Orthopedics (alternatively, orthopaedics) is a medical specialty focused on the diagnosis and treatment of conditions, disorders, and injuries of the muscles, bones, joints, tendons, ligaments, and nerves.
A doctor who specializes in this medical specialty is called an orthopedic (alternatively, orthopaedic) surgeon or orthopedist.
The word arthritis literally means "joint inflammation." Arthritis refers to a group of more than 100 rheumatic diseases and other conditions that cause pain, stiffness, and swelling in joints.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease that damages the lining surrounding our joints while also destroying our bones, tissue, and joints over time.
Osteoarthritis is a progressive condition that slowly damages the cartilage surrounding the ends of bones and is common in the hip, knee, and spine
Sports medicine is a branch of medicine that focuses on the treatment and prevention of sports injuries. The most common sport medicine injuries include: ACL and meniscus tears in the knee, and rotator cuff and Labral tears in the shoulder. However, sports medicine is not limited to shoulder and knee joints. It also includes procedural treatments of the elbow, wrist, and ankles.
The orthopedic surgeons at Atrius Health provide treatment for a wide variety of diseases and conditions, including:
When the temperature of the atmosphere falls, the blood carrying vessels to the joints constricts. Because of this fall in the temperature, the supply of the blood to the affected area is compromised. This results in stiffening of the nerves thus causing joint pain.
A fracture is a break in a bone. A fracture rarely includes surgery and is usually treated by immobilizing the bone with a cast or a splint, which allows the broken bones to grow back together. Fractures can occur in any bone in the body and are often the result of high force impact or stress; however fractures may also be a result of medical conditions that weaken the bone.
A sprain is an injury of the ligaments, the rubber band like tissues that connect bones together. When the ligaments are stretched past their normal range of motion, the result can include swelling and severe pain.
A sprain will heal with rest, but a fractured bone must be set to heal.
Arthroscopic surgery is a surgical procedure commonly performed to diagnose and treat problems within the joint. By using high-tech cameras, the orthopedic surgeon inserts a small instrument, called an arthroscope, into the joint.
The arthroscope contains a fiber optic light source and small television camera that allow the surgeon to view the joint on a television monitor and diagnose the problem, determine the extent of injury, and make any necessary repairs.
A bone density test is used to diagnosis osteoporosis, which is a disease that causes weakening of the bones ultimately resulting in fractures. In the past, osteoporosis could only be detected after a person's bone broke; however, by using a bone density test, it is possible to know one's individual risk of breaking bones before one breaks.
A bone density test uses X-rays to measure the amount of calcium and other bone mineral packed into the segment of bone. Common areas that are tested using a bone density scan include the spine, hip, and forearm.
Joint replacement surgery is a surgical procedure performed to replace an arthritic or damaged joint with a new, artificial joint, called a prosthesis. Joint replacements can be performed on every joint in the body, but most commonly performed in the knee, hip, shoulder, and elbow.
Joints contain cartilage, a soft, rubbery gel-like coating on the ends of bones, where they articulate, that protects joints and facilitates movement and over time, or if the joint has been injured, the cartilage wears away and the bones of the joint start rubbing together. As the bones rub together, bone spurs may form, and the joint becomes stiff and painful. Most people have joint replacement surgery when they can no longer control the pain with medication and other treatments and the pain is significantly interfering with their lives.
The most common orthopedic surgeries are: