Orthopedics is a branch of medicine that focuses on the health and treatment of the bones, joints, and connective tissues, which are part of the musculoskeletal system. If you have sprained your wrist or ankle, broken your arm, or injured a muscle, an orthopedic doctor is usually who treats these conditions. Orthopedic doctors are also called orthopedic surgeons and orthopedists.
Learn more about orthopedics below by checking the answers to the most frequently asked questions about orthopedics.
#1 What Does an Orthopedic Doctor Do?
An orthopedic doctor specializes in diagnosing and treating diseases or injuries related to the musculoskeletal system, including bones, joints, cartilage, ligaments, muscles, and tendons. Their treatments range from non-surgical to surgical procedures, all of which focus on reducing pain, encouraging proper healing, and restoring the physical mobility of patients. Orthopedic doctors provide medical care for both acute (short-term) and chronic (long-term) conditions, as well as preventive services.
#2 What Types of Conditions Does An Orthopedic Surgeon Treat?
An orthopedic surgeon typically treats the following:
- Injuries related to sports, like tennis elbow, rotator cuff injuries, knee injuries, and fractures
- Spine conditions, such as degenerative disc disease, herniated discs, spinal stenosis, sciatica, and scoliosis
- Degenerative joint diseases, like osteoarthritis
- Traumatic injuries from vehicular accidents
They are also trained in minimally invasive procedures such as arthroscopy, which can often reduce recovery time significantly compared with traditional open surgical techniques.
#3 How Do I Know If I Need to See an Orthopedic Doctor?
If you’re experiencing any kind of persistent pain, discomfort, or limitation in your hip, knee, shoulder, foot, ankle, hand, wrist, or elbow, an orthopedic doctor can examine the issue and determine what could be wrong. Orthopedic pain is not normal and can affect daily function, making your athletic and work performance suffer. Orthopedic doctors are highly experienced in treating injured athletes, weekend warriors, and workers, too.
#4 What Types of Tests Will My Doctor Perform to Diagnose My Condition?
An orthopedic surgeon uses different medical imaging techniques to see inside your body, rule out conditions, and accurately identify the problem. Some of the most common imaging tests used by doctors are ultrasound, X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs. The type of test ordered will depend on the type of issue the doctor is trying to detect and diagnose.
#5 What Types of Treatments Do Orthopedists Offer?
Orthopedic doctors can provide a range of non-surgical and surgical treatments, such as:
- Corticosteroid injections
- Arthroscopic surgery
- Joint replacement surgery
- Robotic-assisted joint replacement surgery
- Physical therapy
- Lifestyle changes
A comprehensive treatment plan usually includes several treatments to give the patient the best outcome.
# 6 How Long Does Recovery Take After Surgery or Other Treatments for Musculoskeletal Conditions?
The length of recovery depends largely upon the severity of one’s condition, the type of treatment used, and how the patient responds to treatment. There are many variables, but orthopedic doctors now use minimally invasive techniques that can drastically cut the recovery period of the patient. For example, the recovery period for a minimally invasive knee arthroplasty can be as short as three months.
Orthopedic Surgeon in Hartford and Tolland Counties, CT & Springfield, MA
At Advanced Orthopedics New England, we have board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons and advanced practitioners who can provide you with top-of-the-line orthopedic care. We employ the latest techniques in the non-surgical and surgical management of a range of orthopedic conditions, from injuries to arthritis. Our highly skilled orthopedic specialists regularly treat injured athletes and workers.
We have several locations in Connecticut and Massachusetts. For any questions or to schedule an appointment with one of our orthopedists, call our office today at (860) 728-6740 or use our online request form.