Orthopaedic Surgery – Specialty and Sub-Specialty Information

April 4, 2014

Article by Global Pre-Meds
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Orthopaedic Surgery – Specialty & Sub-Specialty Information

Waiting for surgery! Orthopaedic Surgery

An orthopaedic surgeon specialises in the investigation, restoration and preservation of the form and function of the extremities, the spine and associated structures by medical and surgical means. Orthopaedic surgeons treat patients with a wide range of musculoskeletal problems from congenital deformities, metabolic disturbances of the musculoskeletal system, injuries, trauma, infections and tumours to degenerative diseases of the spine, shoulder, hands, hips, knee and feet. They also deal with primary and secondary muscular problems and the effects of central or peripheral nervous system lesions of the musculoskeletal system. 

An orthopaedic surgeon is responsible for diagnosing the injury or disorder and establishing an appropriate treatment plan that may include a combination of surgery, medication, exercise and physical therapy.  These specialists treat patients of all ages, mostly on a short-term basis. Since many patients who require surgery are accident victims, orthopaedic surgeons also perform disability assessments in legal actions. This specialty has undergone remarkable improvements in techniques and equipment, such as microsurgery and joint replacements. Their practice may be broad or limited to an area of special interest, such as foot and ankle or sports medicine.

Subspecialties of Orthopaedic Surgery

Adult Reconstructive Orthopaedics

Orthopaedic Sports Medicine

Orthopaedic Surgery of the Spine

Orthopaedic Trauma

Paediatric Orthopaedics

Foot & Ankle Orthopaedics

Musculoskeletal Oncology

Adult Reconstructive Orthopaedics -Adult reconstructive orthopaedics is an orthopaedic surgery sub subspecialty that involves the prevention and reconstructive treatment of musculoskeletal diseases, disorders and injuries by medical, surgical and physical methods. Training in this sub-specialty may include the care of arthritis and related disorders in multiple anatomic regions or limited to specialised areas such as the shoulder, hip, knee, elbow, foot or ankle.

Orthopaedic Sports Medicine -An orthopaedic surgeon trained in sports medicine specialises in providing appropriate care for all structures of the musculoskeletal system that may be directly affected by participation in any sporting activity. Orthopaedic surgeons prevent and manage athletic injuries through the use of specialised rehabilitation athletic equipment and orthotic devices.

Orthopaedic Trauma – Orthopaedic Trauma involves the in-depth study of the management and treatment of injuries to the loco-motor system.

Orthopaedic Surgery of the Spine – Orthopaedic surgeons who train in this specialty deal specifically with the treatment and management of various problems of the spine.  

Musculoskeletal Oncology- Musculoskeletal oncology focuses on diagnosing and treating benign and malignant tumours of bone and connective soft tissues in children and adults. Musculoskeletal oncologists work together with other specialists including medical and paediatric oncologists, surgeons, musculoskeletal radiologists, radiotherapists and pathologists to devise the best care and treatment program for patients with sarcomas of bone and soft tissue.

Paediatric Orthopaedics – Orthopaedic surgeons who specialise in paediatric orthopaedics deal with the prevention, management and treatment of musculoskeletal disorders, diseases and injuries by medical, surgical and physical methods in patients aged 16 years and younger.

Foot & Ankle Orthopaedics – Foot and ankle orthopaedics deals with the prevention and treatment of musculoskeletal disorders and diseases, and assorted injuries in this anatomic region by medical, physical, and surgical methods.