What is orthopaedic surgery?
Orthopaedic surgery is the field of surgery responsible for diagnosing and treating a wide range of conditions of the musculoskeletal system, as well as for reducing the symptoms of any conditions affecting it. These conditions can affect the bones, cartilaginous structures or the joints.
What conditions does orthopaedic surgery treat?
Some of the conditions treated by orthopaedic surgery include:
- Foot injuries: metatarsalgia, bunions, cavus foot, flat foot, hammer toe;
- Hand injuries: scaphoid bone fracture, carpal tunnel syndrome, De Quervain syndrome, thumb arthrosis (trapeziometacarpal osteoarthritis), stenosing tenosynovitis (trigger finger);
- Knee, kneecap and ligaments injuries, as well as knee osteoarthritis;
- Shoulder injuries (shoulder impingement syndrome or swimmer's shoulder);
- Hip injuries (hip osteoarthritis).
What are the sub-specialisations of orthopaedic surgery?
Emergency or trauma surgery can be regarded as a sub-specialisation of orthopaedic surgery. This type of surgery treats people who’ve suffered a traumatic injury (thus, an acute trauma). A few examples of traumatic injuries include:
- Incision or laceration wounds;
- Gunshot wounds;
- Car accidents;
- Several types of domestic accidents;
- Work-related accidents.
When do I need to see an orthopaedic surgeon?
If you have one of the above-mentioned conditions, you should see an orthopaedic specialist, who will determine whether or not you need surgery. Should the orthopaedic specialist also be a surgeon, he or she will be the one performing the surgery (if needed).