If you are in need of medical care, then you need to make sure that you rely on the right trained professional to meet your needs. If you are experiencing issues with your musculoskeletal system such as your bones, muscles, ligaments, or tendons, then you may need the assistance of an orthopedic surgeon.
Even though orthopedic surgery is a specialty unto itself, a lot of orthopedic surgeons specialize in a specific area. Learn more about some of the specific areas of orthopedic surgery below.
One area of orthopedic surgery is called hand surgery. Some of the specific issues that a hand surgeon may address include:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Stress fractures in the hand, such as those involving the metacarpals
- Specific finger injuries, such as fit trigger finger
- Crush injuries involving the hand or wrist
A hand surgeon often undergoes specific fellowship training after completing a residency in orthopedic surgery. A hand surgeon will work closely with you to develop a treatment plan that has been tailored to meet your specific needs.
Some orthopedic surgeons specialize specifically in sports medicine. For example, orthopedic surgeons are often enlisted to help professional sports teams. It might even be a specific orthopedic sports medicine surgeon that works with the athletes in sports teams in your hometown.
The job of an orthopedic sports medicine surgeon is to fix acute sports injuries. If athletes suffer a broken bone, a ligament tear, or a muscle tear during the run of play, that an orthopedic sports medicine surgeon will be responsible for repairing the injury. Then, the surgeon will also help the patient develop a physical therapy plan to get him or her back to full competition strength.
One large area of orthopedic surgery is called spine surgery. Orthopedic spine surgeons focus on issues involving the spinal cord, the individual vertebrae, and the spinal discs. Furthermore, an orthopedic spine surgeon will often work hand-in-hand with a neurosurgeon if there are nerve issues involved.
Some of the most common issues that an orthopedic spine surgeon may address include:
- A herniated disc that might be present in the back
- A pinched nerve that could take place as the nerve exits one of the vertebrae
- Compression fractures in the back
- Degenerative disc disease
- Chronic back injuries that have developed due to osteoarthritis
One of the most common procedures that an orthopedic spine surgeon will perform is called a spinal fusion. This is usually done to help people recover from a herniated disc.
Another large area in which orthopedic surgeons commonly specialize involves knee injuries. Knee injuries are incredibly common among athletes, children, and elderly individuals. There are countless knee injuries that an orthopedic surgeon may address. Some of the most common examples include:
- Ligament tears involving the ACL, MCL, PCL, LCL, and meniscus
- Arthroscopic knee surgery, which is designed to remove scar tissue or bone spurs from the joint
- Chronic knee injuries, such as patellofemoral pain syndrome
- Issues related to tendon reconstruction, such as quadricep tears or hamstring tears
Anyone who suffers a ligament tear while playing sports will probably work with a trained orthopedic knee surgeon regarding the recovery process. Importantly, not every ligament tear is going to require surgical repair. It depends on the location of the ligament tear and the ultimate goals of the patient.
Pediatric Orthopedic Services
There are specific orthopedic issues that only arise in children. A lot of these are congenital orthopedic issues that developed shortly after birth. For example, one of the most common operations that a pediatric orthopedic surgeon may perform involves scoliosis. Even though any child can develop scoliosis, some children have particularly severe forms of scoliosis that require spinal fusion, such as those with cerebral palsy.
In addition, the anatomy of children is slightly different. Therefore, pediatric orthopedic surgeons commonly have to undergo additional training in order to repair unique broken bones, muscle tears, and ligament tears that only take place in children, regardless of the child's past medical history.
The shoulder is an area of the body which includes bones, muscles, joints, tendons and ligaments, which can all sustain injuries, both acute and chronic. Whether you've injured your shoulder in a car accident or playing tennis, the pain and reduction in range of arm motion can seriously impact a patient's life. Shoulder surgeries seek to correct these maladies.
Common shoulder surgeries include:
- Rotator cuff tear repair
- Shoulder arthroscopy
- Labrum tear repair
An orthopedic surgeon will work with a patient one-on-one to make sure he or she understands the risks and benefits of shoulder surgery. Then, he or she will carry out the procedure, and help the patient rehab the shoulder following the operation.
One particularly large area of orthopedic surgery involves trauma surgery. Trauma surgeons often undergo additional training to work quickly in concert with other surgical professionals in the event of a severe accident.
Something specific injuries that a trained orthopedic trauma surgeon may address include:
- Crush injuries that damage the bones, ligaments, and tendons, such as those involving a collapsed building
- Joint reconstruction following explosions and other blast injuries
- Ligament and muscle tears that may take place in a motor vehicle accident
- Bone fractures that may take place in a bicycle accident, a pedestrian versus auto accident, or serious fall injury
Orthopedic trauma surgeons often have to work in emergency situations with limited information to provide lifesaving care for their patients.
Find the Right Orthopedic Surgeon
It is important for you to find the right orthopedic surgeon to meet your needs. At Zion Medical, we can help you do exactly that. We will tailor our services to meet your needs. Contact us today to learn more about our orthopedic surgery services!