Can an Orthopaedist Help Me?
Many people have questions about what orthopaedists do and what conditions they most commonly treat. Orthopaedists, in general, are joint specialists, treating a variety of conditions that affect bones, ligaments, tendons, and other joint related structures. Are you wondering whether an orthopaedist can help you with your own injury or chronic condition? Here is a look at the most common procedures that involve orthopaedic intervention.
Orthopaedic surgeons perform, perhaps most often, partial and total hip replacements, also known as hip arthroplasties. During a hip replacement, diseased parts of the hip joint are removed and replaced with new, artificial parts. A hip replacement can improve function of the hip joint, increase mobility, and relieve pain. Candidates for hip replacement surgery typically experience pain at the hip that cannot be relieved with other treatments. Osteoarthritis is the most common cause of this type of pain.
Orthopaedic surgeons also frequently perform partial and total knee replacements, or knee arthroplasties. Like a hip replacement, a knee replacement involves removing diseased parts of the knee joint and replacing them with new, artificial parts. A knee replacement can ease pain and disability caused by arthritis and other joint problems.
Orthopaedists can also treat a variety of bone conditions. If you break a bone and require surgery, for example, an orthopaedist will perform the surgery to repair that broken bone. If you suffer from a degenerative bone condition such as osteoporosis, an orthopaedist will repair resulting fractures and replace affected parts of bone.
Shoulders are the most commonly injured joints, and a variety of shoulder conditions require orthopaedic care. A rotator cuff tear, for example, occurs when there is a tear in the tissues that connect muscle to bone around the shoulder joint. Treatment approaches include rest, medication, physical therapy, and sometimes surgery by an orthopaedist. Arthritis, meanwhile, might require a shoulder replacement to fully treat. During shoulder replacement, an orthopaedist will replace the ends of the damaged upper arm bone and scapula with artificial surfaces made of plastic and/or metal.
These, of course, are only a few of the procedures that orthopaedic surgeons specialize in. Orthopaedic surgeons also perform surgeries to address conditions of the ankles, feet, wrists, hands, elbow, and more. If you suffer from chronic pain or have recently experienced a joint injury, consult an orthopaedist about the best treatment options for you.