Orthopedics is a medical specialty that deals with the bones, joints and the spine. It is a field that has experience remarkable advances that have improved mobility and quality of life for millions of people around the world. It is likely that most people will receive some sort of orthopedic treatment at some time in their lives. Here are some common questions, with answers, about this important area of healthcare.
What Conditions Does the Orthopedic Specialty Treat?
Orthopedics deals with a variety of conditions, including back problems, osteoarthritis of the joints, neck pain, hip fractures, shoulder pain, joint injuries, foot pain, bursitis and medical conditions that involve widespread discomfort, such as fibromyalgia and rheumatic arthritis.
How Do Orthopedists Treat Back Pain?
Medications, back supports, modification of activities and osteopathic manipulation can help relieve back pain. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to repair damaged discs and bones.
What Treatments Are Available For Knee Injuries?
Surgery to repair tears in ligaments and the meniscus are done on a regular basis by orthopedic surgeons. Damage to the knee joint caused by osteoarthritis can be treated with anti-inflammatory medications, injections and physical therapy, but may require joint replacement, when these treatments no longer provide sufficient relief.
What Treatments Are Available for Shoulder Injuries?
Medications, physical therapy and injections can help improve shoulder joint problems. Rotator cuff injuries are a common problem that can often be helped with a surgical procedure that removes damaged tissue and improves shoulder joint function.
What Is Joint Replacement Surgery?
Joint replacement surgery is a procedure in which certain joints of the body are removed and replaced with prosthetic devices made of special metals and plastic that function like the natural joint. These surgeries are done frequently in the United States and around the world to restore normal mobility.
How Do Patients Know When Joint Replacement Is Necessary?
Generally, your orthopedic physician will provide a number of non-surgical treatments to manage joint pain and mobility problems, such as anti-inflammatory medications, bracing, minor surgical repairs or steroid injections. However, if joint damage is severe, and these remedies no longer provide relief, your physician will recommend joint replacement.
If you have had an injury that involves the bones or have been diagnosed with a disease that affects the bones, you will benefit from treatment by a trained orthopedic physician. This area of medicine continues to enjoy many new developments in surgical procedures and treatments that can relieve pain and improve physical function. Talk to your primary care physician to determine if orthopedic treatment would help you to regain full mobility and relief from discomfort.