If you or your loved one has a sprained ankle, dislocated a kneecap, or broken an arm, you likely need to see an orthopedic surgeon. An orthopedic surgeon or orthopedist is a physician who diagnoses, prevents, and treats disorders related to muscle, bone, tendons, ligaments, and joints. They employ both surgical and non-surgical treatments to resolve orthopedic injuries and conditions.
An orthopedic surgeon can perform surgical repairs in bone, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and other tissues. They can also prescribe non-surgical treatment options, like medications and rehabilitative physical therapy.
This article will explain what an orthopedic surgeon does and what qualification is required to become an orthopedic surgeon.
What Do Orthopedic Surgeons Do?
An orthopedic surgeon focuses on the problems related to the musculoskeletal system. They will perform the following duties:
- Diagnose and treat musculoskeletal conditions
- Assist in rehabilitation, which means they help you regain strength, flexibility, range of motion, and movement following an injury or a musculoskeletal surgery
- Prevent injuries and chronic conditions like arthritis from worsening
Qualification of an Orthopedic Surgeon
Becoming an orthopedic surgeon is not an easy task. It involves a lot of extensive training in the proper diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases and injuries related to the musculoskeletal system. It takes up to 14 years of education and training to become an orthopedic surgeon in the United States.
The formal education required to become an orthopedic surgeon includes:
Four Years of Study in A College or University
An orthopedic surgeon studies for four years in a college or university to earn a bachelor’s degree. The coursework to get a bachelor’s degree includes studying biology, physics, mathematics, English, general and organic chemistry. Students can take pre-medical classes and choose science-based subjects to get a bachelor’s degree.
Four Years of Study in Medical School
During four years of medical school, orthopedic surgeons earn a doctor of medicine (MD) or doctor of osteopathic medicine (DO) degree. They study anatomy, biochemistry, physiology, and genetics. They complete clinical rotations in medical specialties, surgery medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, radiology, psychiatry, and neurology.
Five Years of Training in an Orthopedic Residency
Orthopedic surgeons complete five years of on-the-job training during residency. After spending the first two or more years in surgery, an orthopedic surgeon advances to orthopedic procedures in the last years of residency.
One or Two Optional Years of Fellowship in a Specialized Area
Orthopedic surgeons complete one or two optional years of fellowship for an in-depth study of body parts such as the hand, foot, ankle, and spine. They can also enter subspecialties such as pediatric orthopedics, orthopedic oncology, reconstructive surgery, and sports medicine.
After completing education and necessary training, an orthopedic surgeon passes a licensing exam to practice. Though it is not necessary for an orthopedic surgeon to give the board exam, most orthopedic surgeons pass the board certification exam by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery (ABOS) or the American Osteopathic Board of Orthopedic Surgery (AOBOS).
To remain board-certified, orthopedic surgeons participate in continuing education and renew the certificate.
Orthopedic Surgeon in St. Charles County, MO
If you suffer orthopedic issues and seek a lasting solution, visit us at Advanced Bone & Joint. Our orthopedic surgeons will ensure that you receive proper care and treatment for your musculoskeletal condition. They will also guide you at each step of your recovery for excellent outcomes.