A Brief Guide to Orthopedics

A Brief Guide to Orthopedics


Orthopedics is a special medical arena which treats conditions of the musculoskeletal system. It involves prevention, correction, diagnosis as well as treatment of skeletal deformities. The musculoskeletal system includes joints, bones, ligaments, muscles, skin, nerves and tendons. You can get orthopedic treatment in the best orthopedic hospital in India if you make the effort.

The Greek word ‘ortho’ means straight and ‘pedics’ means applicable to children. Since many centuries, orthopedic doctors or orthopedists have been treating children having physical deformities, such as Scoliosis. Today, orthopedic issues are the most common reason for people to seek out medical care. However, not every person having an orthopedic condition has to consult a specialist in orthopedics.

Musculoskeletal issues have become very common in today’s world. Thankfully, most such issues are treatable and correctable. As a matter of fact, among the most successful surgical procedures and medical treatments are in the field of orthopedics.

Orthopedic Issues

Some of the issues that are treated under orthopedics by orthopedic surgeons are:

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Bursitis
  • Torn meniscus
  • Hip fracture
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Neck and back pain
  • Sports injuries
  • Sciatica and spinal stenosis
  • Bow legs and club foot
  • Bone tumors
  • Orthopedic trauma
  • Bunions, injuries to Achilles Tendon

While orthopedists specialize in the issues of the musculoskeletal system, in reality the field overlaps with every other medical specialty. Some orthopedists undergo higher training to conduct surgery, but in general they are mostly busy with patients outside the operating room. Majority of these specialists have busy practice based in their office. Having said that, orthopedists are also found in emergency rooms, hospital wards and even along the sidelines of sporting events ( to treat sports injuries).

Common surgical procedures conducted by orthopedists include compressed nerve relocation, damaged nerve repair and joint replacement. Some orthopedists have general focus while others specialize in particular areas like sports medicine, hands and feet, arthritis etc. Some of them specialize in treating only children and are called as pediatric orthopedists.

A pediatric specialist may treat issue with development of children like Scoliosis or curvature of the spine. They also can deal with emergency situations like sprains and dislocated joints. But orthopedists in general today treat persons of all ages from old people with arthritis to athletes needing arthroscopic surgery to newborns with clubfeet. Such physicians are called as orthopedists or orthopedic surgeons. 

Field Of Orthopedics

Generally, orthopedists are skilled in:

  • Diagnosis of the disorder or injury
  • Treatment with surgery/ exercise/ medication or any other plan of treatment 
  • Helping in rehabilitation by advising physical therapy or exercises to restore function, strength and mobility.
  • Prevention efforts with treatment plans and information for preventing injury or slow progression of ailment.

Usually, around 50% of the practice of orthopedists is dedicated to medical and non-surgical management of disease or injury and 50% to management by surgery. When body function is lost because of injury or disease of joints, bones, ligaments, tendons, muscles, skin or nerves, surgery may be required.

Orthopedist also works in tune with other healthcare professionals and may even assume role of consultants to other medical specialties. They are often members of medical teams which manage complicated and multifarious trauma and thus help in emergency care.


Similar to other medical branches, amazing progress in technology have substantially shaped the arena of orthopedics in modern times. Some aspects are:

  • Arthroscopy:

This involves use of imaging technology or visualizing instruments to help in diagnosis followed by surgical treatment of insidious joint diseases. It has thrown open new horizons of therapy.

  • Electrifying cellular research

This may help orthopedists to stimulate development of bones and ligaments in patients, sometime in the future.

  • Treatment of degenerative diseases

Much progress is happening in surgical treatment of degenerative diseases of joints. For instance, orthopedists can use a prosthetic device for replacing a diseased joint.

  • Growing cartilages

Ongoing research has focused on ‘growing’ cartilages in joints which may avoid the need of joint replacement in patients, sometime in the future.

Orthopedic Treatment

Your visit to the orthopedist will begin with a physical exam and a personal interview. After this, you might have to take diagnostic tests like X-ray and blood tests. Treatment may include medication, medical counseling, splints, casts and therapies like surgery and exercise. For several orthopedic issues, there is more than one modality of treatment. You can discuss treatment options with your orthopedist that will help to design the best treatment plan for living a healthy and active life.

These are all important facts about orthopedics. It is good to do some online research on the best orthopedist and best orthopedic hospital in India. This way, you will get the best care.

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