An orthopedic surgeon or orthopedist is a specialist who is devoted to helping people get relief from pain and mobility problems due to musculoskeletal system issues.
Musculoskeletal issues are a group of disorders and injuries that affect the parts of the musculoskeletal system, like bones, cartilage, joints, ligaments, muscles, nerves, and tendons.
If you are contemplating visiting an orthopedic surgeon for your musculoskeletal system issue and are curious about orthopedic surgeons, this article is for you. Here, we will delve into comprehensive insights about orthopedic surgeons and everything you need to know about them.
What Do Orthopedic Surgeons Do?
When you see an orthopedic surgeon with an orthopedic issue, they:
- Give you a diagnosis of your musculoskeletal system
- Treat your musculoskeletal system problem using surgical and non-surgical
- Assist with rehabilitation after injury or surgery, which helps you restore your range of motion, strength, movements, and flexibility.
- Give you some strategies to prevent re-injury or chronic conditions such as osteoarthritis from worsening.
The non-surgical interventions that an orthopedic surgeon may recommend for treating your orthopedic problem may include immobilization with braces, splints, or casts, medications to relieve pain and inflammation, physical therapy to improve strength, flexibility, and range of motion, and lifestyle modifications to prevent aggravation injuries or conditions.
When non-surgical treatments do not improve the symptoms of an orthopedic problem, an orthopedic surgeon recommends surgery, which may include joint replacement surgery, fusion surgery, soft tissue repair, osteotomy, internalization of fractured bones, and procedures to decompress pressure on nerves.
Orthopedic Surgeon Education and Training
Orthopedic surgeons are one of the most educated and trained medical doctors. These receive up to 14 years of education and training, including four years of undergraduate study and four years of study in medical school.
After receiving a Medical Doctor (MD) degree from a 4-year medical school, an aspiring orthopedic surgeon completes a 5-year residency in orthopedic surgery at a major medical institute. During residency training, an orthopedic surgeon receives hands-on training in various aspects of musculoskeletal care. An orthopedic surgeon who wishes to specialize in a particular field of orthopedic surgery must complete one or two years of fellowship training after that. An orthopedic surgeon may subspecialize in some of the following orthopedic subspecialties:
- Joint replacement surgery
- Foot and ankle surgery
- Hand and upper extremity surgery
- Pediatric orthopedic surgery
- Spine surgery
- Sports medicine
- Orthopedic oncology
To become a board-certified orthopedic surgeon, they must pass an exam from a certifying organization like the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery.
Conditions Orthopedic Surgeons Treat
An orthopedic surgeon receives training in diagnosing, treating, and preventing a comprehensive range of orthopedic injuries and conditions. Examples include:
- Arthritis, especially rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis
- Bone cancer
- Benign tumors of these issues
- Congenital defects, such as hip dysplasia and club foot
- Orthopedic trauma, such as bone fractures
- Sprains and strains
- Neck and back pain
- Sports injuries
Signs You Need to See an Orthopedic Surgeon
It is most common for people to see an orthopedic surgeon when they experience pain in their muscles, bones, or joints or when they experience any discomfort relating to their movements. It is also recommended to see an orthopedic surgeon when you experience inflammation, swelling, or stiffness in any part of the musculoskeletal system.
Numbness or tingling sensation, restricted movement due to pain, and snapping or popping sounds on joint movement are also signs that indicate a musculoskeletal system problem and require orthopedic care from an orthopedic surgeon.
Best Orthopedic Surgeon in Raleigh, NC
If you are in search of a highly trained and skilled orthopedic surgeon for your specific condition, visit our board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic specialist Dr. Brett J. Gilbert. He specializes in hip and knee replacement surgery and is uniquely qualified to diagnose your musculoskeletal issue and recommend an appropriate treatment plan which may consist of surgical and non-surgical treatments.
If you have any questions about orthopedics surgery or would like to schedule a consultation with Dr. Brett J. Gilbert, please call us today at (919) 788-8797. You can also request an appointment with Dr. Gilbert by using our appointment request form, or you can self-schedule your appointment here.