Orthopedic medicine deals with the human muscular and skeletal system. The word comes from the Greek “ortho” which means straight, and “pedics” which means children. For many years orthopedic surgeons were doctors who were specialists in dealing with children. However, the field of orthopedics now deals with people from all branches of life, such as a solider who has lost a limb in a war accident. Below are listed some common terms used with orthopedics.
Orthopedic Appliances – An umbrella term used to refer to items sold for the purpose of assisting the muscular and skeletal system. They can refer to back braces, specialist shoes or even prosthetic limbs. An orthopedic doctor will often recommend the use of an orthopedic appliances. For example, often after surgery the surgeon may recommend that the patient wear some sort of bracing device around the neck, or a special bracing shoe on the foot.
Prosthetic Limb – A false limb that is attached where the real one used to be. This field of orthopedic appliances has advanced remarkably. Once prosthetic limbs were made out of wood, now they are often made with working robotic parts that are implanted during surgery and work with the muscle system of the patient.
Occupational Therapy – Many occupations, such as movers or other jobs that require heavy lifting pose great wear and tear on the human bodies. Occupational therapy is the study of how to protect the human body and spine under these conditions. Many orthopedic supply companies market towards members of certain professions.
Oncology - One of the studies of orthopedics. It specializes in dealing with the removal and treatment of cancer.
Orthopedic appliances are sometimes needed in patients that have lost a body part or injured a limb. These devices take the place of bones and are custom fit to each patient. Much care must be taken to ensure a smooth transition. Licensed orthopedic technicians and doctors can fit these devices to support or replace a body appendage, most often the arm or leg.
Done via surgery within a hospital, this process isn't easy. That's why it's important for the patient to be as healthy as possible and allow time to heal after surgery. Also called a prosthesis or artificial limb, an orthopedic appliance is also used for joint replacement, correction of the spine, and leg or arm correction.
Customers of orthotics manufacturers and distributors include hospitals, doctors' offices, laboratories, and medical centers. Patients who have spastic hip dislocation, palsy, fracture, injury, or other disability may benefit from having an orthopedic appliance. Orthotics are included in this topic, and can include knee and ankle joints and neck rings, along with a variety of other surgical supplies, equipment, tools, and materials.
Orthopedic appliances can be as simple as shoe inserts or as complicated as a replacement of an entire leg, foot, or other limb. Practitioners, surgeons, and specialists are the professionals that do the actual fittings. Primary care doctors can refer their patients to such specialists. Physical therapists are also an important part of the process, as they help the patient learn to adjust to his or her new orthopedic appliance or equipment. Support groups can be found on the Internet to help patients deal with their new artificial limb.