Orthopedic surgery is a medically invasive procedure performed by a surgeon on the musculoskeletal system. Musculoskeletal refers to bones, muscles, cartilage, tendons joints and other tissues that support and bind the body's organ together. In fact, orthopedics gets its name from combining the Greek words for orthos (straight) and pedics (child), as the keystone of orthopedic practice used to be treating spine and bone deformities. Today orthopedic surgeons often treat painful sports injuries or perform joint reconstruction surgery. If you are dealing with a problem that needs an orthopedic surgeon, you should find the following terms helpful.
Cartilage – A flexible connective tissue found in the joints between bones
Ligament – Fibrous tissue that connects bones to other bones.
Joint – Location where two or more bones connect that allow for movement and support.
Meniscus Tear – A common knee injury, especially among sports athletes. There are 2 pieces of cartilage called menisci around the knee that can be torn by twisting or turning too quickly, causing pain and swelling.
Joint replacement – A surgical procedure that involved replacing a heavily worn bone with a synthetic object. Hip and knee replacements are common orthopedic surgeries
Resurfacing – Resurface surgery is an alternative to replacement surgery. In the case of hip resurfacing, instead of removing the entire bone, a metal cap is placed over the bones. It is a less intensive surgery than a hip replacement.
Arthroscopy – A surgical procedure where a joint is examined and diagnosed by a professional for problems using an arthroscope, a small tube. This is often done on meniscus tears, ligament tears and knee and shoulder examinations.
Orthopedic surgery is a highly specialized practice of correcting problems in the musculoskeletal system. Connective tissue, ligaments, cartilage, muscle and bone make up our skeletal systems. Over the course of our lives we can do damage to our bodies. Accidents, sports related injuries or normal wear and tear can cause chronic pain in our backs and spines. An orthopedic surgeon can correct these types of medical problems and allow us to live easier, more comfortable lives. It is no longer necessary to suffer in silence or to self-medicate in order to control our level of discomfort.
Arthritis or a sports related injury can be treated with this type of surgical procedure. Problems with the legs or shoulders can be remedied according to a doctor's diagnosis. Sometimes it may be necessary for reconstruction of a joint or a knee may need to be replaced. As we grow older our skeletal systems weaken and are prone to breakage due to falls. Hip replacements are very common among the elderly. As our aging population grows, so too will the need for this type of healthcare.
Some surgery is outpatient while other procedures may require a short stay in the hospital. Advances in modern medicine have made treatment for these injuries quick and effective. In many instances surgeons are able to reconstruct vertebrae or resurface hips or treat a meniscus tear. Those who suffer from pain due to arthritis may also find relief with a surgical procedure, but this is not necessarily the only or best treatment. You should discuss alternatives with your doctor before making any decisions.