Orthopedics is the medical specialty that focuses on injuries and diseases of your body’s musculoskeletal system. This complex system includes your bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles, and nerves and allows you to move, work, and be active.
Once devoted to the care of children with spine and limb deformities, orthopaedists now care for patients of all ages, from newborns with clubfeet to young athletes requiring arthroscopic surgery to older people with arthritis. And anybody can break a bone.
Orthopaedic surgeons manage special problems of the musculoskeletal system. This involves:
- Diagnosis of your injury or disorder
- Treatment with medication, exercise, surgery or other treatment plans
- Rehabilitation by recommending exercises or physical therapy to restore movement, strength and function
- Prevention with information and treatment plans to prevent injury or slow the progression of diseases
While orthopaedic surgeons are familiar with all aspects of the musculoskeletal system, many orthopaedists specialize in certain areas, such as the foot and ankle, spine, hip or knee. They may also choose to focus on specific fields like pediatrics, trauma or sports medicine. Some orthopaedic surgeons may specialize in several areas.