What is orthopedics? What is orthopedic surgery?
Orthopedics or orthopedic surgery deals with conditions of the musculoskeletal system. The musculoskeletal system is made up of bones, muscles, joins, ligaments, tendons, and nerves. Doctors that diagnose and treat such issues are called orthopaedic surgeons. There are several sub-types of orthopaedic surgery, including:
- Arthritis and osteoarthritis
- Injury care including fractures
- Joint replacement surgery
- Pain management
- Sports medicine
- Back & Spine Surgery
- Hand Surgery
- Hip Injuries& Replacement
- Shoulder Injuries& Replacement
- Foot & Ankle Surgery
- Physical and Occupational Therapy
How does your doctor diagnose it?
Orthopaedic surgeons use many diagnostic tests to help in identifying the exact type of your injury or condition. The orthopedic team will then review your symptoms with you and obtain a history of your health. Some tests that they may conduct include:
- Blood tests: Some conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, may be identified by using a blood test.
- Bone Scan: There are 2 different types of bone scans. One, tests the density of the bone, and is used for diagnosing osteoporosis. The doctors will use X-ray or ultrasound to see how solid the bone is. The second type identifies regions of the bone with unusual bone growth. This is used for determining stress fracture sites or the presence of arthritis, infection, or cancer.
- CT Scan: A CT scan (computed tomography) combines X-rays with computer technology to give a detailed image of your body.
- Ultrasound: An orthopaedic surgoen may suggest this test when he thinks that there may be blockage in blood vessels of your legs or arms.
- Flexibility Tests: These are used to measure the range of motion in a joint and are usually a part of the physical exam.
- MRI: An MRI (magnetic resonance image) uses magnetic fields and a sophisticated computer to take pictures of your bones and soft tissues, resulting in an image of your body. It can be used to help diagnose torn muscles, ligaments and cartilage, , hip or pelvic problems and other conditions.
- Muscle Tests: Muscles do not appear on X-rays, as they are soft tissues. So muscle testing is an important part of the physical exam. Weakness in a muscle may indicate injury to the tendons or to the nerves, or a generalized weakness of the muscle itself from disuse.
Several other tests may also be performed on you, including a full physical examination, X-rays, etc. Your doctors will then use the results of these tests to plan a personalized treatment for you. During your consultation with an orthopaedic doctor, they will isolate the problem, narrow down the cause of the issue, and explain your treatment options. You may also get advice about pain management including medication and/or injections, rehabilitation and physical therapy including a potential time frame, and ongoing orthopaedic care. The earlier you are able to get advice about a musculoskeletal issue, the sooner you may be able to start treating the problem. Early treatment prevents an issue from becoming even more severe.
How are such disorders treated? What are the different treatment options available?
Choosing to have orthopaedic surgery is a major decision, and the situation is unique in each case. If you need a joint replacement, back surgery, or another orthopaedic treatment or arthroscopic procedure, you need to clear all your doubts and ask five important questions.
- Is my pain stopping me from doing daily tasks, such as walking, climbing stairs, and getting in and out of chairs, the bed, and the car? Has this pain been occurring over a long period of time?
- Have I checked all my options? Orthopaedic surgeons suggest non-invasive treatments, such as medication, injections, and/or assistive devices (e.g., canes, walkers), before considering surgery. If the treatments don’t work, then your surgeon will decide if you can have the surgery.
- What kind of surgery will I have for my condition? Can I get minimally invasive/ keyhole surgery? Since every individual’s case is unique, your doctor will decide what the best course is for you.
- Are there any risks of doing this surgery? Are there any complications? There is always some risk involved in any surgery. However, you can ask your doctor about the same, including what kind of anesthesia you will get, for your surgery.
- Do I need physical therapy after surgery? What kind? How long will it take for me to recover from the surgery? Physical therapy is very important for early recovery. Your doctor will be able to suggest how long it will take you to go back to work or your normal daily activities.
Where Do We Get Our Information From?
Any injury to your musculoskeletal system and other orthopedic disorders can be prevented by exercising, and being aware while running, lifting heavy objects, walking, etc.
- It is important to have a safe workplace.
- Lifting and moving heavy objects is the most common problem in workplaces and cause orthopedic disorders. Make sure to lift close to your body, ensuring you have a firm hold on the object and that it is balanced. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart, for a solid support base
- Always bend your knees and keep your back straight while lifting.
- Tighten the stomach muscles as you lift, as this will keep your back in good posture and help straining your spine.
- Lift with your legs, than only with your arms.
- If the object is too heavy, make sure to ask for help.
- Keep your skeletal system functioning and in good health by eating right and exercising.
- Drink plenty of milk or have fruits fortified with vitamin D.
Who are your orthopaedics care team?
Your care team consists of your orthopedic surgeons, physiatrists (physicians who specialize in physical medicine and rehabilitation), sports medicine specialists, diagnostic radiologists, orthopedic technicians, occupational and physical therapists, orthotists (a certified orthopedic specialist who designs and creates custom braces), pedorthotists (a certified specialist who crafts custom shoes and shoe inserts), and nurses. Your care team will discuss all the treatment options with you. It’s important to understand and know about your options. Factors to consider include your overall health condition, the possible side effects of the treatment plan, the likelihood of curing your disorder, and relieving your symptoms.
Do you need a second opinion?
Since treatments are continuously improving, we think that it is important for you to be advised by the best doctor in the field, who has experience with your type of disorder. A second opinion is where you meet with more than one doctor to confirm your diagnosis and also, to understand your treatment options. Second opinions are quite common and most people follow this practise, as it may help to feel more comfortable about your health and the future decisions you make. Asking for a second opinion is common practice. It may help you feel more comfortable with the health care decisions you make. There are various ways in which a second opinion can give you information. It can:
- Confirm your diagnosis
- Provide more details about the type of orthopaedic disorder
- Give an accurate location for your issue
- Tell you whether other parts of your body are being affected
- Put you in touch with experts in associated fields of orthopedics who can inform you of other details, such as physical therapy
- Also give you other treatment options, in case the doctor disagrees with your prior diagnosis and treatment
How can MedisenseHealth.com help you? How do we get the best orthopedic hospital/ best orthopedic surgeon for you?
We at Medisensehealth.com, can help you by finding the top doctors specializing in your kind of Orthopedic Surgery. We have a group of 50 specialists who would give an unbiased opinion to you. We also work with the best of the specialized Orthopedic centres in India to bring you the best. All you have to do is follow the links provided, or call our health care support and we will be able to schedule you for a second opinion with the best doctors in the field. We do require that you give us complete details regarding your ailment. This includes all your medical records—including test results, such as blood work or imaging tests. Using these as our guide, we then narrow down the field of doctors so that, we are able to provide you with the best health care opinion. Also see, How to Find a Doctor for your Second Opinion with MedisenseHealth.com. Click here
What are the signs and symptoms of musculoskeletal disorders?
If you have any type of pain in your ankles, knees, hips, shoulders, or back, you should think about seeing an orthopaedic surgeon. Symptoms may include any of the following:
- Difficulty using a particular body part to perform daily functions (e.g., walking up the stairs or getting in or out of bed)
- Pain in muscles, tendons, or joints that doesn’t go away after a few days
- Joint pain that becomes very severe when resting
- Swelling or bruising around the joint or the location of an injury
- Limited range of motion, such as an inability to straighten the back, or get up from a squat
- Joint deformity
- Signs of infection including heat, inflammation, fever, and/or redness
- Any unusual symptoms in the pain region