably need to consult an orthopedic surgeon. Indeed, this professional is able to detect and treat all conditions and problems related to the musculoskeletal system.
If you are still hesitating to make the leap, find out in this article what you need to know about orthopedics, the job of an orthopedic surgeon, the pathologies treated by this professional and the cases in which you should consult him.
What is orthopedics?
Orthopedics is a surgical specialty practiced primarily by a board-certified physician specialist. It is concerned with the diagnosis and management of diseases of the musculoskeletal system. In other words, the orthopedic specialist treats all pathologies related to bones, joints, muscles, tendons, ligaments and nerves. He also treats trauma problems (fractures, sprains, overuse by athletes) or chronic problems (mechanical pain, osteoarthritis, scoliosis) but also deformities of the limbs or fingers, or certain ligament problems.
What does an orthopedic surgeon do?
An orthopedist is a specialist in limb surgery and orthopedist-orthotist. He also makes orthotics and prosthetics. An orthopedic surgeon, on the other hand, is a doctor who specializes in preventive and reconstructive surgery of the musculoskeletal system, which includes bones, joints, cartilage, ligaments and muscles. He will do his best to relieve your pain or functional problems caused by an illness, an accident, a congenital malformation or an injury due to sports or work. He can then prescribe an orthopedic treatment or a surgical operation, depending on your problem and its level of complexity.
What areas are treated by the orthopedic surgeon?
An orthopedic surgeon treats the lower limbs (such as hips, knees and feet) the spine and the upper limbs (such as hands, elbows and shoulders). In addition, he treats fractures, sprains and dislocations that occur after an accident. The orthopedic surgeon also treats inflammatory or infectious pathologies, growth problems or congenital deformities.
When should I consult an orthopedic surgeon?
Orthopedics is an effective way to treat musculoskeletal conditions and ailments. If you suffer from chronic pain in your upper or lower limbs, consult your doctor who can refer you to an orthopedic specialist. Indeed, an orthopedic surgeon is able to treat sprains, fractures, dislocations, herniated discs, bone tumors, scoliosis, kyphosis or even infectious or inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.
How does the consultation work?
The orthopedic specialist will be able to see patients of all age groups (children or adults). A child patient may see an orthopedic surgeon directly, without being referred by his or her pediatrician, school doctor or general practitioner. However, an adult patient must be referred by his or her primary care physician or by the emergency department.
The orthopedic surgeon will diagnose you and ask you questions to determine your symptoms and your problem. Depending on the examinations that have been done beforehand, he will propose a medical treatment (medication, infiltrations, insoles, rehabilitation sessions, etc.) or a surgical intervention. This is the last resort! But before any operation, he will explain to you in a clear way, the dangers, the risks and the possible difficulties and the modalities of the surgical intervention.
Prepare your visit, it's important!
Before consulting an orthopedic surgeon, it is highly recommended to prepare for your visit. Gather all the necessary information recent ordersAny X-rays, scans and MRIs taken, as well as a list of all medications taken.
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