An orthopedic specialist is an expert regarding the musculoskeletal system. Many people think of them as “joint doctors” or “sports doctors”, which are further specialties within orthopedics. Arthritis, stress injuries, spinal problems, and similar issues bring patients to orthopedic physicians.
All doctors must excel through eight difficult years of schooling in order to receive that doctoral degree in the science of medicine. After completing this education, they must spend another five years learning the specific details of the human skeletal system and complex surgery.
Orthopedic doctors may specialize even further on a specific area of musculoskeletal medicine. It usually lasts one or two years. Doctors pursuing research training may remain in a fellowship for three years. Hand surgery, trauma medicine, foot surgery are common examples of fellowship specializations.
The most common procedures performed include knee surgery, shoulder surgery, joint replacement, and fracture repairs. This includes the commonly known procedure of placing bolts, plates, and pins to fix broken bones. Even though orthopedists are commonly known as surgeons, physical exercise and recuperative planning are much more commonly used. Surgery is generally only used as a last resort or when it clearly provides the outcome most likely to be best. Even with surgery, months of restorative therapy and recuperation are necessary.
The replacement of joint bones is a very well known type of surgery performed by an orthopedic specialist. While knees and hips are the best known shoulders, elbows, and other joints can be and are replaced. Surgical knowledge and materials technology has greatly improved over time. It takes much less time to recover and the implants last much longer than they did even a decade ago.
Orthopedists are a diverse group of doctors that specialize in bone and joint issues. They range from the sports doctor treating cartilage tears to trauma surgeons repairing the broken spine of accident victims. They are an essential part of modern medicine and perform many widely known surgeries.
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Williams, Matthew "An Orthopedic Specialist Is Not Just A Sports Doctor." An Orthopedic Specialist Is Not Just A Sports Doctor. 21 Jun. 2010. uberarticles.com. 25 Jul 2014 <http://uberarticles.com/health-and-fitness/an-orthopedic-specialist-is-not-just-a-sports-doctor/>.
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