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What is Orthopedic Surgery?

  • 4.7 (5 Votes)

Orthopedics or orthopedic surgery is the branch of science, which focuses on diagnosis, correction, prevention and surgical treatment of patients with musculoskeletal system. The elements that make up musculoskeletal system are bones, joints, ligaments, muscles, nerves, tendons and skin.

Human body's musculoskeletal system is a complex system of joints, bones, ligaments, tendons, muscles and nerves, which allow us to move, work and stay active. Orthopedic surgeons care for patients of all age groups - be it the newborns with clubfeet or the young athletes who need arthroscopic surgery or the elderly suffering from issues of musculoskeletal system.

Who is an Orthopedist?

The physician who is educated and trained in diagnosing and preoperative, operative as well as postoperative disorder and injury treatment of the musculoskeletal system; is called orthopedic surgeon or orthopedist.

What is the role of an orthopedist?

Orthopedists not only use medical but also physical and rehabilitative methods along with surgery. They are involved with the health care aspects related to musculoskeletal system. They are capable of treating several types of conditions and diseases. The orthopedists are skilled in:

1- Diagnosing the injury or disorder

2- Treatment of the disease with the help of medication, exercise, surgery or any other treatment method.

3- Help in recovery by suggesting exercises or physical therapy for restoring the movement, strength and the function.

exercises or physical therapy

4- Prevention with the help of information as well as treatment plans for anticipating injury or the slow progression of the diseases.

When to visit an Orthopedic Surgeon?

There are certain conditions, which orthopedic surgeons treat that affect our bones, joints, ligaments, muscles, tendons, and nerves. Conditions can be any of the following:

1- Arthritis

2- Fractures, sprains and strains

Fractures, sprains and strains

3- Bone tumors

4- Cerebral palsy

5- Dislocations

6- Clubfoot, knock knees, bow legs, bunions, hammertoes (certain abnormalities in knees)

7- Osteoporosis

8- Muscle, ligament, and tendon damage

9- Spine disorders (e.g., sciatica, scoliosis, ruptured disc)

Specialization in Orthopedic Surgery

Physicians who want to enter into the field of orthopedic surgery may have to select general orthopedic surgery, or they can specialize in anyone of the following areas:

1- Arthroscopy

2- Pediatric

3- Trauma and Fractures

4- Shoulder and Elbows

5- Musculoskeletal Oncology

6- Joint Replacement

Joint Replacement

7- Sports Medicine

8- Foot and Ankle

9- Hand

10- Rehabilitation

11- Reconstructive Surgery

12- Spine

Types of Orthopedic surgery

There are numerous types of surgeries which an orthopedic surgeon can perform. Some of the common surgeries include:

1- Arthroscopy: It is a procedure where special cameras and equipments are used for visualizing, diagnosing and for the treatment of problems in the joint.

2- Fusion: It is a welding process where bones are fused together with the help of bone grafts and internal devices like metal rods i.e. for healing it into a single solid bone.

3- Internal Fixation: It is a way of holding the broken pieces of bone in proper position with the help of metal plates, screws or pins while bone is healing.

4- Replacement of Joint (partial, total and revision):It is a process of removing and replacing the arthritic joint with an artificial joint called as prosthesis.

5- Osteotomy: It implies correction of the bone deformity by cutting and repositioning the bone.

6- Soft tissue repair: In this process the soft tissues such as torn tendons or ligaments are mended.

During Pregnancy

Pregnancy may have a great stress on a woman's body. Most common orthopedic conditions include mild to high lower back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, plantar fasciitis, meralgia paresthetica, osteitis pubis, trauma and transient osteoporosis of the hip. If you have any of these, you must definitely consult an orthopedist.

Hope this article helped you resolve your queries on orthopedics and the role of orthopedists. If you have low sperm count, you can start taking vitamins and minerals rich diet to help you conceive. 

Dr. Srilatha Gorthi

About The Author

Laparoscopic Surgeon, Gynecologic Surgeon Dr. Srilatha Gorthi

Dr. Srilatha Gorthi is an infertility specialist and laparoscopy surgeon located in Hyderabad. Her area of expertise lies in the field of Gynae diseases and conditions, and Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART). She provides a number of services that comprise of In vitro Fertilization (IVF), Intrauterine Insemination (IUI), ICSI, TESA, MESA, Gynae Hysteroscopy, Laparoscopy, treatment of Ovarian Cysts, Endometriosis, PCOS, Fibroids, Polyps and so on. Dr. Srilatha Gorthi practices at The Birthplace Hospital, Revive Multi Specialty Clinics and Fertility Centre, and The Birthplace Clinic and has a rich experience of more than 18 years. Dr. Gorthi has won 9 Gold Medals in MBBS.She is a reputed member of the Federation of Obstetrics and Gynaecological Societies of India (FOGSI), European society of Gynaecological Endoscopy and British Medical Association, UK, and British Fertility Society. You can get her information at


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Kapil Vastav

Along with broken bones, you can also visit an orthopedic for your issues related to swelling, joint, bursae, and ligaments pain.

Oct. 10, 2018, 5:27 p.m. 4.5


Kritika Bansal

I have a swelling in my left leg after sitting for an hour in my office. Should I visit an orthopedic for this problem?

Sept. 30, 2018, 7:45 a.m. 5.0


Vipin Rajeshwari

I broke my hand once after a huge fall from my bike. Many thanks to the orthopedic for his quality service he provided me with good care and guidance. And now I am able to ride my bike again.

Sept. 14, 2018, 9:34 a.m. 4.5


Navi Ramjan

I am looking for an orthopedic surgeon for my mother's knee surgery in South Delhi. The doctor should be highly experienced and satisfactory service provider. Please, Ela, suggest me the best.

March 8, 2018, 11:10 a.m. 5.0


Sushmita Malakar

Have a heel spur, will it come under musculoskeletal system treatment? I really need to know if I can go for Orthopedic Surgery.

Jan. 8, 2018, 12:32 p.m. 4.5

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