Orthopedics, or orthopedic services, is the medical specialty that involves the treatment of the musculoskeletal system, which is made up of your body’s bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, and muscles.
Any number of medical problems can affect the bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, and muscles.
Bone problems may include:
Joint problems may include:
Common orthopedic-related diagnoses based on body part:
Ankle and foot:
Hand and wrist:
SERVICES AND TREATMENTS
Imaging procedures can help diagnose or even treat many orthopedic conditions. Your health care provider may order:
Sometimes, treatment involves injections of medicine into the painful area. This may involve:
Surgical procedures used in the treatment of orthopedics include:
Newer orthopedic services procedures include minimally invasive surgery techniques, advanced external fixation, and the use of bone graft substitutes and bone-fusing protein.
WHO IS INVOLVED
Orthopedic care often involves a team approach. Your team may include a doctor, as well as a non-doctor specialist such as a physical therapist, as well as others.
Other doctors that may be a part of the orthopedics team include:
Non-doctor health professionals that may be a part of the orthopedics team include:
Canale ST, Beaty JH, eds. Campbell's Operative Orthopaedics. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Mosby; 2007.
Silverstein JA, Moeller JL, Hutchinson MR. Common issues in orthopedics. In: Rakel RE, ed. Textbook of Family Medicine. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 30.
Musculoskeletal disorders. In:Frontera, WR, Silver JK, Rizzo TD Jr, eds. Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2008:chap 1-88.
Updated by: C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Assistant Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, San Francisco, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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