Orthopedic surgery is a branch of surgery that deals with the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of injuries and diseases of the musculoskeletal system, which includes bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles, and nerves. It is a diverse field that encompasses various subspecialties, including joint replacement, spine surgery, sports medicine, hand surgery, and pediatric orthopedics.
One of the most common orthopedic surgeries is joint replacement surgery, which is typically done to relieve pain and improve the function of a damaged joint. The most commonly replaced joints are the hip and knee. Hip replacement surgery involves removing the damaged ball and socket joint and replacing it with an artificial joint made of metal and plastic. Knee replacement surgery involves removing the damaged knee joint and replacing it with an artificial joint made of metal and plastic. Both procedures are typically done under general anesthesia and require a hospital stay of several days.
Another common orthopedic surgery is spinal surgery, which is done to treat conditions such as herniated discs, degenerative disc disease, and spinal stenosis. These conditions can cause severe back and leg pain, as well as numbness and weakness in the legs. Spinal surgery may involve a variety of procedures, such as laminectomy, discectomy, or spinal fusion. Laminectomy is a procedure that involves removing the lamina, a bony plate that covers the spinal cord, to relieve pressure on the nerves. Discectomy is a procedure that involves removing a herniated disc to relieve pressure on the nerves. Spinal fusion is a procedure that involves joining two or more vertebrae together to stabilize the spine.
Sports medicine is another subspecialty of orthopedic surgery that deals with injuries and conditions related to physical activity and athletics. Common injuries treated by sports medicine surgeons include sprains, strains, tears, and fractures. Surgery may be required to repair tears in the ligaments, tendons, or muscles, or to fix broken bones. Arthroscopy is a common procedure used in sports medicine. It involves making small incisions in the joint and using a small camera to visualize the inside of the joint. This is often done to repair or remove damaged tissue.
Hand surgery is another subspecialty of orthopedic surgery that deals with injuries and conditions of the hand, wrist, and forearm. Common conditions treated by hand surgeons include carpal tunnel syndrome, trigger finger, and Dupuytren’s contracture. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition that causes numbness, tingling, and weakness in the hand and fingers due to compression of the median nerve. Trigger finger is a condition that causes the finger to lock or catch when it is bent. Dupuytren’s contracture is a condition that causes the fingers to bend towards the palm and can cause difficulty in grasping objects.
Pediatric orthopedic surgery is a subspecialty that deals with injuries and conditions in children. Common conditions treated by pediatric orthopedic surgeons include congenital conditions such as clubfoot, scoliosis, and hip dysplasia. Clubfoot is a condition that causes the foot to be twisted out of shape. Scoliosis is a condition that causes the spine to curve to one side. Hip dysplasia is a condition where the hip joint is not properly formed, causing pain and difficulty walking.
In conclusion, orthopedic surgery is a diverse field that encompasses various subspecialties. Common orthopedic surgeries include joint replacement surgery, spinal surgery, sports medicine, hand surgery, and pediatric orthopedic surgery.