Orthopedic surgery is a widely-expanding field, with more than 22 million procedures performed across the world in 2017 alone. With so many people getting orthopedic surgery to alleviate health issues, it’s important that you learn about it, in case you or a loved one need orthopedic surgery in the future.
Let’s take a look at some orthopedic surgery facts from the experts at Advanced Bone & Joint Center in St. Peters, MO.
1. An orthopedic surgeon is highly trained.
Your orthopedic surgeon in St. Peters, MO, has four years of undergraduate education, four years of medical school, and up to seven years of residency training in orthopedics and surgery. They can execute tendon repairs, treat complex fractures, replace joints damaged by arthritis, and repair congenital defects. Most surgeons focus on one area of the body, such as the knee and hip, the hand, or the foot and ankle. When it comes to orthopedic surgery, you couldn’t be in safer or more well-trained hands.
2. Knee and hip replacements (arthroplasty) are the most popular orthopedic surgeries.
Osteoarthritis (OA) wears down cartilage and bone in joints such as the knee and hip. More and more people–baby boomers, in particular–are seeking relief from the pain and limited mobility associated with OA through arthroplasty.
Today’s surgical techniques feature shorter incisions, high-tech metal and resin joint components, and highly-individualized rehabilitation programs. Overall, these surgeries are highly successful, helping people regain the independent and pain-free movement they enjoyed previously.
3. Orthopedic surgeons only advise surgery when conservative treatments fail to produce good results.
Surgery is not the only tool an orthopedic surgeon has in their toolbelt. Careful patient evaluation and on-site imaging can reveal the exact nature of a bone or joint problem, and show the orthopedic team what kind of treatment plan would benefit the patient most.
Orthopedic surgeons may offer any number of non- or minimally-invasive treatments first before offering surgery. These treatments may include:
- Bracing and durable medical equipment (canes, walkers, customized shoe orthotics)
- Viscosupplementation and cortisone injections for knee pain
- Trigger point injections for lower back pain
- Performance nutrition for athletes
- Physical therapy
4. Orthopedic surgeons utilize a variety of high-level diagnostics.
Examples include digital X-ray imaging, electromyography, computerized gait analysis, MRI, ultrasound imaging, DEXA bone density scans, electromyography, and more. These techniques yield real-time pictures and data important to joint, muscle, bone, and ligament structure function and strength.
5. Orthopedic surgery has many subspecialties.
Surgeons fix fractures, replace joints, fuse vertebrae in the back, and much more. However, the specialty is so wide that many doctors focus on one area of the body, such as the hand, or on particular diseases, such as bone cancer, or pediatric conditions, such as scoliosis or differences in limb length.
For example, at Advanced Bone & Joint Center, we have sports medicine physicians, a fellowship-trained shoulder surgeon, hand surgeons, knee and hip surgeons, and other doctors who delve deeply into a myriad of subspecialties. In total, we have 10 highly qualified physicians to serve patients of all ages.
6. Pain management is an important element of post-operative care.
The most common symptom of orthopedic conditions is pain. As such, orthopedic doctors are experts in employing a variety of treatments and medications designed to alleviate pain – both temporarily and long-term. Even minimally-invasive surgeries, which decrease the amount of cutting and suturing needed, require pain medication post-operatively. Orthopedic surgeons prescribe strong pain relievers for the first day or two of recovery, but then switch to milder analgesics, such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen. They also employ physical therapy to reduce symptoms.
7. Pediatric orthopedic care is different from that applied to adults.
The developing bodies of children need to be treated differently than adults. Children are prone to different orthopedic injuries, conditions, and deformities than adults. This means, that pediatric patients should be treated by orthopedic experts who specialize in pediatric care. This is essential for ensuring your child’s underlying issue gets addressed appropriately and that it doesn’t impact their growth and development later on down the road.
Quality Orthopedic Care in St. Peters, MO
To learn more about how to get the healthiest and best-functioning musculoskeletal system, call Advanced Bone & Joint Center for an in-depth consultation with one of our friendly providers. At our three orthopedic clinics, we offer the latest in comprehensive orthopedic care.
Our offices are located in St. Peters, O’Fallon and Wentzville, MO. Call us at (636) 229-4222, or request an appointment online. Let’s get together, and talk about how we can help!